Breaking News: Has CNN Lost Its Mind?

CNN has historically been one of the mainstream media’s mouthpieces for left of center politics including their staunch support for gun control. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon an article on their iReport blog that at a glance seems to support allowing American citizens the right to own machine guns, grenades, or any other military weapon in common use. Had CNN lost its collective mind?

The iReport site is a cool concept. In essence, an assignment is made by a CNN editor and anyone can respond with an article. If the editor approves the article they will post it to the iReport blog. The article in question, titled “2nd Amendment Misunderstood”, was presumably submitted by a retired Marine who calls himself “CTMarine87″.

The article at first glance appears to be very pro-gun and even supports concepts many TBS readers might also support. The author believes that members of the militia should be able to own any weapon in common use by the military of the day which would include machine guns, squad automatic weapons, grenades, mortars, claymore mines, etc. The one gotcha is that in his view only those properly trained as a “well regulated militia” would have this right. Everyone else would be relegated to neutered firearms only suitable for hunting, basic self defense and target practice.

The author claims that most Americans, and perhaps even the federal courts, misunderstand the intent of the 2nd Amendment. He cites the prologue of the 2nd Amendment, “A well regulated Militia”, as being evidence that the clause only protects the right of firearm ownership for those who are properly trained in their use by the state.  Not only is training a requirement for firearms ownership in this interpretation, but if we apply the definition of “militia” from the 1770 time period men over the age of 45 and women would be prohibited from owning firearms. Remember, only abled bodied men between the ages of 17 and 45 would be allowed to join the militia and thus be allowed to own military weapons with on-going state sponsored training. Are you over weight? Are you blind in one eye? Do you have asthma? Are you arthritic? Do you walk with a limp? Do you suffer from epilepsy?  Sorry, but you’re no longer eligible for militia service and thus have no right to own a firearm of your choosing.

However, the author proposes a different interpretation of the definition of militia through the introduction of a new bill that would modify the original meaning. The changes would redefine who can belong to the militia, what training must be required of militia members, and what weapons citizens may own once granted militia member status. Under the proposed changes women would be allowed membership in the militia and men over the age of 45 would be allowed to maintain their militia status and thus keep their “battlefield weapons”.  Battlefield weapons? His use of that phrase doesn’t pass the sniff test… humm.

The proposed bill would completely abolish Federal gun control laws and require all states to hold semi-annual militia screening and training sessions. Volunteers would show up, submit to a physical, mental health check, background check and to unspecified “combat training”. He calls for “intensive” training for concealed carry, shooting speed and accuracy and target discrimination. Upon graduation from militia training, the citizen would be issued a Militia ID card similar to a Military ID card. From that point forward the militia member would be authorized to carry any type of weapon they desired in public including areas where carrying of weapons has previously been banned such as schools and courthouses.

Sounds great, right?

I don’t think so.

First, if you don’t qualify for membership in your state militia or if you fail to volunteer and submit to mental health screenings and unspecified training, you will only be allowed to own “basic hunting long arms and pistols for self defense”. The restrictions wouldn’t stop there, if you’re not a member of the militia you would be relegated to “low capacity” magazines, which the author fails to define in more detail. I’m assuming he means magazines capable of holding 10 rounds or less would be foisted upon non-militia members.

If you’re unable or unwilling to attended the mandated bi-annual training, complete with additional background checks and mental health screenings, you would lose your right to own anything but “hunting firearms” with “low capacity” magazines.

This proposed bill would also bring about registration of gun owners. If you are required to show up to training and are issued a state Militia ID card, you’re now in a database. Your medical records would be tied to your Militia ID since twice a year you will be required to appear for training and submit to a new physical and metal health “screening”. This also leaves the door wide open for barring entire classes of people from exercising their rights should the state set the bar to high for acceptance into their militia.

Aside from the obvious pitfalls of the proposed bill, which would have a snowballs chance in Hell of passing anyway, there seems to be something fishy about the authors motives. He seems to have the anti-gunners schtick down pretty good for being a retired pro-gun Marine.

He refers to modern sporting firearms as “battlefield weapons” or “exotic weapons” several times. This feeds the anti-gunner mime that that black/brown firearms are “exotic” and more dangerous than other types of firearms. He also seems to have a problem with existing state requirements for obtaining a concealed carry permit. He believes the lack of “combat training” in state CCW classes is an issue and should be corrected through his proposed changes. Merely sitting through a 4 hour CCW class then shooting 12 rounds at a paper target 10 feet away isn’t enough to qualify you for firearm ownership in his opinion. You must submit to state sponsored intensive “combat training” and extensive “mental health” evaluations before you are to be trusted with a firearm. He wants to turn everyone into a cop/soldier and make them subject to state government controls.

He claims the proposed militia bill would limit the “insane and violence-prone” among us to the “most basic and ineffectively slow, and ammunition-limited weaponry”. Why would you give someone that’s “insane” a firearm, even if it has a 10 round magazine? Current laws prohibit the “insane” from owning any type of firearm.  I also fail to understand how a pro-gun Marine came to believe a semi-auto pistol limited to 10 rounds or even a revolver is “ineffectively slow”. An insane/violent person can do quite a bit of damage with such firearms.

What I find even more interesting is that the author wants to screen for “violence-prone” people so they can be excluded from membership in his version of the militia. How does that work? Do you not want “violence-prone” soldiers? By their very nature soldiers are prone to violence as their purpose is to kill other people, it’s what soldiers do and what they train for. I can tell you from personal experience that the Marines purposely train you to be prone to violence and to employ overwhelming force. When I was active duty, the scuttlebutt on Capital Hill was that “de-programming” should be employed to reintegrate Marines back into society. Only a leftist would believe you can kill people nicely and have warriors that aren’t prone to violence. What the authors’ statements seem to indicate is that he wants to set the bar so high that few people could actually meet the criteria for membership thus imposing a de facto ban on semi-automatic military look-a-like firearms, or in other words, modern sporting rifles.

The biggest problem I have with the proposal is that if you’re not a licensed military/militia member then you’re to be relegated to “ineffective” firearms. This tells me two things about the author. First, he knows next to nothing about guns in general and secondly, he’s really a gun grabber in disguise. I’m not sure what his purpose is, but it’s clear to me he’s being dishonest when he claims to be a proponent of the 2nd Amendment.

So was CNN out of their collective minds in publishing this article?  No, I don’t think so. I think they’re right on course and are using deceptive tactics to achieve their gun-grabbing goals.

***UPDATE:  The author of the iReport piece has contacted me and has since retracted his comments published by CNN. He no longer agrees with the ideas put forth by his article. I applaud him for coming forward to set the record straight to the express his support for the 2nd Amendment.


MAC is an avid shooter, former MCSF Marine, NRA member, Oath Keeper and is commissioned as a Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky. Known for his videos on the Military Arms Channel, he also writes for The Bang Switch, for Shotgun News (Be Ready!) and freelances for Guns & Ammo. MAC has been a life long shooter who has an interest in all things that go "bang" but gravitates towards military type firearms.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookGoogle PlusYouTube

  • Stomper

    I could ruin your day in the worst way with an old Glennfield Model 60 .22LR… they just can’t hide their ignorance no matter what mask they wear, can they?

  • Jason A. Partridge

    sneaky bastards… good thing we are not stupid as they think we are!

  • RPM509

    This is where they anti-gun crowd and liberals shine, in blurring the lines, confusing the reader and basically making shit up to get their way. Disgusting and evil. BTW, was this ‘Marine’ vetted by CNN’s editor or can anyone claim prior military status and they’ll run with it? I will start calling myself “SenateMajorityLeaderAndGeneralExpertinAllThingsDiscussed” for my iReport byline…

    • Josh Flashman

      I was vetted. I’m a Marine. See my full apology on the MAC Facebook page

  • Das Ram

    Exclusive Legislative Jurisdiction….WHERE does it apply and to WHOM?

  • DD

    I wonder what sort of training or qualifications would be required in order to properly use the First Amendment.

  • cruciblearms

    “The People” is referenced in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 9th and 10th amendment. In all cases it refers to individuals. The right of individuals, “the people”, to bear arms was upheld most recently by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008. Anti-Second amendment folks love to shift focus from “the people” to the militia in the case of the second amendment. It’s red herring logic as we all know.

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

  • Wyatt jayne

    Simple answer if not cruel- he’s a pog boot fuck. He probably was an admin clerk or supply, one of those guys who coasted so hard he wasn’t issues greens he was given a blue jumpsuit. (Coast guard reference, not dissing the CG, just making a joke) probably spent an eight year contract and came out an E-4 with a grand total of four medals and (with a good cookie no doubt).

    • Josh Flashman

      I’m an 0311 who’s disability retired with PTSD. Try again.

      • Wyatt jayne

        My apologies. I did not know, and if I offended, my apologies brother.

        • Josh Flashman

          No worries, brother. You forgive me for my stupid article and I forgive you for the POG joke LOL. Just file that old piece of garbage under “Good initiative, bad judgement”

  • John Kiermas

    Sounds like a POG to me…

    • Josh Flashman

      I’m an 0311

  • JoeMe

    strip the bill down to adding women to the militia and making it clear older people may still participate in the militia + removing all previous firearm legislation, that’d be a good bill. If they can’t swing that, they could leave in that states may designate resident citizens that are members of their militia under whatever rules/training the state implements, and those citizens may be issued/purchase firearms as if military (NFA no longer applies to them). I’d expect some states to make (almost) everyone militia, and some states to make nobody miltia, but it is an improvement.

  • ghostwheel

    Nobody watches CNN anyways unless they are stuck in an airport.

    • steve

      LOL! So true!

  • Thor De Schane

    I like the idea of militia training, the destigmatization of militias, and allowing organized militias access to military weapons, but not making it mandatory to own weapons of combat. I was almost going along with it.

  • NateMA

    one thing in the said article I do agree with is the increased training to be able to own a firearm. I have seen a bunch of idiots with a firearms id card (I live in Massachusetts, we have to have one) that there is no way I would want anywhere near a gun. increased safety and self defense training is a good idea to me.

  • Josh Flashman

    I’m the author of that piece of garbage. I had just been disability retired from the Marine Corps for PTSD when Aurora happened, and was young and naive, trying to find a compromise between the 2 sides. See my full apology on the MAC Facebook page.

    • MAC

      Josh, thank you for contacting me. I applaud your retraction and it’s good to know that you’re a real person and not a concoction of CNN’s overzealous journalism. I wish you the best of luck in dealing with your PTSD, brother.

    • NateMA

      Thank you for your service sir. You are a true hero

    • Drmaudio

      I applaud you for coming on this blog and making your retraction in person.

  • EL

    Deception is a common tactic in any war, sport, or contest. This article from the CNN blog only proves that they are finally getting serious about winning the gun-control battle. They probably looked at Obama’s tactics and told them selves, “this guy got elected twice by decieving people and lying and he knows how to play off people’s emotions so well that maybe we should give it a try?”

  • Devin

    If I want to fight for my country as a milita man and get my head blown off cause I’m poorly trained and over weight it’s my right! Screw CNN. I’m already restricted here in Connecticut enough.

  • Crawdaddy

    The guy’s baseline is government control of our right to keep and bear arms, a broad gun ban, a magazine capacity limit, and severely restricting concealed carry. The smokescreen is the promise that we could have our full rights restored by joining the Militia, but he goes on to call for semiannual background checks, psychological screenings, physical fitness tests, and an unspecified amount of combat training.

    If you cannot meet all of the requirements, your rights are restricted. If you cannot take the time off work to meet all of those requirements, your rights are restricted.

    The government would also be free to set requirements designed to limit who could actually join the Militia. For example, the government could implement the same physical requirements as the active military, could stipulate that being on even trivial medications means you cannot pass the psychological screening, could say that only people with excellent credit could be trusted to not illegally sell arms, &c. The key is to cut through the smokescreen to see what his baseline is.

    In true anti-gun fashion, he is trying to trick us by throwing up false promises about how great it would be for pro-gun people. He promises us select-fire weapons and destructive devices, but he knows that we would never actually get any of that because the politicians would create a tangled web of requirements and restrictions to ensure we never see any of it. That just leaves the new baseline that the guy is proposing, which is virtually everything the anti-gun crowd wants short of an unconstitutional ban on all firearms.

    In short, he is likely a supporter of the Brady Campaign and MAIG, and this is just another attempt to trick us into giving them a backdoor to gutting our rights.

  • Mr. Mike

    In the world of online journalism, trying to provoke others is the key. The more views one gets. the more money they make. That’s probably as big a motiovation for writing this as is his anti-gun views.

  • William Baker

    Non story, ‘iReport’ as in I (a private person like a letter to the editor) reported.

    • MAC

      Hardly a “non-story” because it’s reader submitted (which I point out in the article). It’s reviewed, approved and published by CNN.

      • 33AD

        Agreed. By the fact it was blessed by them (CNN), one wonders how much of a hand they had in the design.

        The least they could have done was dress it up a bit more so it is not such a glaring back door gun ban.

        While not surprising, it is frustrating that some will consider this as an option. Thanks to sites like this for getting the counter (and truthful) argument out there.

        • 33AD

          After reading the comments, specifically those from the author of the original article, my apologies for my earlier post. It was made without full consideration of his response.

          Josh, thank you for your service, and my prayers go out for you in healing through your PTSD.

          That being said I’m glad your hindsight is 20/20, and you are now on the pro-2A side of the camp.

  • Josh B

    You can tell the anti-gun a-holes are really grasping at straws when they start using the Trojan Horse tactic.

  • Gilgoul

    Hi there from the Golan Heights,

    This article reminds me of a situation that was prevalent in my kibbutz up until a few years ago. without going into too much details, firearm ownership in Israel is much more restricted than usually perceived, with the quasi totality of “long arms” may they be rifled or smooth bore belonging not to the individuals but to state agencies or authorities (IDF, police, park authority…).
    This led to a situation where, in many communities like mine,(we border Syria), when the state felt it would need to rely on our civilian communities for local defence, it had pretty “permissive” guidelines, with every family holding at home military select fire rifles, ammunitions, hand grenades and even collective weapons (GPMGS, 50 cal HMG’s and even mortars). Then in the last 20 years the state has decided to cut law abiding citizens from their weapons, boiling the frog slowly but surely, and has removed those weapons from the hands of those “well trained militias”.
    Now only a select few (I am still lucky to figure among them) are allowed for reasons of occupation or residence to own 1 pistol with a “stockpile” (SIC) of 50 rounds. Some volunteers in emergency response teams and local border police are also allowed an AR15 with no “private range” use allowed.
    People of the USA, you have the tremendous privilege and merit to have held on the most impressive document ever written since the Bible, it is called the Constitution, and your 2nd amendment is the guarantee of all the rest of it, please take good care of it, please cherish it and hold it close at all time, because it is really a beckon of hope (not of the fake kind), and symbol of freedom, for all liberty freedom people around this planet.
    But mainly, never oh never let any “expert” and mainly “former military officer” tell you what is good for you, I have served enough time and in two military forces to have learn what whoever has spent time in any green machine knows, the brown of many CO’s uniform is often just to camouflage the brown nose they get from their time with them politicians.

  • Josh B

    After seeing the posting on Facebook, I see now that this was originally written with a well meaning intent. It just wasn’t realized that politicians are scum and would have twisted any and all of the powers left to them under this scenario to completely bar people from owning guns.

    I do totally agree that people should have training. And I would hazard to say, especially about the people on this board, that we hold ourselves to a higher standard than most, especially anti-gun people, and seek out training/practice on our own.

  • Jon

    I thought it was funny how he seemed to imply that since Alaska, Wyoming, Arizona, and Vermont have no carry permits that they have ban of some sort on it, and that that is why they have such low crime rates. In reality they have no permits, because you can carry however you want with no permit. Interesting that these states require nothing more than legal gun ownership to carry, and have very low crime rates.

    • FourString

      Eh. The confounding variable here is population density. Lower population density = lower crime.

  • brian z

    wow! im shocked he came foward and retracted his bs. could for him!!!!

  • Greg

    With today’s optics even someone who is 80 can sit in the back corner and let fly out the window so that is the standard I am holding to. At the writing of the 2nd all militias were set up locally and even those that did not go into battle still provided support, food and water so all of them get to keep their guns.