This morning’s episode of Starting Point on CNN wouldn’t be complete without host Soledad O’Brien doing what she does best: cheerlead for the Obama administration. Yesterday, the president chastised the American people for forgetting about the tragedy in Newtown last December, and said this was a critical moment for the nation to back his anti-gun agenda.
So of course O'Brien this morning invited slain Sandy Hook teacher Victoria Soto’s sister Jillian on the program to discuss the new ad released by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The MAIG ad shamelessly plays on the emotions of Americans, specifically residents of Connecticut, in order to do damage control for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s failed campaign to ban assault weapons and so-called high-capacity magazines.
O’Brien read the press release from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) -- a new favorite bogeyman of liberal pundits and journalists by the way -- that was in response to the president's news conference yesterday to convey the point that it’s Republicans who are holding up legislation in Congress. That’s actually not true. As Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin aptly noted today:
The actual problem for the president is the Democrats in the Senate who want no part of his most extreme measures. The worst kept secret in D.C. is that Republicans would love to see votes on all these items and watch Democrats squirm. It is Reid who is trying his best to shield his members from hard votes and/or prevent a humiliating loss for the gun-control crowd.
Indeed, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) killed the Feinstein assault weapons ban, refusing to bring it to the floor as stand-alone legislation, he noted he lacked even 40 votes for it. Democrats control 55 seats (53 Democrats plus two liberal independents who caucus with the Democrats).
Soledad closed by saying to Jillian:
You know, I've covered a number of unfortunately a number of massacres and every single time, you know, people stop caring. I've seen it over and over again, the media aftermath when people feel so intensely about it and then it always goes away. We'll see if this time it's any different. Thank you for talking with us. We appreciate you coming on the show.
What is O’Brien talking about? When did the media attention after Sandy Hook evaporate? CNN, and other news media outlets, were high on gun monomania since the tragedy, smeared the NRA, and fawned over Piers Morgan’s gun control crusade. Yet despite the drumbeat, polls show support for stricter gun laws has dropped 10 points in four months. Just because the numbers dropped doesn’t mean people have forgotten. It's much more likely that other issues dominate their concern and/or that most Americans realize new gun control laws won't stop criminals or the insane from getting access to weapons.