The Corner

We Have a Winner: The Worst Anti-Gun Column in American History

This column, in Yahoo Finance, may be the most peculiar piece of anti-gun writing I’ve ever seen. It’s not just wildly ignorant and borderline illiterate, it’s downright weird — one-third press-release, one-third slapdash middle-school essay, one third hissy fit appropos of nothing. Every word is a disaster. Here it is in full:

Gun company Beretta is tone deaf when it comes to calls for restrictions on powerful guns sold in the United States. It must be the chance to make money.

Beretta’s website carried an announcement that the ARX100 is “shipping now.” Beretta markets the rifle as “Italian Design — American Built.” Regardless of its origins, the gun is unusually powerful.

Beretta marketers announced:

The ARX100 was engineered with one purpose in mind: to be today’s best tactical semiauto rifle. It takes the concept of a modular rifle to futuristic levels, while maintaining an absolutely simple operation that make it ultra-reliable. With ambidextrous controls, easily-replaceable barrel and virtually endless possibilities for customization and accessorization, the ARX100 is adaptable to any firing scenario and is perfect for today’s most demanding tactical shooter.

In common usage, “tactical shooter” is one of the descriptions of video game features.

The rifle is remarkably sturdy, according the Beretta:

The ARX100 features a constant contact/short-stroke gas piston system that makes it feed and fire under the most unforgiving conditions. The lightweight technopolymer receiver allows for reliable operation with virtually no lubricants. To make maintenance easy and trouble-free, this rifle has no pins and can be completely disassembled in a matter of seconds with no tools at all.

And maybe most important of all, the ARX100 is reasonably priced at $1,950, which does not include bullets.

For the real gun lover, the ARX100 is available at hundreds of locations, as this helpful search tool at the Beretta website shows.


Leaving to one side that a writer for Yahoo Finance just took the time to review a press release, the notion that there is anything “unusually powerful” or “super” about the gun at all is an odd one. To an absolute layman, I’ll grant that Beretta’s description sounds rather impressive. But in reality, it’s just marketing fluff — of the sort that every industry indulges in. The ARX100 isn’t a nuclear weapon. It isn’t an anti-aircraft system. It isn’t even a powerful hunting rifle. It’s a bog-standard semi-automatic rifle in 5.56 and .22LR — nothing more, nothing less. The only way that you could freak out over this is if you literally had no idea what you were talking about.

The author goes on to suggest that those who might buy such a product are in some way dangerous or fringe. “In common usage,” McIntyre explains, ’tactical shooter’ is one of the descriptions of video game features.” This is a remarkably odd sentence. I think what he’s trying to say is that the phrase “tactical shooter” refers to the sort of shooter you find in scary, violent video games. In reality, of course, it’s the other way around. It’s video games that are doing the emulating, not real life. 

Either way, the suggestion that only oddballs would want a rifle such as the ARX100 is a bizarre one. Sporting rifles are extremely popular, and they are only becoming more so. Currently, there are between five and ten million in the United States. As more women and non-traditional groups take up the hobby, this is only going to increase.

McIntyre leaves his best suggestion until last:

And maybe most important of all, the ARX100 is reasonably priced at $1,950, which does not include bullets.

The gun doesn’t come with bullets? Really? Well that’s certainly a mark against it. How bravely iconoclastic of Beretta to sell a gun that isn’t loaded — y’know, unlike all the others. As one wag on Twitter observed, “I guess he thinks guns come loaded with the safety off and a hole in the package with a large arrow and ‘Try Me’ printed.” Another suggested:

What on earth prompted McIntyre’s bizarre little contribution? Ace of Spades has a theory:

Beretta has announced plans to move its factory from gun-controlling Maryland to gun-rights-respecting Tennessee. This gives the gun-control people, and perhaps some Maryland legislatures, a case of the Bothers, and they’ve been looking to rake Beretta for embarrassing them since.

That’s my speculation here: That they’ve been looking for any kind of reason to claim Beretta is terrible, just terrible, and they’ve seized upon a routine press release about a rifle as their vehicle of retribution.

I can’t think of any other reason this ridiculous article got written.

It’s all funny — until they vote.

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