The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) today condemned a sensational report on CNN that not only alerts potential terrorists on possible misuses of .50-caliber sporting rifles, but also literally provides a “road map” on how to obtain one of these cumbersome and very expensive firearms.

“In yet another media attempt to demonize a particular firearm, which CNN’s own reporter, Drew Griffin, acknowledged has ‘really never been used domestically in a criminal event,’ this outrageous report still suggests to potential terrorists how such a gun might be put to criminal use,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb.

CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron agreed, noting, “The CNN report comes awfully close to being an attempt by a news organization to encourage an incident, just so CNN can later say ‘We warned you’. This sort of journalism belongs right down there with the CBS debacle over the manufactured documents regarding allegations about President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard. With so-called ‘news’ like this on the nation’s airwaves, it is no wonder that the American public no longer trusts the media, and believes the press has a political agenda.”

The CNN report focused on what might happen to a commercial jet aircraft if a terrorist fired at it with a .50-caliber rifle.

“Essentially, CNN’s Griffin and anchor Paula Zahn have literally told would-be terrorists, ‘See what you might do with one of these firearms’?” Gottlieb observed. “Naturally, if such an incident occurs, CNN will quickly blame everyone but themselves. That’s not simply disingenuous, it’s despicable. Of course, CNN isn’t the only news agency guilty of planting this seed of an idea in the mind of some lunatic. CBS’ ‘60 Minutes’ did the same thing, and they’re all hoping to one day harvest a bumper crop of sensational stories about some airplane that comes under fire.”

“If the press handed out awards for irresponsible journalism,” Waldron suggested, “CNN would certainly be in the running. Their own report admits these clumsy recreational firearms have not been a problem. Not satisfied with that, it appears CNN isn’t just reporting news, it’s trying to invent news, and in this case, that news could have tragic consequences. That’s Jayson Blair journalism at its worst. CNN ought to be ashamed, but it’s doubtful they know the definition of that word.”