On Tuesday, after Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, called for a special counsel to investigate whether Attorney General Eric Holder perjured himself during testimony about the botched ATF gunrunning sting Operation Fast and Furious, we noted that Fox News had previously devoted little coverage to Democratic calls in 2007 for a perjury investigation of Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Our analysis found that the network's evening lineup had devoted only three segments and less then twelve minutes of coverage in their first three broadcasts after Senate Democrats called for a special counsel to review Gonzales' testimony about President Bush's domestic surveillance program. All three segments ran on Special Report; the rest of the Fox evening programs we reviewed were silent on the subject.*
By contrast, in their first three broadcasts after Smith's call for a special counsel to investigate Holder, the Fox evening programs that we reviewed devoted 43 minutes to the story. In addition to Special Report, The Five, The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity, and On the Record all covered the story at least once.**
Suggesting the United Nations is coming for your guns is among the longest running pieces of scarelore for the National Rifle Association and other gun lobby groups. Today Fox News got in on the action, airing a segment that recycled the paranoid accusations most recently seen in NRA fundraising efforts.
The segment, produced as part of Fox's "Taking Liberties" series, appeared on today's episodes of America's Newsroom and Happening Now, correspondent Douglas Kennedy interviewed critics of the proposed treaty who inaccurately describe its intended goals.
Happening Now introduced segment with the misleading chryon, "Obama Administration Backs U.N. Treaty To Control Guns."
While the Obama administration hopes to back the U.N. arms treaty, treaty negotiations haven't been concluded. There is no final treaty language, no treaty to back, and no guarantee the administration will find the final treaty acceptable. Fox's misleading suggestion mirrors a long debunked chain e-mail that erroneously suggests the administration has already signed the treaty.
It didn't get much better once the segment started rolling.
For more Media Matters coverage of gun violence and extremism, visit our Gun Facts microsite.
Last week the media arm of the National Rifle Association (NRA) complied several segments from the NRA radio program Cam & Company into a package entitled "Obama Campaign Controversies." Host Cam Edwards interviewed conservative media figures that recycled a string of right-wing talking points on the Solyndra bankruptcy, the economy, the Democrats losing Anthony Weiner's former district and Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign. They talked about guns too, when they had time.
The NRA is theoretically a single issue organization, but their activities often blur the lines. Usually when the NRA wants to push a conservative issue they seek to veil the effort under the banner of "culture." Now the NRA is dropping the game and pushing right-wing talking points without any particular connection to anything other than attacking President Obama. During his speech Friday at CPAC-Florida, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre explained that "if NRA has anything to say about it, President Barack Obama won't get a second term."
During one an extended clip with Jim Geraghty of the National Review Online campaign blogger featured Geraghty attacking the Obama jobs plan, plugging Republican Rep. Louis Gohmert's (R-TX) American Jobs Act, making a dig at the Democrats for not holding Anthony Weiner's congressional district in the recent special election, jabbing the White House for wanting people to eat vegetables, and discussing the Solyndra bankruptcy. Eventually they weaved back to gun-related subjects.
It's hard to blame NRA News for getting off subject. How long could you listen to John Bolton talk about how the U.N. is plotting to grab everyone's guns?
For more Media Matters coverage of gun violence and extremism, visit our Gun Facts microsite.
According to National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, the Obama administration's lack of action on gun control issues only proves just how diabolically anti-gun they are.
In a speech Friday at Florida's version of the Conservative Political Action Conference, LaPierre explained how by not pushing for new gun laws, Obama actually revealed that he is engaged in a secret plan to "lull gun owners to sleep" so that they would not vote him out of office in 2012. LaPierre claimed that Obama's "strategy" is to "get re-elected" and then "erase the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights."
LaPIERRE: [I]n public, [President Obama will] remind us that he's put off calls from his party to renew the old Clinton [assault weapons] gun ban, he hasn't pushed for new gun control laws, and he'll even say he looked the other way when Congress passed a couple of minor pro-gun bills by huge majorities. The president will offer the Second Amendment lip service and hit the campaign trail saying he's actually been good for the Second Amendment.
But it's a big fat stinking lie, just like all the other lies that have come out of this corrupt administration. It's all part -- it's all part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment in our country. [...]
Before the President was even sworn into office, they met and they hatched a conspiracy of public deception to try to guarantee his re-election in 2012. [...]
And Obama himself is no fool. So when he got elected, they concocted a scheme to stay away from the gun issue, lull gun owners to sleep, and play us for fools in 2012. Well, gun owners are not fools, and we are not fooled. We see the president's strategy crystal clear: get re-elected, and with no other re-elections to worry about, get busy dismantling and destroying our firearms freedom. Erase the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights and exorcise it from the U.S. Constitution. That's their agenda.
LaPierre did not explain in his speech why the leader of a group whose top priority is defeating President Obama in 2012 would be made privy to this secret plan. Nor did he explain how Obama planned to repeal the Second Amendment will a Congress that passes "pro-gun bills by huge majorities."
Last week, a gun blogger going by "Eric at the Gunmart Blog" writing at ammoland.com broke with the gun industry trade association National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) over its recently made-up terminology, "modern sporting rifles."
Many of the rifles Eric discusses are modified civilian versions of military rifles, and some were classified as assault weapons under the Federal Assault Weapons ban in place from 1994-2004. But NSSF would rather the public thinks about hunters stalking game than soldiers on the battlefield. Eric isn't down with the branding effort:
Words are powerful, and choosing to use certain words instead of others (i.e assault rifle) can have a powerful influence on public opinion. But come on... lets be real... "Modern Sporting Rifle" has not been an effective choice of words.
I honestly don't know what we should choose, but I think the time has come to move on to something different. Heck, perhaps we should just embrace the term "assault rifle" and normalize its usage so that there is not a stigma attached to it anymore.
This week, NSSF launched a web assault defending its rebranding effort, comically asking, "The Term 'Assault Rifle' as Dangerous as Weapon Itself?" If you're only worried about gun sales, then the answer is probably yes.
At the well-read The Truth About Guns, they weren't buying the NSSF attack, going beyond Eric at Gunmart's critique, calling NSSF's terminology "a failed attempt at O[r]wellian language modification":
Still, when Eric at Gunmart Blog wrote an essay entitled I Dont like the Term "Modern Sporting Rifle," the NSSF felt obliged to defend their failed attempt at O[r]wellian language modification and accuse our pal of sedition . . .
We're guessing NSSF wishes it could send the whole episode down the memory hole.
National Rifle Association board member and Washington Times columnist Ted Nugent returned to the subject of last month's raid on Gibson Guitar Corporation factories in an appearance on last night's edition of Fox Business' Lou Dobbs Tonight. In that raid, federal agents confiscated wood, hard drives, and guitars on the suspicion that Gibson had illegally imported Indian hardwood
After declaring Dobbs the "quintessential American" and stating that he has both owned and "blown up hundreds" of Gibson guitars, Nugent offered a unique take on law enforcement procedures:
NUGENT: What they did to Gibson Guitars is so illogical, so anti-American, so contrary to the claims of creating jobs, they shut down a globally-revered American craftsman, Gibson Guitars. And you know, Lou, I'm just a guitar player, but let me know how I would have done it if I heard that maybe Gibson had some illegal wood. I wouldn't get an armed raid like I was going after some child rapist or murderers or drug runners, of course, then we'd have to arrest the ATF. What I would do is I would call Gibson and say, "Hey, can I come down and look at your receipts? I hear you got some bad wood." Can you believe the depth of abuse and the outrageous assault on freedom and positive forces in this country?
So if law enforcement believes a company is violating the law, Nugent thinks they should call the company up, tell them they are under investigation, and ask them nicely to provide evidence. Such a policy would, of course, invite those companies to destroy evidence, which is why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents instead did what law enforcement typically does in the real world -- gather evidence, present it to a judge, and get search warrants for the premises in question. That, in Nugent's mind, makes them "jack-booted thugs."
Of course, Nugent isn't so lenient with everyone. He's also said that "If it was up to me, if you uttered the word 'gun control,' we'd put you in jail," and asserted that "a kid going to a Grateful Dead concert who's caught with sugar-cube-encrusted LSD" should "get caned" and be raped in prison daily by "a huge, unclean black man."
I suppose it was inevitable.
For months, right-wing bloggers have been linking the ATF's Operation Fast and Furious to a wide array of increasingly ridiculous conspiracy theories. The operation itself was a failed attempt to take down Mexican cartels that certainly deserves (and is receiving) scrutiny after many guns involved in the program ended up at crime scenes, but the right-wing media's preference for wild theories over solid facts has gotten well out of hand.
Now, they've decided that the "ultimate goal" behind the program was to -- try not to laugh -- collapse the system as part of the "Cloward-Piven strategy" and initiate a "coup de d'état." You may recall "Cloward-Piven" as the Glenn Beck-pushed conspiracy which claims that the motive force of the last forty years of progressive policy is an article written by two obscure college professors that calls for "collapsing the system" by overloading government services in order to implement new policies. After Beck repeatedly devoted his programs to attacking the surviving professor, Francis Fox Piven, she began receiving death threats.
What does that have to do with a failed operation aimed at stopping Mexican drug cartels? Pajamas Media blogger Bob Owens provides the following "speculation" (emphasis added):
Gunwalker purposefully increases social unrest (increased gun violence/destabilizing Mexico), with the possible result of overloading the U.S. public welfare system (more illegal aliens fleeing the violence in Mexico and Central America). Gunwalker's perpetrators could then use that influx to create an insurmountable constituency of poor seeking handouts from the Democratic Party. The hope of the strategy is to force a system-wide collapse of the current system, and then to rebuild the government in a variant of the strongest socialist model they think the public will accept.
Operation Fast and Furious doesn't make sense as a anti-cartel operation, but it makes perfect tactical sense as a way of implementing Cloward-Piven, something that President Obama, Attorney General Holder, Secretary Napolitano, and Secretary Clinton have long embraced as followers of those radicals and Saul Alinsky. Gunwalker is the start of a coup d'état against the republic by the very souls entrusted to guard it.
The idea that the Obama administration wants dramatically increased illegal immigration in order "force a system-wide collapse of the current system" is, of course, at odds with their record of increasing deportations and reducing illegal immigration.
(As an aside, it's interesting that Owens now has a problem with "a coup d'état against the republic," given that he previously called armed revolution the "morally-required alternative" if other efforts to repeal health care reform fail.
Fast and Furious blogger Mike Vanderboegh, who thinks that if Hillary Clinton doesn't run for president again it must be because "she's got some dirty Gunwalker underwear she doesn't want outed in public," is also highlighting Owens' conclusions.
It's almost as if these people are desperate to not be taken seriously. But that's pretty much par for the course for the right-wing media.
It's a shame that Owens is just teasing us with the reference to how Obama, Holder, Napolitano, and Clinton are "followers of... Saul Alinsky." I was looking forward to a detailed explanation of the Alinskyite tactics.
On yesterday's broadcast of the NRA-sponsored Cam & Company, NRA board member and Washington Times columnist Ted Nugent referred to federal law enforcement agents as "jack-booted thugs," and described President Obama as "communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-trained" and a "church-goer to the hate-America church."
Nugent's "jack-booted thugs" comment came in response to last month's raid on a Gibson Guitar Corporation factory, in which federal agents confiscated wood, hard drives, an guitars on the suspicion that Gibson had illegally imported Indian hardwood. A federal agent's affidavit states that the Customs form for the shipment misrepresented its contents to falsely claim that the goods in question were legal to export under Indian law. According to an expert contacted by Media Matters, Gibson has a prior record of purchasing questionable wood, which likely led to the company being targeted. Right-wing media have claimed that the raid was in fact politically motivated.
After criticizing the raid by "jack-booted thugs," Nugent went on to blame "the American people" for having "bent over so far as a citizenry" as to allow the "communist-trained" Obama to become president.
NUGENT: You know who I blame, Cam?
CAM EDWARDS (HOST): Who's that?
NUGENT: The American people. We talk about this every year before we do the NRA annuals, and I've always condemned the curse of apathy. And of course, the curse of apathy has a name, and it's we the people. We have bent over so far as a citizenry in this country that we've allowed a communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-trained, a church-goer to the hate-America church, we've allowed him to become the president of the United States of America, because we bent over that far. We've allowed our federal agents to get away with this kind of jack-booted thuggery.
The phrase "jack-booted thugs" has special resonance in NRA history. In 1995, the organization sent a fundraising letter to its membership signed by NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre that used that descriptor for law enforcement. This triggered a firestorm in which former President George H. W. Bush publicly resigned his lifetime NRA membership in protest. Under pressure, LaPierre eventually responded that "If anyone thought the intention was to paint all federal law-enforcement officials with the same broad brush, I'm sorry, and I apologize."
Another day, another right-wing conspiracy theory about guns. This time it's that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is not running for President because she must be nefariously involved in the failed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Fast and Furious program. Of course, Clinton has consistently said she will not seek the presidency in 2012 since long before Fast and Furious became public.
The details of the ATF's operation Fast and Furious are certainly worthy of the investigations being undertaken in both Congress and Department of Justice's office of the Inspector General. But since Fast and Furious became public, right-wing blogs, Fox News reporters and gun lobbyists have all pushed a variety of baseless conspiracies related to Fast and Furious.
Right-wing media has previously claimed that Fast and Furious was funded by the stimulus bill; not true. They also thought Attorney General Eric Holder mentioned Fast and Furious in a speech; again not true. They've long asserted Holder and the White House must have known/approved of the program early on despite a lack of evidence; Bush-appointed former ATF acting director Michael Sullivan said that wasn't necessarily the case. They've gone as far as to suggest, again without evidence, that Fast and Furious has deliberately set up with the intention of arming the cartels to justify increased gun control.
So no surprise that today gun blogger Mike Vanderboegh asserts that Hillary Clinton's recent statement that she is not running for president against President Obama must be caused by her being somehow implicated in the Fast and Furious program.
Does anybody seriously believe that Hillary has lost her appetite for power? If this "reluctance" is so, it is because she's got some dirty Gunwalker underwear she doesn't want outed in public.
Of course, Clinton's comments are not new.
Federal prosecutors in the Alaska Peacekeepers Militia case filed new court documents last week shedding light on the origins of the far-reaching investigation of Fairbanks, Alaska militia leader Schaeffer Cox, who allegedly masterminded a plot to murder Alaska State Troopers and a Fairbanks judge.
According to the new documents, FBI agents began investigating Cox following a series of speeches he gave in Montana in 2009 and 2010. During that period, Cox regularly spoke at Tea Party and militia gatherings in the western states.
Cox and several of his followers were arrested in March of this year. They're charged with federal weapons violations and state charges of conspiracy to commit murder, among other serious felonies.
During one speech in Montana on March 24, 2009, Cox informed the audience that his militia and others in Alaska had established their own court system, a "common law court," whose authority superseded that of the official Alaska Court System.
(Common law courts are a hallmark of the violent, anti-government Sovereign Citizen movement; its adherents believe they are quite literally above the law.)
Cox told the Montana gathering that his group's common-law court was designed to supplant the Alaska and federal court systems, according to the court filing. It contains a partial transcript of Cox's speech, including his candid response when asked what sentence his court would hand down in the case of a convicted murderer.
... common law jurisprudence says that in the case of murder that person has forfeited their right, and at that point the victim can choose. If the pain they went through is so horrible if they want to spare other people the pain by deterring others, by putting that person to death, that's up to the victim or the victim's family. They can do that, and that person can be hung; or they can sell that person into slavery for the rest of their life. That person is owned by the person they violated, and they can sell him or they can kill him. And these concepts are right out of the Old Testament. That's where it comes from. Now, maybe people don't believe in the Bible, but you know what, that's all right, it's still plenty good for that. So we can at least agree on that. So that's where we're at. We haven't ventured into that; we're just still building, still building, you know. And I hope those don't come too quick but they might show up sooner than we like.
|Robert K. Brown at the NRA's |
2011 annual meeting.
When I was in sixth grade my parents took away my collection of Soldier of Fortune magazines. This was in the mid-1980s, the Rambo-era heyday of the "journal of the professional adventurer." The seizure was preceded by a parent-teacher conference at which exhibit A was a recent two-page essay I'd written about wanting to be a mercenary when I grew up. Or a ninja.
I remember Soldier of Fortune articles in those days being a macho-to-the-max amalgam of firearms reviews, anti-gun control rants, Vietnam POW conspiracy theories and gory first-hand reporting on Cold War proxy wars, military coups and revolutions in Second and Third World nations. But what made Soldier of Fortune so enticing in my 11-year-old mind was less its editorial content than its infamous advertising.
Along with ads for mail-order brides, bounty hunter training manuals, surveillance electronics, Secrets of the Ninja lessons (including "mind clouding" and "sentry removal"), Nazi memorabilia, machine guns, silencers, and sniper rifles, Soldier of Fortune advertised the services of guns for hire.
"It's directed at professional mercenaries -- men who will fight for pay and those who want to hire them," wrote Chicago Tribune columnist Mike Royko in March 1984. "But since mercenaries represent only a tiny portion of the reading population, the magazine tries to broaden its appeal to include those who might be called war fans, weapon-lovers, fanatic anti-commies and Walter Mitty types who enjoy the vicarious thrill of reading about blood and guts."
Royko left out elementary school D&D geeks. For my Dungeons & Dragons buddies and I, reading Soldier of Fortune was like perusing a Dungeon Master's Guide or Monster Manual. It was a portal to a fantasy world. We talked about killing commies the same way we talked about slaying orcs. Then we grew out of it.
Robert K. Brown never did. Brown, the founder and publisher of Soldier of Fortune, has long rocked "Kill a Commie for Mommie" t-shirts with no sense of irony. But unlike a dungeon master, Brown invited his readers to live out their armchair warrior daydreams in places where people died for real.
For several years after Brown founded Soldier of Fortune in 1975, the magazine ran full-page recruiting ads for the Rhodesian Army, which employed foreign mercenaries to defend the apartheid-style regime of prime minister Ian Smith.
|This recruiting poster for the |
Rhodesian Army often appeared in
Soldier of Fortune in the 1970s.
The January 1976 issue of Soldier of Fortune included a classified ad placed by Daniel Gearhart, a 34-year-old Vietnam veteran with money trouble. It read, "Wanted: Employment as mercenary on full-time or job contract basis. Preferably in South or Central America, but anywhere in the world if you pay transportation."
Seven months later, Gearhart was executed by firing squad in Angola. Advertising his services in Soldier of Fortunehad led to his being hired by the losing faction in a civil war. The People's Revolutionary Tribunal judge who sentenced Gearhart and three other foreign mercenaries to death (nine others received long prison terms) called them "dogs of war with bloodstained muzzles who left a trail of rape, murder and pillage across the face of our nation." (Gearhart was arrested less than a week after setting foot in Angola. He denied ever firing a shot there, let alone raping and pillaging.)
Since the mid-to-late 1970s era of promoting mercenary work in African bush wars, Soldier of Fortune has distributed what CBS' 60 Minutes called a "political warfare journal," published classified ads that resulted in no fewer than five murders-for-hire on American soil, and helped to equip paramilitary border vigilantes who terrorized Latino immigrants.
Yesterday, on the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, the National Rifle Association (NRA) sent out an e-mail titled "Remember September 11." The e-mail sent from NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre began by recounting the bravery of fireman on 9-11 and American troops in Afghanistan, some of whom "share their memories" in the next issue of one of the NRA's many magazines. Then it asked people to text donations to the NRA Foundation to "help us tell more stories like theirs."
I guess we all remember 9-11 in different ways.
(Section highlighted. Full e-mail below)
"Freedom itself was attacked" read another NRA e-mail sent to members on September 10. The appropriate response according to the NRA: buy a some stuff from the NRA store to help fund the gun lobby.
The e-mail read:
American freedom remains under attack. On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, preserve your right to self defense and promote our national defense by continuing your commitment to America's foremost defender of liberty - The National Rifle Association of America.
Then they tried to unload some "Don't Tread On Me" mugs. According to the email, "100%" of profits from sales "go directly to support vital NRA programs."
Yesterday's mass shooting at an IHOP in Carson City, Nevada was the latest in the long line of attacks involving the use of high-capacity magazines. In addition to the multiple 30-round magazines, the shooter reportedly employed an AK-47 assault weapon.
The presence of high-capacity magazines was ignored by several media outlets, some not even mentioning the high number of bullets fired. But one witness' account that was widely covered provided insight about how assault weapons can make defensive intervention, armed or unarmed, impossible.
Gun advocates are always quick to take to the airwaves blaming gun free zones and suggest more guns could have prevented virtually any shooting. But like the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) this mass shooting wasn't in a gun free zone and an armed civilian was present but unable to prevent the shooting.
Local store owner Ralph Swagler considered intervening, but was deterred by the assault weapon wielded by the shooter. As reported by The Associated Press:
Ralph Swagler said he grabbed his own weapon, but said it was too late to stop the shooter, who charged into the IHOP through the front doors."
I wish I had shot at him when he was going in the IHOP," said Swagler, who owns Locals BBQ & Grill.
"But when he came at me, when somebody is pointing an automatic weapon at you -- you can't believe the firepower, the kind of rounds coming out of that weapon."
Promoting concealed carry of guns generally and particularly in places such as bars is a primary goal of the gun lobby. Their justification is that more guns would deter or enable intervention against criminals. But they also lobby strongly against prohibitions on assault weapons, such as AK-47s and their variants.
One can clearly see the NRA's goal of promoting easy access to assault weapons and concealed carry come into conflict as a legal assault weapon deterred civilian intervention.
Law enforcement is currently examining if the gun in question was fully automatic or semiautomatic. If Swagler was mistaken it was an understandable mistake.
Popular and low cost AK variant GP WASR-10
Norway mass murder Anders Behring Breivik obtained 10 high-capacity magazines from the United States. In America, high capacity magazines were used in the mass shooting at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Tucson and many others.
Kevin William Harpham, a Washington State resident with long-standing ties to the white supremacist movement, pled guilty today in connection with the attempted Martin Luther King Day parade bombing in Spokane last January.
According to the Justice Department press release announcing the plea:
On March 9, 2011, Harpham was arrested and charged by complaint with the crimes of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of an unregistered explosive device. Today, Harpham pleaded guilty to two counts of a superseding indictment, charging Harpham with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempt to commit a federal hate crime. The Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity March was attended by hundreds of individuals, including racial minorities. The explosive device placed by Harpham was capable of inflicting serious injury or death, according to laboratory analysis conducted by the FBI.
The backpack bomb planted by Harpham along the parade route contained shrapnel dipped in rat poison, and was discovered minutes before parade marchers arrived.
Harpham's plea agreement calls for a sentence of 27 to 32 years in prison and for lifetime court supervision following his release.
In March, we reported on Harpham's white supremacist ties:
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Harpham was a member of the National Alliance, an infamous neo-Nazi organization, in late 2004. It's not clear when he joined the National Alliance or whether he's still a card-carrying member.
But an individual identifying himself as Kevin Harpham, who says he's a neo-Nazi who lives near Spokane, has been active on the crudely racist, anti-Semitic website Vanguard News Network since joining the online forum in November 2004.
Since then, Harpham has posted 1,069 comments to VNN using the moniker Joe Snuffy, slang for a low-ranking U.S. soldier. (Kevin William Harpham was apparently in the army in 1996-1997 and was based at Fort Lewis, Wash., the Southern Poverty Law Center reported earlier today.)
Harpham last posted to VNN on January 16, the day before the attempted MLK Day parade bombing.
Harpham is part of a wave of right-wing domestic terrorist plots in recent years, many conducted by similar "lone wolves."
Earlier this morning, a lone gunman, identified by law enforcement as Eduardo Sencion, opened fire at and around an IHOP in Carson City, NV, killing three people and injuring eight more before turning the weapon on himself.
According to law enforcement, he was using an AK-47, which is currently being examined to determine if it is semiautomatic or automatic.
From the Reno Gazette-Journal:
Authorities say gunman Eduardo Sencion used an AK-47 assault rifle in an IHOP attack that killed three people, including two members of the National Guard.
Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong says they're analyzing the weapon to determine whether it is automatic or semi-automatic.
Authorities at the scene reportedly "found one empty 30-round magazine and two more still containing rounds on the ground."
The gunman's motives are currently unclear, but law enforcement officers are reportedly attempting to determine whether he was targeting five uniformed National Guard members who were shot in the attack, with two fatalities.
As the Violence Policy Center has noted, while the 1994 federal assault weapons ban attempted to ban the AK-47, gun manufacturers quickly evaded the restriction "by making slight, cosmetic design changes to banned weapons." The ban subsequently expired in 2004. A 2003 VPC study found that one in five law enforcement officials killed in the line of duty from 1998 to 2001 were killed with an assault weapon.