Some people are reporting that CNN is not letting them view the .50
video I've been referencing, claiming that a (paid) subscription to CNN
or to Real's service is required. That's odd -- because I've
viewed it twice without any such subscription. You do need a
working Realplayer plugin, though.
Here is a brief description of the video from memory; quotes are
reasonably close to what was said but should be considered a paraphrase:
Voiceover talks about the .50 and how it's easy to buy one without any
government paperwork. Video of a reporter browsing the web...
"and this website is one of the biggest firearms sales sites on the
The video shows the report browsing down the list of .50 rifles
available. He explicitly states (and the video highlights) that
he is looking for a private individual, not a federal firearms
dealer. He finds one, writes an email on the site suggesting a
meeting, and says he's paying cash.
"Before we actually buy the gun, I want to make sure that I can buy
ammunition for it." And so he goes to an ammo dealer website,
orders it with a credit card, and gets it shipped to his office by UPS
"no questions asked". Well duh. Only problem is, he says
it's "armor piercing" ammunition. Maybe he means it's rifle
ammunition, since just about any rifle round will defeat most
Cut to the reporter in his SUV, taking about how the only paper
involved in the transaction will be the cash. He flashes what
looks like about 5 bills to the camera. Since the price of the
gun was about $3000 new, he's not exactly representing the amount
Cut to the reporter walking into a building, then walking out again
with a carrying case. More inane comments in voiceover.
Cut to an airport baggage claim, where he picks up the gun case.
Voiceover about how it's perfectly legal to transport the gun on an
airplane on your baggage (never mind the paperwork).
Cut to a shooting range, where the reporter proves he needs a lot of
practice to hit an airplane door at about 300 yards. Gee, what a
surprise, the bullets penetrate the door, leaving a small hole that
could be plugged with someone's finger! Good thing I don't depend
on thin aluminum to stop a bullet.
After a bit of that, they put a 1-inch steel plate behind the emergency
door and shoot a hole in that. Lots of slow motion for that
shot. I'm left wondering why it matters, since airplanes don't
have 1-inch steel plate armor, and wouldn't be blown to bits by a
little tiny hole even if they did.
And it closes, as I recall, with the reporter doing voiceover about
airport vulnerabilities while an airplane flies overhead, much closer
than the maximum effective range of that "evil" rifle (and most other
rifles). Never mind that actually hitting an airplane in the air
is difficult enough to require a computer with radar.
The single overriding impression I got from this video was that CNN is begging,
yes literally begging, some terrorist to watch this segment, buy a .50
rifle using the "gun show loophole", and shoot at airplanes. They
are handing out instruction manuals to terrorists because they are
tired of the fact that the terrorists have never done anything like this!
CNN is not merely biased. CNN is on the other side.
UPDATE: There are two brief segments with Ron Barrett, who does his
best but is at the mercy of the CNN editting. There's also a
quote: "Bullets the size of small artillery shells". Right.
For those who are having trouble viewing the video, I can still view it for free.
UPDATE: For those who are STILL having trouble viewing the video, I've
figured out what might be causing the problem. You need the RealPlayer plugin.
When you go to download it, RealPlayer is desperate to make you pay
them for a premium product, but if you are determined, you can download
a free version. You have to click through at least two pages that
try to sell you the expensive version. Just look for the link
that says "free". They will try to hide it, so look closely.