The National Rifle Association (NRA) has not issued a statement on the mass killing in Santa Barbara by Elliot Rodger, but did recently complain that the media calls killings involving gunshots "shootings."
According to MediaMatters.org, the NRA released a video (below) on May 30, which featured NRA News contributor Dom Raso attacking the supposed inaccuracy of news reports.
In the video, Raso claims, "Here's another trick of theirs, when someone commits a murder, it used to be a murder right? But now they race to label anything with a gun as a shooting, because they know how much more attention they are going to get with that word."
However, Raso failed to mention that it is factually correct to label a murder committed by someone using a firearm a "shooting," just as it is correct to label a killing that includes a knife a "stabbing."
"So the average person who doesn't stop to think about what he's watching falls for the story line," added Raso. "Think about the difference between a shooting and a murder. In one you have a shooter and the other one a murderer."
However, Raso didn't mention that a "shooter" could also be a convicted "murderer," if he or she used a gun to commit the crime.
"All of a sudden instead of focusing on the real common link between all acts of evil, the evil person who did it, we are subconsciously told to think about the tool they used instead. Evil is the problem, the tool is irrelevant and stories designed to make you think anything other than the truth are propaganda," states Raso.
But the facts of a murder, including the weapon, are not "irrelevant" to law enforcement and the courts. It's all part of evidence that determines guilt or innocence, which the media rightfully reports and is allowed to do so under the First Amendment.
Not saying that a murder is a "shooting," as Rosa wants, won't change the facts. According to the FBI, guns are used in 69.3 percent of murders in the U.S.
USA Today reported in 2013 that 33 out of the 37 mass killings between 2006 and 2013 included a gun.