A lot has been written recently about Major Hasan’s choice of weapons for his Ft. Hood rampage shooting, the FN Five-seveN handgun. SayUncle has some links, Tam discusses the SS190 5.7×28 loading in some detail, Michael Bane talks about it, and mentions a Brady press release from 2005 that describes the pistol as a “cop-killer gun.”

If you want real hysteria though, you have to travel back in time with me to July of 2006 when a Queens, NY District Attorney announced that an FN Five-seveN pistol was one of the weapons confiscated during a drug arrest. Apparently he read the Brady presser and thought it didn’t go far enough, as the DA’s press release contained this little bit of hyperbole, picked up and spread by media outlets such as Newsday, the TimesLedger, the Staten Island Advance, and local AM radio station 1010AM. It was also picked up by the Ass. Press:

Three men have been charged with illegally possessing two handguns, one of which is called a cop killer because it can break through most bulletproof vests and plates worn by police officers, prosecutors announced Thursday.

William Davis, 21, his brother Clarence Davis, 18, and their friend Gquan Lloyd, 18, all of Queens, were charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of a weapon, District Attorney Richard A. Brown said.

During the execution of a narcotics search warrant Wednesday at the apartment the men shared in Far Rockaway, police found a defaced, unloaded Fabrique Nationale Five-seveN semiautomatic handgun, the first recovery of such a weapon in the city, Brown said.

“Its presence is troubling and makes the job of street cops that much more dangerous,” Brown said.

Of the 616 police officers killed nationwide between 1994 and 2003, 425 were shot with FN 5.7s, Brown said.

So far as I can tell, Officer Kimberly Mundy is the only officer who has ever been shot with an FN Five-seveN, and she’s still alive.

The piece I wrote in 2006 was about how the media, with all its professionalism and layers of editorial oversight, managed to pass DA Brown’s little faux pas on as fact, and then did very little about correcting the error afterward, but the Brady Campaign has never worried overmuch about little things like facts.

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