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TV station lies to the public

by B.B. Pelletier

Not that this is news – you just won’t hear it anywhere except, perhaps, here.

A “News Station” calling itself NewsChannel5.com (WTVF in Nashville, TN) reported the following:

Toy Guns Illegal in Hendersonville

The story reports that several teenagers were cited for firing “air soft pellet guns” in Hendersonville, Tennessee, defying the town’s “tough stand on toy guns.”

They then cited ordinance 11-601, which makes it illegal to fire any airgun, air pistol air rifle or even BB gun in the city limits. (It’s also illegal to throw a snowball maliciously!)

Right there – they lied, because their headline says toy guns are illegal in Hendersonville. In fact, the ordinance says no such thing. It is a commonsense law about not discharging an airgun (it’s one word, WTVF!) within the city limits. In fact, the majority of incorporated communities in the U.S. have a similar law. News Channel 5 might as well have reported the rising of the sun!

We called the Hendersonville police department to ask specifically if toy guns (meaning airsoft guns, in this case – another one-worder, WTVF) are illegal. THEY ARE NOT ILLEGAL. Second lie. Actually, it’s the same lie, but told a different way. Clever, these new age doublethink specialists.

The officer we spoke with said the teens were running down the street firing airsoft guns at each other and ended up in a school yard. In other words, they were having an impromptu skirmish. In reality, they broke the law by brandishing their guns in public. The officer said the boys were very close to a sanctioned paintball field and wondered why they didn’t just go there. Contrary to what WTVF says, shooting guns in Hendersonville is perfectly legal at the paintball field and in private residences. And, like every other community in America, you can’t run up and down the street shooting or sit on your front porch and start popping your gun!

The report tried to explain airsoft by saying the guns fire “tiny plastic beads” and can be purchased at stores like the K-Mart in Hendersonville. They couldn’t very well report that the guns fire 6mm BBs, because they have to assume their viewing audience is as dense as the reporter who writes the story. They further reported that the store has no notice or information on the ordinance against firing the guns. Wow! Imagine that! And, I suppose that the television sets in the News Channel 5 broadcast area have no notice on them regarding the possible invalidity or outright falsification of their news reports!

Well, here’s another headline for you:

Nashville’s News Channel 5 Not Cited For Fraudulent Reporting of Toy Gun Story

Let’s see how they like it!

48 thoughts on “TV station lies to the public”

  1. This is another sad commentary on the quality of “news” reporting these days. I worked for a daily newspaper for over 15 years before leaving the job in the early 90’s. During the last few years I was there, I witnessed an overall decline in the quality of reporters and moreso in the judgement and insight of editors. Getting a story became more important than getting the facts and the good reporters were frustrated by the demands of editors who seemed to care little if the information was correct–as long as it was confirmed by “sources”. I know of stories knowingly written with incorrect information simply because someone gave the incorrect information in an interview. The attitude being they were only reporting what was said to them and it was up to the reader to determine if it was factual or not.

    Don’t believe all the news you read or see on TV. Don’t believe it will get any better either.

  2. Exactly my point. And it runs deeper than that.

    In the 1980s, Asian companies started making airsoft guns. They called the 6mm plastic balls BBs and the name stuck. Now half the population believes any small spherical projectile is a BB, when it used to be a specific type of projectile and even a specific caliber.

    As a writer, I am fascinated with the etymology of words. Ice cream used to be iced cream, and ice tea was iced tea in my lifetime. I follow tractor trailers hauling “Oversize” loads, instead of oversized. Those are interesting/boring facts. But when a reporter calls an airsoft gun a weapon, then we have stepped over a dangerous line.

    The newspaper articles I read today are proof of what you say about editors not caring. Can people still diagram sentences or conjugate verbs? I don’t think so.

    George Orwell assigned his society to the conscious acts of malicious givernments, but had he known it would be taken care of by society, itself, I suppose his story would have lost its luster.


  3. Cna anybody tell me where i can find a scan of the benjamen 342 manual? All i know is that this gun is incredibly accurate I just shot a black bird in the head with iron sights from 80 feet away!

  4. Mr. BB, Are you going to be at the Airgun Expo in Arkansas? If so, I would like to try and meet you. I plan on being there on Saturday. I was there last year but did not know you were there or would have looked you up… Guess I did not stay long enough to find out who was who.. F Nash

  5. Thanks for the sharing the real news, B.B.

    That news report may be a good example of “Truthiness” as popularized by Stephen Colbert in a 2005 segment of “The WØRD.”

    I agree with the first commentator above. I’d also like to add that within many news organizations it’s the news editor’s job to write the headline.

    In my opinion, the mass media has done a lot of very real damage to society by popularizing ungood meanings and associations for words like cult, hacker, weapon, sniper, and so on.


  6. Wow, I come to check in on your blog and there’s a post about my city.

    I’ll just say it…
    People around here are INSANE when it comes to airsoft guns, capguns, and pretty much any other toy gun. They only sell the clear ones around here and you have to be 18 to buy the CLEAR TOY GUN that shoots plastic balls at 200-300 feet per second. However at 16 you can buy a pellet rifle that shoots .22 pellets 700 feet per second. Not to mention at 18 you can buy a REAL 7mm winchester magnum rifle that can take down a person at 500 yards.

    Yet…the harmless airsoft pistol that can’t even leave a stinging feeling beyond point blank range has a “CHECK ID MUST BE 18” sticker on it.

    That law about airguns and snowballs…also applies to golf balls.
    (not even maliciously…I was in my yard hitting them into a driving net.)

    The fact they ended up in a schoolyard…I agree they should have been stopped…even toy guns shouldn’t be allowed on school grounds.

    Doesn’t change how I feel about our city’s “tough stance on toy guns”, as I think it’s going to end up…”All toy guns banned in Hendersonville” before too long.

  7. hi bb
    i think i need to learn more about ft. lbs. i was reading a book in tech class today and came across a formula for ft. lbs. lets say you have a lever on a gear. the force you apply is measured in pounds. the distance from the center of the gear to the end of the hande is measurd in feet. so the formula is applied force times distance from the center of rotation.
    for example if you apply 10lbs force on a 2 foot handle you get 20 ft. lbs.

    so im wondering how you could possibly calculate ft lbs for an airgun when there is no lever but applied force? it obviously can be done because of pyramyds energy calcuator.

    by the way for those of you who didnt know joules is essentially the same but in metric.
    Newtons (applied pressure) x meters (distance) = joules

    Field Targetier

  8. Field Targetier,

    In a broader and more exacting definition, foot-pounds is a measure of force (some would say work). It doesn’t have to relate to levers.

    The reason a .22 pellet that generates 30 foot-pounds cannot move a 30-pound weight one foot is because the pellet deforms, then heats to incandescent temperatures, then shatters into dust – some of which flashes to incandescence from the heat – when it encounters a relatively immovable object.

    Physics professors, please check my work!


  9. FT,

    What you are describing is Torque and not Work/Energy. They both have the same units (Nm) but only Work/Energy can be called Joules. (1 J = 1 N x 1 m)
    Moreover, Torque is a vector and Work is a scalar so they are totally different entities.

    If you shoot a pellet at a 30lb mass on a frictionless surface (or in space) it will move indefinitely far but with a very tiny velocity. As BB said, most of the energy would probably have been wasted to deform and flash the pellet but whatever kinematic energy that remains will be transfered to the 30lb mass. With no friction to dissipate the energy, it keeps going and going and going…..

    Back on the topic of the news report, when I read it, I actually had the impression that the news station was actually mocking the police (illegal snowballs and all that) … but perhaps its just me..


  10. So this incandescence.
    Would I be able to see it at night with my eyes or would it take a normal camera or a high speed camera?

    I think it would be an interesting thing to see.

  11. Incandesence,

    You will often see sparks when you shoot lead pellets into a heavy bullet trap. You can see it with the lights on, but I’ve never tried to see it in daylight. It is a high-speed thing. It probably lasts 10-50 milliseconds, or so.


  12. physics makes everything woefully inefficient. as soon as you convert energy to do something else, you lose a ton of energy. humans, on the other hand, are very efficient for the energy they take in. 10 calories will get you up a very tall flight of stairs very, very fast.
    on the other hand, if you spend 5 calories cocking a springer a few times, (which i’m thinking is the most efficient powerplant) i doubt you will get anything near that back. a shame; thats alot of energy wasted.
    hmm-maybe a posting on powerplant efficiency?

  13. Hi BB:
    Today at a store I came across three airgun rifles: Winchester 500xs, Daisy 953s and Remington Airmaster 77. As I am new to airguns, which one do you think is more suitable for me? What are the pros and cons of each gun? I’ve read in places that state rifles/pistols that can fire both bbs and pellets aren’t as accurate as rifles that fires only pellets, which is the case for the Remington Airmaster 77 rifle; then is the above statement true? Thanks in advance with your help!


    Got your attention didn’t it, just left out a few details, the furry little rabbits were in my flower bed and were eating my flowers. Just an example of what a headline can do.

  15. BH,

    The Daisy 953 will be the most accurate of the bunch. The Remington will be the most powerful.

    Of the three you have to choose from,I would go with the 953.

    If I were you, however, I’d order an IZH 61 by mail from Pyramyd. It’ll out-shoot the 953 and it’s a springer.


  16. dm20,

    Powerplant efficiency is a subject better left to Cardew, who discusses it well for spring guns, where the force of the mainspring is measureable. But what would we measure for a PCP or CO2? In other words, what do you mean by efficiency?

    I think of efficiency as the ratio of energy expended to energy produced, but what value is it to know that?

    If you want to know which powerplant has the greatest potential for power output, the answer is easy – a PCP. If you want to know which powerplant has the greatest ratio of shooter input to power output – PCP again.

    I guess I don’t understand the question.


  17. Hi BB:
    Thanks for you advice, I really appreciate it. I live in Canada, and I am almost certain that Pyramyd AIR cannot ship my order across the boarder. And I don’t think many airgun ships in the States can ship to Canada either. Thanks again!


  18. I recently purchased a used .177 RWS 350 Magnum and am enjoying the gun’s quality and accuracy. The seller provided the original receipt and gun is less than a year old. The issue I have discovered is that the power is not up to what I had expected. I have fired it across my chrony and found it shoots about 130-150 fps slower than reported in several online reviews using the same pellets. I had planned on shooting Crosman Premier 10.5 gr pellets due to the guns power. I was hoping to see pellet speeds in the range of 920-940 fps. I am averaging 770-785 with an occasional 800. On occasion, I will have 30-40 fps difference between 2 consecutive shots but most are within 10 fps. The gun will shoot in the low 900’s with a lighter pellet but no where near the speeds other people have reported. The gun is smooth and doesn’t sound like I have broken parts inside. There does not appear to be any leaks at the breech seal either. I have been searching for an online source for a new mainspring and seal. I found Jim Maccari’s site and contacted them because the 350M is not listed as one of the guns they make parts for. The response I received was that they could make a spring but

    “Shooting heavy pellets destroys the springs and seals and your velocities look way to high for any spring life. I suggest if you want that high of power get a new piston seal and use the factory spring on sloppy fitting guides and no lube and just replace them often. Thats your best bet. Velocity is not free and by using 10.5 pellets you will get very short life with any parts.”

    This is somewhat contrary to most of what I have read about the 350 Magnums which suggest heavy pellets to avoid damaging seals. My question is if my expectations are realistic? Does this sound like a worn spring and/or damaged seal? If so, where can I find a replacement spring/seal?
    Thanks for your response.

  19. well, in a pcp, with each stroke, you oppose the force already contained within the tank. isnt that wasted energy? in a springer the same effort used for one pump can be used to cock the gun- and pcps take more than one pump stroke to take one shot even if its just topping the gun off (er, dont they?).if a man weighs 150 lbs, he can cock a springer with however many feet he cocks the gun. in a pcp, that is just added energy to the pot. if springers were 100% efficient, that would mean something like 150 ftlbs, assuming the cocking stroke is one foot (!). but in a pcp, it takes several for one shot, and the force of air rushing out of the barrel is just more wasted energy, even if you increase barrel length. thats what i’m thinking- is that right, or am i missing a part of the equation?

  20. There was a similar rediculous story here down in the Tampa FL area.

    The news was reporting on a story where a kid brought a .22 caliber co2 pistol to school and painted it to look more like a fire arm.

    Well they called it a bb air pistol on the news, which is horribly off from what he actually used.

    I hate things like that..

  21. dm20,

    You are measuring the efforts reduired to generate the potential energy that’s stored in the gun. You are one step removed from measuring the actual energy.

    For example, you mention the effort for each STROKE to force air into a PCP. What if a scuba tank is used? Do you then measure the machine energy the compressor at the dive shop put into compressing the air and the loss from heat reduction after the fill and the effort of carrying the tank to and from the dive shop?

    To calculate what you want to know, you have to start with the potential energy already in the gun – i.e. compressed air versus the spring potential of a cocked mainspring. In that equation, the springer always comes out last.


  22. i think what dm20 issaying is that in a springer you physically cock it and get that power back imediatly. in a pcp you buy the air and waste a lot in shootimg and refilling like your action isnt directly related to the shot.

    Field Targetier

  23. FieldTargetier,

    If that’s what he means, then this isn’t about powerplant efficiency. It’s about taste. Because a PCP is lighter and reloades faster and easier than a springer. It’s a question of how the shooter wants to spend his time.


  24. I think dm20 is asking about the efficiency of the whole system. Kinetic energy is input to the system, stored as potential energy and then released, producing useful kinetic energy out. The useful kinetic energy out (pellet energy) divided by the kinetic energy in would be the system efficiency. We can see how much energy was lost (used doing non-useful things) in the total system.

    It is difficult to compare the system efficiency of a PCP vs springer because, as B.B. said, the PCP may be filled with a SCUBA tank, hand pump or other means. This makes it harder to measure the input energy. Not only that, but the energy is used across multiple shots. A springer has the more direct correlation of one pump for one shot.

    I’m not sure why the system efficiency would be important unless you use a hand pump for the PCP. Then you can see which type of power plant requires less input enery (pumping) to get the same output.

    .22 multi-shot

  25. A PCP and springer will probably have different output energies anyway. Even if one is more efficient than the other, what is your desired output energy?

    One other complication. Different PCP fill methods may have different efficiencies.

    .22 multi-shot

  26. yeah, i’m just interested in the actual work force, not including pulling the bolt open, filling, connecting, etc. (i’m not THAT anal!) i did mean a pump because in a compressor there is too much energy loss thru multiple working systems, starting when 85% is lost at the power generating factory. but, as you start to talk about potential energy, i can see this discussion is a little further than what i can comprehend. pushing pellets with air- it can get pretty complicated!

  27. I’m afraid that this is pretty random as well, but I have a question for you BB.

    As I was shooting my Diana 350 Magnum today, the effort required to overcome the ball bearing detent rose sharply. Neither me nor my father can open the action now with just the strength in our arms, but we can open it by slapping the barrel, like a Patriot.

    So far, I’ve put a little less than 1,000 pellets through it, about 900 and change. I’m guessing that the detent needs lubrication.

    My question is, assuming that what I think is happening is the case, where do I apply the lubricant? Inside the compression chamber is indicated by the manual and on the wearing parts of the cocking mechanism.

    On hand, I have a bottle of Gamo Airgun oil, which is petroleum based, which leads me to the notion that it is not quite ideal for a springer.

    Of course, RWS reccomends their own oils for maintenance.

    What should I use to lubricate the rifle and solve this problem, and where should I apply it?

    Daniel M.

  28. Daniel,

    It sounds like a particle of foreign material like lead has gotten behind the ball bearing detent. The ball is usually very well greased at the factory. You might try putting some petroleum oil behind the ball. If there is too much grease to admit the oil, the ball is already well-greased.

    Has the baseblock joint become too stiff? That’s uncommon, but when it happens, the baseblock could be the problem instead of the detent ball.


  29. It is strange, but the rifle’s detent pops open now as easily as ever. Something may have worked itself out as I messed with it today.

    I’m about to go out and shoot it a few times, and we’ll see whether it is fully corrected or not.

    Daniel M.

  30. I tried out my rifle again, and there appears to be a piece of metal under the ball bearing.

    Sometimes, the rifle is easy to cock, but at other times, I have to slap it to open it.

    I can push the metal back with a screwdriver, which fixed it for a few shots, but how do I remove the obstruction?

    Is there any practical way to disassemble the detent to take the pressure off such that I can remove the metal?

    Daniel M.

  31. Tennesee has a thing about snowballs. When I was a freshman at the University of TN, back in 1965, it was illegal to throw snowballs there. The year before, playfully rowdy students had thrown snowballs at and had rocked a truck back and forth on the main road that runs past the school. The trucker fired a warning shot in the air that hit and killed a student (the classrooms are located on a steep hill above the road). Hence, no more snowballs.

    Tennessee’s fuzzy common senselessness doesn’t end with snowballs.

    You have to understand that (East Tennessee at least), has sold its soul to any chemical company that wants to come in and poison every last millimeter of air, soil and water. The farm I grew up on, (near Georgetown)
    now has two new chemical companies nearby, just in case there were any fish left in the Hiwassee River that Bowaters Southern Pulp and Paper Corporation had left alive. Also, my wife and I both have rather severe toxicity from having grown up near Oak Ridge, the home of the first atomic bombs dropped on Japan. Seems the facility and TVA were criminally lax about not poisoning the nearby lakes, rivers, air and ground downwind. On the roads leading from my old homestead to Cleveland, TN, there are now myriad signs stating that this is an official evacuation route. I asked a friend in Cleveland what these signs are for, and she replied sarcastically that they referred to the new nuke plant upriver. “Of course we all know if something goes wrong, all we can do is put our heads between our legs and kiss our a*sses goodbye.”


  32. I live in Nashville. Channel 5 News is extremely anti – gun of any kind.
    They are against about everything except agendas that tend to make one sick to their stomach. So they lie about everything.
    No one here watches their "news" show because we don't like being lied to.
    The entire staff at Channel 5 News in Nashville, Tn. is very creepy.

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