Jim Sullivan, the inventor of the AR-15, has stepped forward following an HBO interview in which he claims they selectively edited his interview to change his opinion.
The most recent episode of HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” zeroed in on a hot topic: AR-15s. The segment was called, “AR15: Modern Sporting Rifle”, and took aim at the firearm, even interviewing Jim Sullivan, its creator. From the introduction, it’s clear how Gumbel feels about the weapon – “I’m talking about a weapon designed for wartime, but one that has somehow morphed into one of the most popular pieces of so-called sports equipment.”
The report that follows is designed, in Gumbel’s words, to expose the nation to the lethalness of the AR-15. So where does Jim Sullivan land in these anti-AR-15 crosshairs? Right smack dab in the center.
In a Federalist post, written by Sullivan himself, he writes, “The anti-gun HBO sports interview misrepresented much of what I had said. They were apparently trying to make the AR-15 civilian model seem too dangerous for civilian sales. They didn’t lie about what I said, they just omitted key parts, which changed the meaning.”
He then listed two specific points of contention with the interview as it was and the difference between what was shown on television:
“The examples I most object to are: 1) When I appear to say that the civilian-model AR-15 is just as effective or deadly as the military M16, they omitted that I had said “When firing semi-auto only” and that “the select fire M16 on full auto is of course more effective”;
2) the interviewer pretended not to understand the relevance that, due to the Hague Convention, military bullets cannot be expanding hollow points like hunting bullets that give up all of their energy in the target body instead of passing through with minimum wound effect, with most of the energy still in the bullet and wasted.”
He concludes his post by saying, “That doesn’t mean I’m not pleased to see AR-15s sell on the civilian market. It just means I didn’t realize they would sell 57 years ago.”
This kind of selective editing isn’t very surprising to the firearms community that has dealt with misrepresentation for years and will probably still deal with it for years to come.