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Gizmodo Reporter’s Attempt to Smear Ted Cruz’s Gun Use Goes Embarrassingly Awry

Gizmodo Reporter’s Attempt to Smear Ted Cruz’s Gun Use Goes Embarrassingly Awry

If you don’t know anything about guns, maybe don’t write about guns.

In this particular tale of media hit job turned embarrassment, we have what might be one of the best public displays of gun ignorance presented as fact I’ve ever seen. The only things missing are a barrel shroud and a couple rounds of rubber bullets.

Gizmodo reporter Wes Siler thought he’d pegged Republican Presidential Candidate Senator Ted Cruz as a gun safety hypocrite.

Last weekend, the Junior Senator from the Lone Star State went pheasant hunting. Note the unloaded, break-action shotgun resting on Cruz’s shoulder.

And yet, Siler ran with:

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 5.30.40 PM

But it gets better. Or worse, depending on how you view these things. Siler then proceeded to explain how Sen. Cruz was violating two rules of gun safety.

WARNING: Swallow your drink before reading, lest your belly laughing cause you to muck up your screen:

Staunch gun rights advocate Ted Cruz is here seen holding a shotgun while being interviewed by CNN. Can you see what he’s doing wrong? That’s right, he’s violating the first two rules of gun safety.

Then, Siler recited the cardinal rules of gun safety, though we’re not entirely sure what they have to do with applying for hunting licenses:

When you learn to shoot, apply for a hunting or carry license and any time you’re at a gun range, there’s four basic rules of gun safety that — and this is impressed on you very strongly — must be observed at all times:

1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
2. Never point a firearm at something you’re not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

“You don’t say…” — Everyone who’s grown up with firearms. Mind you, we’re still not sure what Cruz has done wrong here.

But Siler is about to tell us. To illustrate the proper way to cary a shotgun, Siler posted this pic of himself turkey hunting:

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 6.04.46 PM

And then continued:

With an unknown number of people in front and presumably to his sides, the best way to carry his gun in this particular case would be to hold it sideways, low and pointed down.

Oooooorrrrrr, just spitballing here, the shotgun is obviously not loaded, clearly not cocked, there’s literally no way for it to fire at anything, nor is Cruz’s hand anywhere close to the trigger. So maybe, just maybe, Cruz is not in fact violating the Sacred Gun Code.

So what’s the point? As such an outspoken gun rights advocate, Cruz should also consider himself an ambassador for gun safety, particularly when choosing to make a national TV appearance while carrying one.

“He’s either a poser who doesn’t really hunt, or just a blindingly dangerous nincompoop,” concludes Scott. “He’s got moves like Cheney.”

“Cheney-esque nincompoop.” I believe this is what we call “projection.”

I almost feel bad for Siler, except that rule number one of writing things on the Internet is (or should be): Under no circumstances should you ever take on a subject in which you are ill informed. But rules be damned.

The silver lining here? At least Ryan Reilly and his rubber bullets are now in good company.


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Among these people gun ignorance is a positive. Knowing nothing about guns means you are not one of those fly-over, Jesus loving, gun nuts. You are not one of the “them”. You belong to the tribe of Guns Are Icky.

I remember a TV reporterette mindlessly jabbering on about a 25 millimeter hand gun. Seems she confused caliber and millimeter. Bet that never happens when it comes to different kinds of mascara.

These people actually take pride in their gun ignorance and wear it as a badge of honor so that others in their tribe recognize them as an “us”.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Anchovy. | November 3, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Being equally ignorant of forearms, tribe members are unable to see each other’s ignorance.

    I have a pro gun control ignoramus nephew-in-law who thinks ‘assault weapons’ ought to be banned. I asked him if he thought semi-automatic deer rifles ought to be banned. Oh no, he said, those are okay. What’s an ‘assualt rifle’ I asked him. Him not know. Him idiot. Him parrot* other idiots.

    *No offense intended to parrots.

    Estragon in reply to Anchovy. | November 4, 2015 at 12:11 am

    I don’t mind gun ignorance among those who don’t handle guns. I don’t want them making any decisions through ignorance, but there’s no sin in remaining ignorant of something in which you have no interest and are not likely to need.

    Siler, however, goes out in the woods with a weapon, presumably loaded – though I doubt seriously any Tom Turkey has anything to fear from him. But to criticize Cruz on the basis of that picture is beyond ignorance and well into stupidity. This guy is dangerous.

    buckeyeminuteman in reply to Anchovy. | November 4, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    The 25mm is definitely no handgun

So hunting …. uhhh Yahhh. Idiot journolist please notice the bright orange jacket that Cruz et al … are wearing. Ya think that there might be a reason for that.

Also idiot journolist, carrying your non-breech load gun over your should with the trigger guard resting on your shoulder is one of those derivative type rules about trigger safety that people with brains figure out i.e. things other than fingers can pull triggers. That is the nice thing about breech load guns is that your finger or other things can pull the trigger, and even with a loaded gun, with little consequence.

My goodness liberals are a danger to the thinking world. I truly believe that if the economy ever collapses, liberals will not last a week. I cannot believe how uneducated they are about everything. I am sorry, I also do not understand a family that does not educate their children about guns when they are young. Whether you are for or against gun ownership, they best way to ensure that your child is safe around guns is to educate them about guns. First of all, who knows who owns guns. Children can find one in a gutter, thrown away by a criminal or a friends family might own onw, etc. The point is, if kids understand exactly how guns work, what they do, and how to safely use them then the chances of them accidently shooting themselves are non existant. This guy is proof that it is dangerous to not teach people gun use. I truly do not understand girlmen who are so frightened of an object. How can any man not feel shame for acting like such a child. he is a ninny with no practical sense. You can easily figure out that if the rifle is open, it cannot be fired.

I bet Siler is afraid of the dark.

Henry Hawkins | November 3, 2015 at 8:26 pm


Matt Bevin, last week supposedly down 5 pts in the race for governor of Kentucky, has won the race going away. Harbinger? A big FU to McConnell?

Check a conservative political blog for details.

    How in sanity could it be a “big FU to McConnell” when Mitch drew over 800,000 votes, nearly 300,000 MORE than Bevan did this time? In fact, Alison Lundergan Grimes won more votes than Bevan.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Estragon. | November 4, 2015 at 8:07 am

      GOPe whiiiiiiiiine

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Estragon. | November 4, 2015 at 9:31 am

      It’s Bevin, not Bevan, he’s a Tea Party guy, he beat out all the GOPe picks in the primary, and McConnell jumped in to help Bevin only at the very end, when Bevin had already set up for the win on his own.

      Tea Party conservative wins a governorship over GOPe candidates and over McConnell declarations that Bevin’s political career was over after Bevin’s failed run against McConnell, McConnell being among the worst anti-conservatives in the GOPe. This is a trend you’ll have to get used to seeing.

        Not only is Bevin a Tea Party guy and a political outsider, his new Lt Governor, Jenean Hampton, is also a political novice, a conservative black female, and just as importantly, a Tea Party activist.

        Heads must be exploding all over the Marxist dystopia. “Well, those are mythical creatures that, according to Das Kapital, don’t exist, so she must not be a woman-woman, or even a black-black. Since she self-identifies with the Tea Party, and the political science consensus is that they’re 103.1415% racist whites, self-identification trumps all. We will henceforth always refer to her as a black Caucasian.”

To these liberal idiots a gun is like a zombie is to most of us. We know they believe in them in Haiti but other then that I don’t know any real facts about zombies. I couldn’t make any comments on a zombie situation if I saw one on TV and I couldn’t comment on anything to do with zombies. These people are in the same boat with guns. They make really stupid comments on them and never bother to get the facts straight. I don’t believe there as many AUTOMATIC weapons in the US military as there are on the street of the US. That’s how stupid they are.

    healthguyfsu in reply to inspectorudy. | November 3, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Speak for yourself, Rudy, I watch the walking dead every weekend and consider myself an expert. Now I just need to get one of those guns that they have with the unlimited clips.

      iconotastic in reply to healthguyfsu. | November 4, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      Not only the unlimited magazine capacity but also with the target-seeking bullets. My eyes aren’t what they used to be 50 years ago.

There isn’t a place on earth where Cruz’s shotgun would be considered “dangerous” to anyone with a brain.

A gun with its action open (and you don’t get more ‘open’ than a broken open shotgun action) is an (sometimes) artfully made compost of steel and wood. Completely inert.

Whut an idiot…

    gusmahler in reply to Ragspierre. | November 6, 2015 at 10:30 am

    From in front of Cruz, it’s obvious the gun is not in operable condition. If you were behind Cruz, it wouldn’t be obvious that the barrels facing you are not operable. That’s why some people suggest carrying a double barrel shotgun with the barrel facing down: e.g.,

Entertaining reading at and I am NOT a gun expert, nor do I own one, but when I could see STRAIGHT THROUGH BOTH BARRELS at 4 and 5 seconds marks of the video, even I could figure out the only way that gun would be dangerous would be if Cruz used it to beat someone over the head. But, never let facts and logic get in the way of a good liberal story, eh?

Just seeing a firearm has most liberals getting their panties or manties, whatever the case they might be wearing, in a wad. They have been indoctrinated into believing that firearms jump up and kill people.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | November 3, 2015 at 9:01 pm

Anybody with eyes can see that the shotgun is unloaded, unfireable, and poses absolutely no risk to anybody.

Siler is suffering from a severe case of Cruz Derangement Syndrome. He should seek professional help now to deal with it. Because it is only going to get worse for him as Cruz rises in the polls.

Henry Hawkins | November 3, 2015 at 9:04 pm

Look at the second photo above, the video. Look at Cruz’ left shoulder. Is someone behind Cruz pointing a shotgun at the guy taking photos? lol.

(I realize it’s a perspective thing).

NC Mountain Girl | November 3, 2015 at 9:11 pm

I am reminded of the photo of Al Gore on gun safety that was actually on his campaign web site for a while in 2000 until someone with some sense yanked it.

Didn’t media pull the same crap with Sarah Palin back in 2008? I seem to remember some pic of her with a shotgun open like that and leftists getting the vapors over it.

If gloved, I’d go barrels up front but ungloved I go like Cruz. Just saving the barrels from any palm sweat. However, Rick Perry did show good handling of an AR in a video for the NRA convention. Siler is silly. Hopefully in 2016 Cruz gets his bag limit on progs in the election.

Eastwood Ravine | November 3, 2015 at 10:58 pm

Reilly would be the type of person to look through a telescope from the wrong end. #WhatAnIdiot

American Human | November 4, 2015 at 10:04 am

Reminds me of the 2004 line from a certain jackass who served in Vietnam:
“Can I get me a huntin’ license?”
They probably had to brief him for six hours just for that one line to make it not sound like he was Thurston Howell III.

I would have to confess that I’ve never been through a hunter safety course; perhaps someone can confirm this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a mode of carry taught in hunter courses as a safe way to carry a shotgun if you aren’t going to use it any time soon…

And the reason for teaching such carry would be clear: the gun is clearly disabled, and couldn’t go off, even accidentally.

    This is indeed one of the ways that is taught to safely carry a shotgun during hunter safety classes.

    It demonstrates that the weapon is open and unloaded and unfireable, and is convenient for carrying while walking over broken terrain where a free hand might be required.

The internet is forever, there needs to be a hall of fame for these.

Remember these priceless soundbites:

-the 30 magazine clip?
-the AR shotgun?

oh and there was another one from a Cali state legislator who thought magazines were single use.

Siler’s post of the proper way to hold a firearm in the field was rather odd. If you blow up the picture you can see that the butt is over the shoulder with the trigger pointing up. Now I am not a turkey hunter but this carry position seems odd for a couple of reasons:

1. if the shotgun is loaded this seems like a pretty good way to blow off your leg (or other parts of your body) were you to trip and fall. Yes, I know the safety _should_ prevent that. If the safety hasn’t slipped off or if you hadn’t forgotten to safe the shotgun (which _never_ happens, of course). Maybe it is just me by I would not recommend this way for field carry for safety or for…

2. The turkey shotguns I looked at all had sights somewhere along the barrel. When I went deer hunting with shotguns in Virginia I had sights on my shotgun as well. Crude by rifle standards but sights nonetheless. Carrying upside down like that seems like an excellent way to knock the rear sight and maybe the front sight awry.

While I could be wrong I really wonder if such a field carry position is taught/recommended by approved hunter safety courses.

What an idiot. If Wes Siler isn’t ashamed of himself he should be. Overall, if writers, bloggers, reporters, and members of the media only wrote about, talked about, or expounded on what they know about….the public would be a lot less bombarded with opinions that don’t matter from people that don’t matter and we could have a lot more faith in what we read and hear from the media period.

But.. but.. you didn’t actually disprove him! Cruz IS disobeying the first two rules! Are you saying that it’s ok for Cruz to hold the gun this way because it can’t shoot anyone, even though he’s disobeying the rules? Are you discounting the first two rules because it’s convenient and you’re lazy? Or are the rules as quoted wrong? A little research proves it’s not the final point. So you seem to be completely off base with this post. Are you just reacting without understanding?

    Very well, if we wanted to be pedantic (in a twisted, ATF-ish bureaucratic sort-of way) we can argue thus:

    First, a gun is always loaded. This is axiomatic, and it’s not clear that Cruz is violating this rule in this case, except for the fact that Cruz isn’t pointing this gun randomly and recklessly at people and things he wouldn’t want to destroy.

    Second, Don’t point your gun at anything you aren’t willing to destroy…well, what is a gun? According to the ATF, a gun is the bit with the serial number on it. Now, if you look carefully, you could see the barrel of Cruz’s shotgun, pointed straight behind him…but the gun itself is held by his hand, and it’s pointing pretty much straight up. Thus, his loaded shotgun is pointed in a safe direction.

    Now, we do have to be careful about this analysis: the ATF doesn’t recognize black powder rifles and pistols (including certain types of revolvers) as firearms, because they are created before 1896, and don’t use any cartridges. Now, certain idiot Second Amendment “activists” have waved around such things, saying that the Four Rules don’t apply to them, since they aren’t firearms.

    Legally, such idiots are right…but for principles of safety, I’m going to be careful with *anything* that can launch a projectile that can cause serious injury or death, whether it be a black-powder thingamabob, or an air gun, or even a paintball gun (assuming no one around me has protective gear for that purpose, in a carefully controlled environment). The laws of physics don’t care one whit what the legal status of the object in our hands holds!

This article really isn’t that bad. Different people have different views on how to properly carry a double-barrel shotgun. See, e.g., this video by the NSSF at 1:00:

He specifically says that the way Cruz was carrying it is bad.

The sad and frustrating fact of Gizmodo’s grossly false reporting is thT its readers will accept it as gospel because 99% of their readers don’t know any better. Maybe that’s the journolist’s intent: disseminate disinformation.

In the Texas hunter education course they show the same type of shoulder carry Ted Cruz used as acceptable and safe.

David R. Graham | November 6, 2015 at 2:00 pm

I admit to taking the clickbait and arriving here. What a load of nothing.

I believe those are ear plugs, can anyone confirm? #RJRisamoron