CNN Report Tilts 4 to 1 Towards Gun Control Advocates

CNN keeps giving oxygen to the gun control movement. Correspondent Jason Carroll touted the push by New York City and Philadelphia for stricter gun laws and loaded his report with pro-gun control statements on Friday.

Carroll quoted four guests in favor of stricter gun laws and provided only one statement to the contrary, from Pennsylvania's governor explaining why the state court struck down Philadelphia's gun control measures.

He began and ended his report with a grieving Philadelphia resident who railed against guns on the city streets. "Anger and rage rise to the surface because there has to be something that we can do as a nation to get these guns off the streets," the resident told him.

Carroll also included statements from prominent gun control advocates: Philadelphia's Mayor Michael Nutter (D) and New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I). Nutter criticized the state court striking down his city's strict gun laws, and Bloomberg did the same.

In addition, Carroll included this statement by Richard Aborn of the Citizens Crime Commission: "Philadelphia, unfortunately, has not had the same support from the legislature in Harrisburg. They have not been willing to pass strong gun control laws, and we see the impact in Philadelphia."

And Carroll even cited statistics to support that argument: "In 2011, Philadelphia saw 17 gun-related murders per 100,000 people, New York City, four per 100,000."

A transcript of the segment, which aired on January 11 on CNN Newsroom at 10:04 a.m. EST, is as follows:

CAROL COSTELLO: With such deeply divided interests, it's easy to see how opposing sides are becoming even more polarized. But even common interests can be tested. CNN's Jason Carroll has a tale of two cities and the different ways they work with state government on gun control.

(Video Clip)

JASON CARROLL, CNN national correspondent (voice-over): The New Year under way and already in New York City, three police officers shot in two different incidents. Philadelphia, Steven Johnson, a Temple University student, shot during an argument. He's among that city's first homicides of 2013. He was also Movita Johnson-Harrell's cousin.

MOVITA JOHNSON-HARRELL, lost son and cousin to gun violence: Children are just dying on the streets for no reason whatsoever.

CARROLL: Even before her cousin's death, Johnson was mourning the loss of her son Charles. Shot two years ago. He was 19.

HARRELL: Anger and rage rise to the surface because there has to be something that we can do as a nation to get these guns off the streets.

CARROLL (on camera): In order to battle crimes, cities such as New York and Philadelphia have looked to strengthen their gun control laws, and New York has done so. It has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, including a ban on assault weapons, restrictions on ammunition clips over ten rounds, and mandatory background checks for gun buyers, including buyers from gun shows.

(voice-over): Philadelphia's mayor supported legislation banning assault weapons and so-called straw purchases of handguns in his city. It passed, but was overturned by a state court.

Mayor MICHAEL NUTTER (D), Philadelphia: The state has taken the position that they should be the only ones who can legislate in the area of gun safety and gun regulations. Many of us have a very different position.

CARROLL: A key difference, New York City and New York State are on the same legislative page. Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, worlds apart.

RICHARD ABORN, Citizens Crime Commission: Philadelphia, unfortunately, has not had the same support from the legislature in Harrisburg. They have not been willing to pass strong gun control laws, and we see the impact in Philadelphia.

CARROLL: In 2011, Philadelphia saw 17 gun-related murders per 100,000 people, New York City, four per 100,000. Mayor Michael Nutter says he will propose stricter gun control measures again. Those opposed to it, New York's mayor would say this --

Mayor MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), New York City: It would be interesting to see if they have the courage to come with me and explain to the police officer who got killed, to their spouse or their child or their parents that it was a murder we could have stopped and we didn't have the courage to do.

HARRELL: My son could still be here had it not been for someone with a gun. My cousin would still be here had it not been for someone with a gun.

(End Video Clip)

CARROLL: So, the question, Carol, for people like Mayor Nutter and other mayors across the country who are trying to do the same thing is, in Mayor Nutter's situation will he be successful this particular time in trying to get new gun legislation passed?

Well, we reached out to Pennsylvania's governor, here's what he had to say, this is part of a statement that he released. It says, "if they," meaning Philadelphia, "were to craft gun laws in Philadelphia which were more prohibitive than the rest of the state, it would not prevent criminals from obtaining those guns elsewhere and bringing them into Philadelphia. Our state laws must be uniform when it comes to gun regulations."

So, when we mention there in the piece that you've got the city and the state that are worlds apart, it appears that still has not changed. Carol?

COSTELLO: Yes, it doesn't sound like it. Jason Carroll reporting live for us this morning.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014