MSNBC's 'Now' Panel Pushes Firearm Microstamping, Whines About Power of Gun Rights Lobby

MSNBC host Alex Wagner has made no secret of her disdain for the Second Amendment, telling Bill Maher last November that if it were up to her, she'd repeal the amendment which enshrines the right of Americans to keep and bear arms, saying the right to own firearms is not "in the grand scheme" of things as important as the rights to speech and assembly. Back in February, Wagner seized on a tragic school shooting to complain about the lack of new gun control legislation.

So it's no surprise that, when turning again to the topic of gun control and gun rights today, Wagner would stack the deck in favor of the former and dismiss concerns about the latter. Regarding legislation in New York State that would require "microstamping" of firearms, Wagner brought on Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence president Dan Gross, who insisted the legislation in question was "a simple case of right versus wrong" that should face no legitimate criticism from gun rights advocates.


It's "just about catching the bad guys" and saving lives, Gross insisted, adding "I put the question back to the gun lobby or anybody who wants to represent them to say, how could this possibly be bad?"

At that point, Wagner sought conservative columnist and gun owner S.E. Cupp's rebuttal, which she readily gave. She was predictably met, of course, with strong disagreement by Gross and The Nation's Ari Melber.

"Any effort to in any way touch the issue of weaponry, guns in this country, is always met extreme resistance from the NRA," Wagner groused. It's hard to imagine a conservative saying such a comment about say the ACLU and its legislative and courtroom advocacy on First and Fourth Amendment rights and protections and for Wagner to let such a statement go unanswered.

Echoing Wagner, Heather McGhee of the liberal Demos think tank sought to make the bogeyman the NRA and other organizations that comprise the "gun lobby," complaining about their power as a lobbying organization.

"This is the problem with the professionalization of lobbying and advocacy in this country. There are thousands of people whose only job it is is to make hysteria about guns," McGhee groused, ironically oblivious to the fact that the Brady Campaign's pro-gun control fixation is part and parcel of that "professionalization of lobbying."

"They don't get paid unless there is something for them to go to Washington and state houses to go and yell at state legislators and congress people about," McGhee added, sitting just feet away from a professional lobbyist who yells at legislators to "do something" about the scourge of "gun violence."

"Well, I'm not a professional lobbyist and I don't get paid to raise hysteria. I'm a gun owner, and I deeply care about these issues and this is part of this slow creep into our rights as gun owners," Cupp retorted.

"You're representing the point of view of the gun industry," Gross huffed at Cupp, adding that it's an industry that "at all costs wants to protect its profits... at the cost of human lives," effectively charging Cupp as being a corporate shill with blood on her hands.

Wagner then chimed back in, complaining to Cupp that the gun rights lobby had their defenses on a "hair trigger" against even the smallest intrusions into gun rights:

For people who want to be reasonable about the Second Amendment, who want to be reasonable with gun rights, it seems like there is absolutely no room to debate, to make incremental changes to the law, to create, to, to, to strengthen public safety.

Of course, back when Wagner and the rest of her network was furiously flogging Republicans for their "war on women," MSNBC had absolutely no concerns that it was promoting the interests of narrow-minded, single-issue professional lobbyists who were incapable of compromising to reach a sensible middle ground.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters