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CNN Has an Odd Definition for 'Assault Rifles'

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

It's a tale as old as time. Whenever the debate of gun control versus gun rights enters the forefront of the news cycle, the mainstream media does a terrible job explaining what a firearm is and on Tuesday, CNN was the latest outlet to do just that.


In a segment attempting to explain what an "assault rifle" is, it ended up applying to the vast majority of firearms that are on the market today. 

"Some general characteristics, they’re semi-automatic firing. That means every time you pull the trigger, you get a bullet. So as fast as you can pull it, you can get shots out of it. Many, many weapons are semi-automatic, not just assault rifles. Often they have detachable and possibly large-capacity magazines that clip on there so you get a lot of bullets. A pistol grip or something else for better control so it doesn’t walk away from the power of the shooting of it. All of this comes together in a package that frankly, looks more like a military thing than most people would expect," CNN correspondent Tom Foreman explained.

On the screen Foreman was standing in front of, the following bullet points were listed:

  • Semi-automatic firing
  • Detachable and possibly large-capacity magazines
  • "Shootings involving these weapons result in more shots fired, more people wounded, and more wounds per victim compared to attacks with other firearms."

Based on the vague definition given by CNN, handguns could easily be included.

CNN had a similar gaffe in 2018 when contributor and former Army General Mark Hertling said AR-15s can be fired "on full semi-automatic," which is not a thing.


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