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Conservatives Shoot Down Don Lemon's Understanding Of Guns, But Should Hold Their Fire

Conservatives are gleefully rimfiring in their jeans over a clip of CNN's Don Lemon arguing with conservative pundit Ben Ferguson over the meaning of "automatic weapon," but a surprising source says the gun nuts are the idiots here.

Conservatives are gleefully rimfiring in their jeans over a clip of CNN's Don Lemon arguing with conservative pundit and Guy Who Always Dresses As Baby New Year For Halloween Ben Ferguson over the meaning of "automatic weapon." But a surprising source says the gun nuts are the idiots here. More on that in a moment.'s John Nolte decries Lemon's "jaw-dropping ignorance" (a sentiment echoed by NRO's Charles W. Cooke), while Jim Treacher at The Daily Callerwarned readers that their critique of Lemon "is racist, because it mocks a black person for being wrong and refusing to admit it" because the blacks, they are so sensitive about racism, har-har.

Treacher's meta-racism aside, all of this derision is being heaped on Don Lemon over what TheBlaze calls "an embarrassing exchange" during a segment on the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., in which Lemon brought up the subject of the Second Amendment.

"Most people, I think, are for the Second Amendment right," Lemon said, adding "Most people are. I am for that. I think people should be able to protect themselves. But if you're going to be honest about it, I don't think our founding fathers had these automatic weapons and military-style weapons in mind when the Second Amendment was drafted."

That's where the trouble started, because Ferguson (the Ben, not the City of) jumped all over Lemon for his use of the term "automatic weapon," but unfortunately for him, and all of his pasty gun-nut Lemon-haters, he gave up the game with his first pitch. Here's the segment, see if you can tell where Ferguson the Ben fucked up:

"Are you implying for the police, or are you implying for the private citizen? Because the majority of private citizens are not allowed to own fully automatic weapons."

Oh, Ben, you messed up there, because if an automatic weapon just is an automatic weapon (sure as Santa Claus just is white), then why did you have to say "fully automatic," instead of just automatic? That's just math. Or words. Or something.

Well, maybe Ferguson the Ben was just being extra-"precise" for all of those Lemon-like dummies out there who don't know the difference between "fully automatic" and "semi-automatic," because no one who knows anything about guns would refer to a semi-automatic weapon as an "automatic," certainly not an NRA-certified firearms instructor like Carrie Lightfoot:

AUTOMATIC - A firearm designed to feed cartridges, fire them, eject their empty cases and repeat this cycle as long as the trigger is depressed and cartridges remain in the feed system. Examples: machine guns, submachine guns, selective-fire rifles, including true assault rifles. A fully automatic firearm is capable of sequentially firing two or more cartridges with a single pull of the trigger. A fully automatic firearm is also called a machine gun.

Automatic can also refer to a semi-automatic firearm.

Lightfoot also explains that the use of the term "automatic," in the context Lemon uses it,  is a description of the loading mechanism, and not necessarily the firing capability:

AUTOLOADER - A firearm that automatically loads the next cartridge to be fired into the chamber either upon the pull of the trigger in an open bolt design or upon the firing of the previous round in a close bolt design. Over time this term has been shortened to just "auto" and sometimes "automatic" thus creating confusion between a full-auto firearm and a semi-automatic firearm.

This is clearly what Lemon was referring to. "Well, for me, it's something that can shoot off a number of rounds very quickly," Lemon said when asked what he thinks an automatic weapon is. "I was able to buy an AR-15 within 20 minutes."

To be clear, it wasn't the Don Lemons who have shot a gun, maybe, three times who changed the term "autoloader" to "automatic," it was expert firearms enthusiasts. Still, isn't it possible that Lightfoot is saying that Lemon is the one who's confused, and not Ferguson the Ben?

Not according to one bleeding-heart outfit that says the use of "automatic" to describe a semi-automatic "confuses only the novice." But, really, who on the right is going to listen to the National Rifle Association (NRA)?

In fairness to Ferguson the Ben and his confused friends, though, the real point that Don Lemon was making was about the capability of assault weapons like the semi-automatic AR-15 he described purchasing. As the following video demonstration illustrates, there is a huge difference between what a semi-automatic weapon and a fully-automatic weapon can do.