CNN personality: ‘Most people can buy an automatic weapon… it took me 20 minutes’

CNN’s Don Lemon clearly does not know the difference between a semiautomatic weapon and an automatic weapon.

Thankfully, conservative radio show host Ben Ferguson was there to help educate him.

“The gun law says that you and I can’t just go out and buy an automatic weapon, so let’s deal with the facts here,” Ferguson said, correcting Lemon. “A semi-automatic weapon is a gun that you and I are allowed to own, and in different places they have different rules. But to imply that anyone can walk out and buy an automatic weapon is just not true, Don.”

But Lemon continued to argue, claiming that he had personally purchased an “automatic weapon” following the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in 2012.

“I have maybe shot a gun three, four times in my life — I don’t even live in Colorado. I think most people can go out and buy an automatic weapon,” Lemon continued. “I don’t understand your argument there. It took me 20 minutes.”

Recognizing that Lemon was greatly misinformed, Ferguson asked how the CNN reporter defined “automatic weapon.”

“For me, an automatic weapon is anything that you can shoot off a number of rounds very quickly. I was able to buy an AR-15 in 20 minutes,” Lemon explained.

Ferguson rebutted, “With all due respect, you don’t know what you’re talking about. An automatic weapon is when you pull the trigger one time and it continually shoots off one after another, after another.”

Perhaps recognizing that he was in the wrong, Lemon accused Ferguson of debating “semantics.”

“Let me finish, Ben. But listen. I think you are getting into semantics. Regardless of what you want to call it, an automatic or a semi-automatic weapon.”

“It’s a big deal,” Ferguson fired back. “It’s the difference between breaking the law and not breaking the law.”

As with the Huffpo journalist who thought earplugs were rubber bullets, this is yet another striking example of the media’s illiteracy when it comes to firearms.


About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • jon visloskie January 27, 2017, 3:22 pm

    I would agree with don wholeheartedly if he could shoot himself in the head more than once with just one pull of the trigger…lol

  • gary August 13, 2016, 10:47 am

    You can’t fix STUPID and you won’t change BIASED!!!!!!! PLAIN AND SIMPLE

  • Robert July 1, 2016, 9:08 am

    Here’s the part that sucks… The guys further up the food chain tell a reporter to do a story about something they have little knowledge about and gives the reporter a couple hours to put it together… So he reads a little bit from another idiot that wrote about somethings they also knew nothing about and the cycle continues. Then people like my ex-wife read the article and tell all her friends that don’t understand the need for guns about how scary looking automatic modern sporting rifles can be purchased in 20 minutes… #facepalm

  • Steve Carson August 28, 2014, 9:57 am

    Dumb A– Don needs a glass belly button! This uninformed individual has never shot a double action revolver. By HIS defination, it would be classified as an AUTOMATIC also!!!

  • Jorge J Noguera August 27, 2014, 4:07 pm

    Wasn’t the idiocy of the media, especially TV non-personalities’, made apparent by the epitome of arrogant stupidity and vapid statements, Piers Morgan. I seem to remember seeing a video of him firing an AR15-type rifle; I believe he referred to it as a “high-powered assault gun” and he was the industry standard for misinformation. I saw him stick his face in the face of one of his “guests” and scream at him that he was tired of hearing rights defender using the 2nd Amendment as an excuse to own guns. The kid was slight and he didn’t do what I would have done and grabbed the punk by his nose and lips and moved him out of my personal space. I noticed he kept his temper and used his best manners when he had then Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura. (It isn’t fair: Minnesota got a real man and we got Arnold the Schwartenegger. What a burn!). If you are looking for any kind of real information CNN and the Huffington Post aren’t going to do it but I personally haven’t seen any large main stream news organizations that making any true effort to be fair in their reporting and accurate in their information. And I see most network media simply parroting everything that organizations such as VPC feed them without even bothering to check for accuracy (facts just get in the way anyway). Remember: News media don’t report “The Truth” unless they have time to make it up first.

  • JIM PRICE August 25, 2014, 5:24 pm

    Colt produced semi auto weapons in 1877 and 1878. All you had to do was pull the trigger and it would go boom, pull the trigger again and it would go boom, pull the trigger again———six times in a row. They were called Thunderer, Lightning and Frontier.


  • Russ August 25, 2014, 2:59 pm

    Liberals thinks they’re smart, so they don’t try to learn.
    This is why we have 2nd amendment right fights.
    They know nothing about firearms or American History
    So they can’t understand how firearms are an important part of the reason we enjoy Liberty and Freedoms as Americans.
    Good luck trying to teach the smug infected.

  • BRASS August 25, 2014, 12:49 pm

    This is why gun rights supporters often can’t get through, the average person believes what they hear from the media and the media is intentionally ignorant on gun issues. Journalists are dishonest, know it and intend to be so as it fits their political agenda.
    That is why Second Amendment supporters, firearms enthusiasts, hunters and others hoping to hand onto their right to own and posses any firearm need to politely correct these falsities any time they encounter them.
    If not, you may find yourself having to turn in your guns or move to another local where they are legal. Journalism is no longer to be considered a friend of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights as they either support or disparage them depending on their personal and political agendas.

  • Kevin August 25, 2014, 12:17 pm

    The main Argument here is to Keep Bloomberg’s Push to Disarm A Dumdum down New generation of So CAlled Americans from another Country …. Rogour 10-4 !!

  • A.O. Martinez August 25, 2014, 11:39 am

    Since when have “actual facts” or “the truth” been associated with anti-gun rhetoric?!?!?! When I hear a reporter referring the an AR-15 or AK-47 as “high-powered assault rifles” … high powered – really?!?!?!

    Winchester .30-30 9.7 g 728 m/sec 2,388 fps 2,560 joules, Soviet AK-47, 7.62mm 8.0 g 715 m/sec 2,346 fps 2,045 joules, Remington NATO .223/5.56mm 3.6 g 1,006 m/sec 3,301 fps 1,822 joules.

    The so-called reporter is skewing the discussion to suit his liberal bias. The idea of anyone being able to buy an automatic weapon within 20-minutes is patently false. As I said, to a rabid anti-gunner … the truth does not matter – only the anti-gun ideology is important.

  • Augest West August 25, 2014, 8:13 am

    After seeing this the other day I felt as though I was looking at another ignorant person. And I was, All pro gun I HOPE should know that buying a fully automatic weapon in this country is not easy. Special permits and the cost of one alone is why it is very hard to just walk into a gun shop and say “Hey sell me a P90 full auto rifle” It’s not going to happen. I tried to see how much a full auto P90 cost but had no luck, Some idiot said 1,400 dollars. Well that’s it’s sister the PS90 which is semi auto and does range between 1,300-1,800 US dollars. I do know that several police dept. In this country have the P90 in their arsenals. Not just federal guys ya know but local police and sheriff officers. Kutztown PA for example. Who would have thought that they would need a fully automatic 50 round P90? Loo it up on the WIKI site. It tells you every country that uses the P90 right now. And what American towns. Anyway I guess I got a little sidetracked, This so called journalist doesn’t know squat about the differences of a full auto and semi auto firearm. Then the guy who thought ear plugs were rubber bullets? I haven’t seen that on tape/video yet. People need to educate themselves before making statements. if anything in this post is inaccurate please let me know.

  • Joe McHugh August 25, 2014, 6:42 am

    Both Don Lemon and Ben Ferguson are right! And both are wrong depending on the circumstances.
    Most Americans can buy a automatic weapon just like Don Lemon said but they he can’t just go out and buy it in 20 minutes.
    The buyer would have to register it the sale first with the appropriate Federal Government Department and pay a $200.00 transfer tax stamp.

    Except for the necessary time it takes one to register a fully automatic weapon purchase Don Lemon was absolutely right.
    His only error was in stating the 20 minute detail. Oh, yeah, Lemon shouldn’t be allowed near a firearm because he obviously doesn’t know one end from the other. But hey, he’s a liberal, what did you expect?

    • Gregory Romeu August 25, 2014, 9:42 am

      ABSOLUTLEY CORRECT! MOST people do not understand that we, as law abiding Americans can buy ANYTHING that we can afford, as long as we comply with Federal Regulations. Full automatic weapons, silencers, tanks, cannons… Just have to pay that $200 tax stamp per item and wait for the paperwork to male it’s way through the system. Many states allow hunters to use silencers, yet mainstream America hasn’t a clue this is allowed.

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