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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Sunday, October 13, 2002
8:54 PM

.223's... I've read a lot of nonsense about the cartridge being used in the DC sniper murders. Some material follows from the Saturday Post. First, from Free For All. Post Reader Lance Carter wrote:

The editorial states that all of the shootings came from the "same type of high-powered rifle." Yet the .223 rifle round reportedly used is at best a medium-powered bullet; indeed, its use among deer hunters is uncommon because it produces only about half the muzzle energy of the more typical hunting rounds. The editorial further describes the rifle as "deadly and consistently accurate." To support this assertion, the article quotes gun-control activist Tom Diaz, who claims the .223 round is widely used in "sniper rifles," allegedly designed to kill human beings at great distances "five times the range at which hunters shoot deer." The editorial fails to mention that the killer reportedly shot at a distance of about 150 yards, which is well within the accuracy of any ordinary rifle. The precision rifles Diaz mentions are commonly used by shooting competition enthusiasts and are rarely used to commit crimes.

Chip Lowry follows:

As a parent and a resident of a region being stalked by an urban terrorist with a rifle, I am sickened and outraged by your decision to allow Jonathan Cowan, president of Americans for Gun Safety, to stack up the bodies of the sniper's victims and use them as a soapbox from which to spew his political views on gun control ["False Choices on Gun Safety," op-ed, Oct. 10].

How could you allow such a piece to run when, by Cowan's own admission, the new gun laws he advocates "may not have saved the lives lost in the Washington area during the past week."

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