News and Commentary

Sen. Chris Murphy Tweets About ‘Assault Rifles’ After Texas Shooting In Which None Were Used

On Saturday, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) sent out a tweet regarding the Second Amendment the day after the Texas shooting:

Despite rumors to the contrary, an AR-15 was not used in the Texas shooting. The killer used a shotgun and a .38 revolver to commit his crime – neither of which is an “assault rifle.”

There are several possible reasons Sen. Murphy composed this tweet. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, and begin with sincere ignorance.

Several recent mass shootings were perpetrated with semi-automatic rifles, and the rumor was going around on Friday that an AR-15 had been used. It’s certainly possible that Sen. Murphy was unaware of the actual weapons the shooter carried. He may have simply assumed that a semi-automatic rifle was used, and sent out the tweet in order to scold those who support the Second Amendment right of Americans to bear such arms.

This scenario seems unlikely due to the fact that the tweet was sent out at 10:44 a.m. on Saturday, approximately 24 hours after the shooting occurred.

It’s also possible that Murphy knew exactly what weapons were used in the shooting, and decided that a tweet about “assault rifles” would sound good to individuals in his base who aren’t familiar with firearms.

Although the senator doesn’t specifically mention the shooting in his tweet, one can deduce that he was pointing toward the shooting. The tweet was sent a day after the deadly rampage from which the United States is still reeling, and it was preceded by three other tweets – one about the shooting, and two about the “inaction” of lawmakers on gun control.

Regardless of Murphy’s intent, his tweet is misleading. As of publication, it has 13,000 “likes,” and has been retweeted more than 3,400 times. Will the senator take the tweet down or make a correction?