CNN forced gun control into the headlines just hours after Friday's tragic Aurora shooting, and five days later it continues to pressure Democrats into pushing for more gun regulation. On Wednesday afternoon, CNN's Brooke Baldwin asked this question of a Colorado state Democrat:
"I have to challenge you, why hasn't your party, the Democratic Party, done more to legislate guns, because as you know that Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004?" Baldwin asked the same question of Philadelphia's Democratic mayor on Friday. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell has joined the list of his colleagues deciding to disgustingly politicize the tragic Colorado shooting. On Tuesday night, O’Donnell felt the need to attack Wayne LaPierre of the NRA and Republican Senator Ron Johnson (Wis.) for their support of the Second Amendment.
O'Donnell started off his "Rewrite" segment claiming LaPierre was a "blood-drenched lobbyist" who is a "defender of mass murderers’ right to use hundred-round ammo clips." O’Donnell appeared shocked that Sen. Johnson believes a mass-murderer like James Holmes would still seek to obtain high-powered weapons regardless of stricter gun-control laws. [Video followed page break; MP3 audio here.]
In lock step with his network's anti-gun push, CNN analyst David Gergen praised Bill Clinton's "guts" for standing up for gun control, on Tuesday's Anderson Cooper 360.
"Listen, there was a president named Bill Clinton who had the guts to stand up on these issues," said Gergen of Clinton's push for gun regulations as president. "Three laws. And he got re-elected." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
By now the script should be familiar. A bombing or a mass shooting occurs and the media immediately look for a simple cause. Invariably, they turn to talk radio or some other conservative pit of "intolerance."
Within recent memory are tragedies like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the 1999 massacre at Columbine, the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings and the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson. Some politicians and liberal interest groups have sought to link these and other violent incidents to the far right. There have also been incidents when some conservatives have tried to blame other tragedies on "liberals" "secularists" and abortion.
"Doesn't Trayvon Martin actually have the right to kill George Zimmerman if George Zimmerman is stalking him and the police have told him not to stalk him?"
This question was actually asked Tuesday on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight by schlockumentary filmmaker Michael Moore during a discussion about gun laws in the wake of the shootings in Aurora, Colorado (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN used Friday's tragic shooting to force the gun control debate back into headlines this past weekend, and multiple network anchors made a blatant liberal push for further gun regulation.
The advocacy began just hours after the atrocity, despite both President Obama and Mitt Romney abstaining from politicking on the day of the massacre. "America has got to do something about its gun laws. Now is the time," CNN's Piers Morgan tweeted hours after the shooting. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The Los Angeles Times has published an inane and irresponsible piece of political commentary about the recent mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. This time it's cartoonist and columnist David Horsey, blaming the NRA for the bloodbath, both in writing and in a cartoon depicting a callous Wayne LaPierre quipping "I hope the guns weren't harmed."
Let's also consider the statistics that show deaths caused by guns, including suicides, are more common in regions of the country where gun laws are the most lax. Let's have a reasoned discussion that acknowledges the right to bear arms and also recognizes that every one of our liberties has a limit. Let's try to craft sensible gun regulations that promote public safety in circumstances we can predict, even if they cannot stop the unpredictable, random horror of a gunman who has slipped past the boundaries of civilized life.
Why do conservatives not want to have that discussion now? I'll tell you why: Because they have let the most extreme elements of the gun-rights community dictate gun policy for the entire country and now they are afraid to cross them. For conservatives, this is not the time for a discussion about guns because, no matter how much blood is spilled, even in preventable circumstances, it is a discussion they never plan to have.
I have a news bulletin for Horsey. Suicide isn't illegal. Taking your life with a gun doesn't make suicide any more tragic than by overdosing on pills, hanging yourself, or sticking your head in a gas oven. It's just that suicide-by-gun includes an implement that the left loves to hate.
Washington Post Metro columnist John Kelly usually avoids controversial political subjects and often does "answer man" features about local D.C.-area history, making his feature overall an enjoyable read. But from time to time Kelly works in his liberal bias, just as when he bashed conservative talk show hosts as "right-wing nutjobs" and when he weighed in against the so-called Tebow bill that would allow homeschoolers to join local high school sports teams.
Today, Kelly offered an idea of his for a gun control measure but concluded by grousing that it probably would never get passed into law because those pesky "Second Amendment absolutists" would get in the way and so, "we'll just continue to accept that the price for having a well-regulated militia is that homicidal maniacs will be able to buy guns as easily as buying tickets to a movie."
Updated (see bottom of post) | Today's Letters to the Editor section of the Washington Post contains five letters on the topic of gun control, three oriented towards more gun control and two expressing a pro-gun rights/enforce-the-laws-on-the-books position.
But one letter in particular is egregious as it contains a huge factual error that Post editors failed to correct: that President Obama signed legislation in 2009 that allows concealed carry in all National Parks.
As he hosted a debate on Piers Morgan Tonight on Monday, CNN's Piers Morgan repeatedly cut off conservative guest John Lott as the former University of Chicago professor tried to argue against imposing additional gun control.
At one point, as he grew impatient with Lott trying to explain that the overwhelming majority of guns - 86 percent - are "semi-automatic," and that an "assault weapon" is not as unusual a weapon as it might sound, Morgan lost control and started ranting:
Appearing as a guest on Monday's Piers Morgan Tonight, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recommended that America's police officers should go on strike and refuse to protect people until gun control legislation which would allegedly make them safer is enacted. Bloomberg:
He's not exactly a poster child but apparently rapper and heavy metal singer Tracy Marrow (stage name Ice-T) is a supporter of gun rights.
In an interview with a British television channel, Marrow stood up for the Second Amendment saying that the right to bear arms is "the last form of defense against tyranny" and not merely for hunting. Video and transcript below.
Appearing on Monday's Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, Time magazine editor-at-large Mark Halperin confessed a broad media consensus to curtail gun rights: "If you walk the halls of most major news organizations or of the OEOB at the White House or West Wing, I think you'd find overwhelming sentiment that there should be stricter gun control laws in the United States." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell glossed over President Barack Obama's record of supporting gun control when she claimed that "Mitt Romney, in some ways, has been more for gun control than Barack Obama...He signed, as governor...a law, to ban assault weapons, and he only just recently joined the NRA." O'Donnell also played up that the President has apparently "disappointed gun control advocates." [audio available here; video below the jump]
In an unsigned 2009 report, the correspondent's own network actually acknowledged that Obama supported gun control as an Illinois state senator, a U.S. senator, and as a presidential candidate in 2008. Even before holding elected office, the Democrat sat on the board of a foundation that granted just under $2.7 million to gun control organizations.
CNN pushed for more gun control on the very day of the Aurora shootings – to the dismay of media critic Howard Kurtz – and host Candy Crowley continued the fight on Sunday and Monday.
In her Monday report, Crowley stressed the lack of "courage" – borrowing from a one gun control advocate – in today's Democratic Party to pursue firearms regulation. And when Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) noted the lack of outrage over gun violence, Crowley agreed, "She's right." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Seizing on the Colorado theater shooting to push for stricter gun laws, on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie teased an upcoming story: "...an undercover report that reveals just how easy it can be for anyone, even violent criminals, to buy assault weapons, no questions asked." Later introducing the segment, she fretted: "...it turns out Colorado has some of the weakest gun laws in the country." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen began his hidden camera expose of online gun selling by admitting that it had little to do with the circumstances surrounding the Colorado tragedy: "It turns out this shooter, this alleged shooter in Colorado, had no rap sheet, so he was able to buy his guns in a store legally." Rossen quickly added: "But even if he had a violent criminal record he still could have bought them."
Americans trust guns more than they do, God, Washington Post "On Faith" contributor Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite insists in her July 22 post. The liberal theologian preaches for the need to correct the idolatry by, you guessed it, more gun control, just as she did back during Holy Week.
Appearing on the Saturday, July 21, Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, NBC correspondent Michael Isikoff - formerly of Newsweek - made a point of noting that one of the guns used in the Aurora theater massacre used to be illegal under the assault weapons ban, as if shooter James Holmes could not simply have purchased a different gun to assist in his murder spree.
Isikoff asserted that the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, "was lifted under President Bush," and noted that President Obama had "pledged during his campaign to restore it" but that "he has dropped that issue." Isikoff:
Appearing as a panel member on the Sunday, July 22, Melissa Harris-Perry show, MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter - formerly of Newsweek - charged that the NRA has "imposed" a "gag order" that makes politicians afraid to discuss enacting more gun control.
He went on to advise that those who support more gun laws should say to the NRA that "We're not going to let you silence us."
On the July 22 CBS Sunday Morning show, correspondent Lee Cowan highlighted criticism of gun rights by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, using a soundbite of the liberal mayor scurrilously remarking that gun rights advocates "think that the right to bear arms allows you to go out and kill people at random," before adding, "And that's not overstating it very much."
The report, which focused primarily on details of the Aurora theater massacre and its victims, digressed for a moment into the gun control issue, but only included the side that supports more gun control:
Time's Joe Klein on Sunday found out what it's like to actually have to debate conservatives rather than the liberal media members he normally appears with on political talk shows.
When he uttered the typical left-wing line on ABC's This Week about the need for more gun control in the wake of Friday's movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, Klein got a much-needed education from George Will and the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Candy Crowley got a much-needed education Sunday on the uselessness and futility of stricter gun laws in the wake of Friday's movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado.
As she pushed Governor John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) to agree that tighter gun restrictions are needed to prevent such incidents in the future, the Democrat pushed back, "If there were no assault weapons available, there were no this or no that, this guy’s going to find something...He’s going to know how to create a bomb" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Saturday's Today show, as NBC correspondent Michael Isikoff - formelry of Newsweek - filed a report on the drive to make people safer at movie theaters after the Aurora massacre, heconcluded his report by suggesting that, because "the powerful National Rifle Association has blocked any move for stricter gun laws," people will have to settle for "beefed-up security and greater vigilance," as if the NRA were preventing people from being safer.
Toward the end of the report, Isikoff relayed the complaint of gun control activists that it is too easy to obtain certain types of guns. Isikoff:
CNN anchor Piers Morgan devoted a considerable portion of his Friday program to pushing for more gun control, breaking with those who have advised delaying such talk until after a period of mourning for shooting victims in Aurora, Colorado.
Morgan not only began Piers Morgan Tonight with a "Piers' Special Commentary" calling for more gun laws, but, later in the program, he included three guests who argued in favor of more gun control, with only one to argue against, with whom the CNN host ended up becoming agitated as Denver University Professor David Kopel scolded Morgan for not waiting longer before launching into a divisive political debate.
Shortly after beginning the show, Morgan played a clip of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg advising the presidential candidates to talk about the gun control issue, and then began his commentary:
CNN's Piers Morgan spent much of his show Friday advocating for stricter gun laws in the wake of the massacre in Aurora, Colorado.
Bucking this activism was Denver University law professor David Kopel who scolded his host, "I think this is the wrong night to be doing this. And I really wish you'd waited to have this segment until after the funerals" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Poor David Espo and Nancy Benac. A six-paragraph squib this morning headlined "Calls for gun control stir little support" at the wire service's national site and "Despite a string of high-profile shootings, calls for gun control stir little support" at Newser.com really should have been titled "Why Aren't You Guys Politicizing This, D**nit?"
The two AP "reporters" bitterly wail and gnash their teeth over how little outcry there has been for stricter gun laws after the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre (shown in full because of its brevity and subsequent later expansion, to be discussed later in this post, and for fair use and discussion purposes).
This morning, in the aftermath of the unspeakable Colorado massacre that claimed at least 12 innocent American lives and injured dozens more, ABC "news" investigative reporter Brian Ross appeared on ABC's Good Morning America and made the outrageous, irresponsible, and completely unfounded claim that the alleged gunman, 24-year-old Jim Holmes, is a member of the Tea Party. Apparently Ross has learned absolutely nothing from the media's disgraceful rush to judgment and dissemination of misinformation following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011.
That's twice now that the "news" media have falsely implicated the Tea Party in murder.
On a day where politics was supposed to take a back seat to "prayer and reflection" in the wake of a deadly Colorado shooting, CNN let liberal mayors drive the debate about gun control on Friday afternoon.
"[W]hy hasn't your party, the Democratic party done more to legislate guns?" anchor Brooke Baldwin pressed Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. CNN also played a clip of Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling on President Obama and Mitt Romney to speak out about guns. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]