SALT LAKE CITY — Rolling Stone magazine is no stranger to controversy. Last year, the magazine notoriously featured Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of their August issue. While the decision drew widespread condemnation, it also doubled sales.
The magazine has again created a stir with a recent post on their website entitled “The 5 Most Dangerous Guns in America.” Based on the name, many readers expected to find a ranking of specific gun makes and models that are tied to violent crime. Instead, the list covered nearly every type of gun sold in America:
1. Pistols 2. Revolvers 3. Rifles 4. Shotguns 5. Derringers
The post has been called out as uninformed and manipulative by many observers, and it currently has more than 6,000 comments on the magazine’s website. Most of the comments are negative, pointing out inaccuracies in the list and questioning the legitimacy of pistols, revolvers and derringers being listed separately.
Many readers said the classic pocket pistol, derringer, seemed bizarre to be included on the list. Originally produced during the 1800s, the tiny pistols were favored by assassins (John Wilkes Booth used one to assassinate Abraham Lincoln). However, given its history, derringers seem more likely to have been used at a saloon shootout in Tombstone than at a modern crime scene.
Writing for Field and Stream magazine, Phil Bourjaily called the list “the most simple-minded piece of reporting on firearms ever.” He noted that the post was gaining a lot of negative attention and highlighted the creativity of some of its detractors. Many of the most celebrated comments simply replicated the format of the list.
In retalliation of what they saw as an unfair analysis of guns, a reader created a list of dangerous dogs to illustrate the biasis:
The 5 most dangerous dogs:
1. Big Dogs 2. Little Dogs 3. Medium Sized Dogs 4. Male Dogs 5. Female Dogs
Another user addressed the dangers of water:
Top 5 Most Dangerous Places to Drown:
1. Swimming pool 2. Ocean 3. Water 4. Lake — like an ocean, only smaller. Also like a swimming pool, only larger. 5. Derringer
Some of the comments on the article veered into personal attacks on the author, Kristen Gwynne. Unfazed, Gwynne fired back on Twitter with, “Hi gun nuts, you're scaring my grandmom. Are you happy now.”
Grant Olsen joined the KSL.com team in 2012. He covers outdoor adventures, travel, product reviews and other interesting things. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.