MSNBC’s O’Donnell Blames Bush & GOP for Deaths in Tucson, ‘Soulless’ NRA Against Cutting Homicide Rate

 Catching up on an item from the Tuesday, January 11, Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC host O’Donnell blamed President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress of 2004 for some of the deaths in the Tucson shootings because they did not have the "basic human decency" to renew the assault weapons ban and require Jared Loughner to reload his weapon sooner. O’Donnell talked of learning which victims would be alive if not for Bush and Republicans. O’Donnell:

When the investigation reveals the exact order of the 31 shots fired, we will be able to do the grim accounting and tell you exactly, exactly who would be alive today if the Republican House, the Republican Senate and the Republican President had the basic human decency to do the right thing in 2004.

Later in the show, he quoted the spokesman of the National Rifle Association and tagged him as "soulless" for opposing a rush to pass new gun control laws. He went on to contend that the NRA believes "there should be absolutely no restrictions on access to guns," and suggested that the NRA wants to keep the murder rate in America above that in other countries. O’Donnell:

Quote, "Anything other than prayers for the victims and their families at this time would be inappropriate." So says the soulless spokesman for the National Rifle Association, the most successful special interest lobby in the history of lobbying. Success in lobbying is scored according to how difficult your case is. The NRA has a very difficult case to make, that there should be absolutely no restrictions on access to guns and bullets in this country, and that we must never allow our homicide rate to fall below any other country`s homicide rate.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portions of the Tuesday, January 11, Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC:

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: Remember when President Bush and the Congress allowed the assault weapons ban to expire in 2004? No? Well, no one put up much of a fight, but if Congress cared as much about controlling bullets as it cares about controlling tax rates and it had extended the assault weapons ban, Jared Loughner would have needed to reload after firing half as many bullets as he did - half. Imagine the amount of grief that could have been saved if 15 of those bullets were never fired.

When the investigation reveals the exact order of the 31 shots fired, we will be able to do the grim accounting and tell you exactly, exactly who would be alive today if the Republican House, the Republican Senate and the Republican President had the basic human decency to do the right thing in 2004.

...

O`DONNELL: Time for tonight’s "Rewrite," quote, "Anything other than prayers for the victims and their families at this time would be inappropriate." So says the soulless spokesman for the National Rifle Association, the most successful special interest lobby in the history of lobbying.

Success in lobbying is scored according to how difficult your case is. The NRA has a very difficult case to make, that there should be absolutely no restrictions on access to guns and bullets in this country, and that we must never allow our homicide rate to fall below any other country`s homicide rate.

No, no one has a more difficult lobbying case to make than the NRA, but the NRA exercises virtually flawless mind control over Republicans and has left Democrats cowering in fear for decades. Democrats lost the congressional election that followed their last serious effort at gun control in 1994, so they have studiously avoided the subject since then. In 2004, the most liberal of the viable candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination ran as a pro-gun Democrat. And the eventual nominee made sure he was photographed on the hunt with his shotgun.

In the last presidential election, the subject of guns never came up. And the Democratic Party’s surrender to the NRA was complete. Liberals have picked other fights, willing to go to the mat over a four percent difference in the top tax rate, after blithely allowing the gun control law they passed in 1994 to expire 10 years later.

Since the massacre on Saturday, precious few Democrats have come forward with a relevant response. On this program last night, New York Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy announced that she will try to reinstate the 1994 ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines that allowed Jared Loughner to fire 31 shots instead of the 15 that the gun was limited to until 2004. Her colleague New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg says he’s planning to introduce similar legislation in the Senate. And tonight, you heard California Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Robert Brady tell me of their support for that legislation.

And all the smart talkers in Washington insist that kind of legislation has no chance and will probably never even come to a vote. No liberal groups have sprung into action to flood their vast e-mail lists to support Congresswoman McCarthy and Senator Lautenberg, as they have for so many other issues that have come up during the Obama presidency, from the public option to the top tax rate. The collapse of conscience among professional politicians in Washington is not surprising. The silence of the grassroots organizations that are so quick to spring into action for other legislative items was not predictable and dispiriting.

And so Congress will follow the NRA’s orders. Anything other than prayers for the victims and their families at this time would be inappropriate. So, instead of going to work tomorrow, members of Congress will hide behind religion, and the media will look on in wide-eyed awe at their piety. Congress’s prayers will not be heard by the next madman out there in search of an automatic weapon to open fire at a college or a supermarket or a post office. And thanks to the NRA’s and Congress’s prayers, the next shooter will easily be able to get off at least 30 shots before he has to reload.