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An unnecessary reminder about initial media reports concerning the Navy Yard shootings (or any breaking story); Update: FBI: Shooter not armed with AR-15

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By Doug Powers  •  September 17, 2013 10:48 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

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Don’t believe anything you read in papers, on the Internet or hear on TV. Just wait a bit.

That’s my advice, not that you should heed it, because I just told you not to.

Here are only a couple of the reasons why:

Yesterday, after the horrible killing spree at the Washington Navy Yard that left many dead, CNN’s Piers Morgan did his thing:

There were others.

That was of course based on “initial reports” from much of the media, and before anybody knew all the facts, the calls for more gun control were flying. Oddly enough, one of the few entities to avoid using the shootings to score disgusting political points — the NRA — was one of those criticized for not using the shootings to score disgusting political points. Go figure.

This morning, Piers “goodbye AR-15, hello musket” Morgan’s own network is now running this story:

A U.S. law enforcement official said Monday that gunman Aaron Alexis unleashed a barrage of bullets using an AR-15, a rifle and a semi-automatic handgun. Authorities believed the AR-15 was used for most of the shooting, the official said. The news prompted Sen. Dianne Feinstein, one of the strongest proponents of a ban on assault weapons like the AR-15, to issue a statement the same day asking, “When will enough be enough?”

However, federal law enforcement sources told CNN Tuesday that authorities have recovered three weapons from the scene of the mass shooting, including one — a shotgun — that investigators believe Alexis brought in to the compound. The other two weapons, which sources say were handguns, may have been taken from guards at the Navy complex.

The sources, who have detailed knowledge of the investigation, cautioned that initial information that an AR-15 was used in the shootings may have been incorrect.

Now, maybe Alexis did use an AR-15 (note: see update below). After all, the above report that he might not have used one comes from the same people who reported that he did use one. They’ve certainly covered all the bases.

Last night, NBC reported this:

The gunman was armed with an assault-style rifle, a shotgun and a handgun when he was killed, authorities said. But law enforcement officials told NBC News they believed he arrived packing only the shotgun, which he bought last week from a gun dealer in Lorton, Va., about 20 miles from Washington.

So now there are three versions of the story: 1) Alexis arrived with an AR-15, a shotgun and a handgun. 2) He arrived with a shotgun but obtained the “assault-style rifle” and handgun on site. 3) He didn’t use an AR-15 at all, but rather had a shotgun and two handguns. The only similar element present in all three possible scenarios is the advice of Joe Biden, but who knows what really happened.

The fact is that we don’t know what all the facts are, but it’s laughable that the media outlets that have been pumping out so much information that will ultimately turn out to be false (like this) are the same ones who claim to be the “real journalists.”

One thing that appears to be the case is that Alexis reportedly had mental problems, which is something those who instinctively jump into “gun grab” mode fail to address while they’re busy calling for more laws that are somehow supposed to stop people who don’t obey laws.

Update:

Over to you, Piers.

Update II: Heh.

(h/t Ed Morrissey at Hot Air)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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