Tax-Funded Pacifica Radio Hosts Colorado Anti-Gun Activist Who Claims Opponents 'Offering to Rape Us'

In the first hours of a dreadful mass shooting, one might think it's a time to mourn the victims and wait for more information. That was not the plan on taxpayer-subsidized Pacifica Radio and its morning program "Democracy Now!" They brought on Colorado gun-control activist Mary Kershner, who wildly clamed that gun-rights activists are"offering to rape us" when they protest gun shows.

Co-host Juan Gonzalez insisted America is uniquely violent:

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Mary Kershner, I’d like to ask you, this issue of these mass attacks by gunmen are almost like endemic and unique, really, to the United States. I recall nearly 30 years ago, back in 1984, the—one of my first national stories was James Huberty walking into a McDonald’s in San Ysidro, California, killing about—I think it was 21 people and wounding another 40. And we’ve had so many of these—the Virginia Tech shooting—over the years. You’ve, Colorado, experienced Columbine. Did the state do anything after the Columbine shootings to have any kind of controls on guns within the state?

MARY KERSHNER: We actually did, and I was involved in that. In 2000, we passed a background check, you know, which they’re trying to challenge now, but we were—because of that, in the case of Columbine, you know, those gunmen got their purchases illegally through somebody else. And so, they—you know, we made—we made efforts to have background checks done. It’s helping. We certainly—I mean, it’s hard to keep statistics on how many people we kept from being killed. I mean, it’s hard—you know, it’s difficult to do that. But any effort to try to keep these assault weapons off the street is an important one, because—you’re right—there’s just way too many mass killings in this country.

After running a soundbite update from the police chief in Aurora, co-host Amy Goodman turned to Michael Moore's talking points:

AMY GOODMAN: I’m also looking at the Tanner Gun Show website, made famous around the country by Michael Moore’s film Bowling for Columbine, Columbine not 25 miles from where this shooting has taken place at the cinema in Aurora. Mary Kershner, the gun show is going to be opening in a couple weeks in Denver. What’s the significance of the Tanner Gun Show?

MARY KERSHNER: Well, that’s a great example of the—with regulations, you can only go so far, and oftentimes they pride themselves on doing everything on the level, when in reality, you know, I think even Michael Moore documented where they could oftentimes—some of the sales occur out in the parking lot. And I, for one, don’t even go near it. I mean, we’ve contemplated at different times protesting and stuff, and it’s like—I actually—I’ve been in some confrontations at some of our peaceful things, when we’ve done, you know, like the silent march on our state capitol, where we bring shoes of victims, and we have these gun rights people that are shouting obscenities at us and offering to rape us. And so, I just have no comment, I guess, on these gun shows. They happen. That’s all I can say.

This accusation was apparently quite plausible, because Goodman calmly wrapped it up: "Well, Mary Kershner, I want to thank you very much for being with us. Mary Kershner, registered nurse, gun control advocate, founding member of Nurses Advocating Gun Safety, lost three family members to guns. Two were suicide. And we’ll continue to update you through this hour as the news just comes out."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis