The story that was making the rounds yesterday, wherein a purported journalist described in detail his experiences in visiting a gun shop and firing an AR-15, was obviously bogus in many respects. Smell of sulfur? Really? And, while it's been a couple of decades since I fired one of those things, I'm quite certain that the recoil of an AR-15 won't bruise your shoulder no matter how wrongly you hold it. Seriously. The effective recoil is practically in Daisy BB gun territory. His terrifying account was clearly fantasy.
Well, it turns out he was lying about pretty much every other aspect of his visit to the gun shop, too.
Flashback. Early 1990s. One of the columnists for the San Jose Mercury News told of his experience with a group of local shooters. They took him somewhere out in the hills to shoot at a variety of targets, including balls of aluminum foil tossed in the air to be shot at with rifles. When he asked where the bullets were ending up, the guys gave him a blank look.
On the BBS (this was the pre-Internet days) a couple of days later: an account of the same outing as told by one of the shooters. Basically, everything after "some guys took me shooting last week" was a lie. They had in fact taken him to the Los Altos Rod and Gun Club, where there's a range staff, and they're very particular about safety; the shenanigans he described would definitely not have been tolerated there.
When contacted for an explanation of where this bizarre fantasy account had come from, he explained that he'd initially written it up just as it had happened... but the editors had made him change it. Because the honest account didn't fit the paper's official perspective.
In other news, more young people now get their news from social media than from TV. This, presumably, is meant to be a Bad Thing. But, given that newspaper news has been wildly inaccurate (even when not outright dishonest) for decades, and TV news is even worse... maybe this is an improvement? At least there isn't a cartel controlling the content, no matter how hard Facebook and Twitter may try.