MSNBC's The Cycle Discusses Gun Safety: Kornacki Clashes with Cupp Over Domestic Violence Stats

When your network milked the "war on women" for all its worth, it's a little much to condescend to a conservative woman in a segment dealing with gun control and domestic violence, but Steve Kornacki turned up the volume on his boiler plate anti-gun talking points in a segment on the Dec. 3 edition of MSNBC's The Cycle that discussed Jovan Belcher's murder-suicide and the resulting exploitation by sports journalists like Jason Whitlock and Bob Costas.

The panel's lone conservative, columnist S.E. Cupp reasoned that blaming an inanimate object for violence is a dangerous and misguided assumption, but co-host and Salon contributor Steve Kornacki could not have disagreed more. [ video & transcript below ]

S.E. CUPP: For Whitlock or Costas to give an inanimate object human capabilities, saying that handguns exacerbate our flaws and tempt us into escalate arguments and bait us into confrontation is absolutely absurd, and I think that rather than talk about the guns, what we should be talking about is the root of the problem. And Bob Costas has I think, done something shameful and irresponsible and is going to have some blood on his hands in the future if we continue to talk about the wrong problem, what is not the problem. Handguns.

Kornacki then called Cupp's understanding of the matter into question, telling her that she was sadly mistaken about the prevalence of domestic violence among gun owners:

STEVE KORNACKI: In a house with a gun, a domestic disturbance is twelve times more likely to end in a homicide, 12 times! A woman living in a house with a gun is five times more likely to be murdered. Two-thirds of all women who are killed by guns in this country, and by the way, that's five women a day, two-thirds of them are in domestic disturbances. So you don't say it's just about the gun here and we're ignoring domestic violence. There's a link here. A gun plus domestic violence turns what would be a horrible situation where a woman gets beat up but at least has a chance to get out with her life and to get away from that situation, it takes that and it makes her dead. That's when you add a gun to that situation, that's what happens.

In an attempt to mediate, co-host Krystal Ball redeemed herself for a senseless comment she made earlier about the irrelevance of the Constitution in this circumstance by trying to find some middle ground between the two, saying "gun control advocates do need to bear in mind is there are a lot of very responsible gun owners."

Kornacki, who was determined to get the last word in, was not satisfied with the proposal to compromise. Without saying it aloud, he and co-anchor Toure Neblett were seemingly proponents of draconian gun control measures, all in response to one athlete's decision to kill his girlfriend and then take his own life.

Relevant Transcript Below ( Emphasis Mine )
 
MSNBC

The Cycle

Dec. 3, 2012

3:46 p.m. EST

KRYSTAL BALL: I'm a little emotional after reading that, but my first thought here is Bob Costas is in his right to say whatever he wants to say and hold whatever position he wants to hold. I personally have a pretty nuanced position on this issue in general. You know, I think the NRA, gun owners of America go too far in imposing any kind of restriction on gun rights. You know, they think you should be able to own anything in any number and carry it in any place at any time, and that I disagree with but what I would say is let's leave the Constitution out of this because I think that's a complicated argument as well. But what I would say is if you want to infringe on someone's liberty and say you can't do x, y or z, I think the burden of proof has to be on you for why there's a real societal need, a critical societal need for infringing on that liberty. I've looked into this because I'm sort of on the fence on the issue. I looked back at the 2008 landmark Supreme Court case about the handgun ban in D.C. And Justice Breyer, who was actually a dissenter in the case and considered a liberal justice looked at the evidence for whether a ban on handguns reduces violence and said that the upshot is a set of studies and counter studies that at most could leave a judge uncertain about the proper policy conclusions. So basically, you know, it's a very mixed bag as to whether totally eliminating guns, restricting guns actually gets at the problem that we're trying to address.

S.E. CUPP: It doesn't.

TOURE NEBLETT: You know, guns are only used for one purpose, and that's killing. There's no other way to use them.

BALL: My dad uses them for target practice.

CUPP: Yeah, so do I.

TOURE: They facilitate, amplify and escalate anger. They make killing easier. Soldiers talk about very close killing people when you're close to them. It takes no courage at all to pull a trigger. So they make us less safer. We have 3,000 kids killed by firearms each year. That's more than the number of soldiers who are killed. One of the things we didn't quote was Jason Whitlock saying from Bob Costas saying that handguns don't enhance safety, they exacerbate our flaws. And that is true, and how many times do we have to hear of a troubled person grabbing a gun and taking their emotions out on somebody else with that gun. Javon Belcher's clearly a person who had a tremendous amount of pain in his life. He shot his girlfriend eight times. That is an extraordinary amount of anger spilling out of him. This is not what the founders envisioned, and this is not the best policy that we can have for our society. (see video here)

CUPP: Yeah that anger is what we should be talking about, and we're talking about the weapons. We're not talking about domestic violence, and that does a huge disservice to the woman who is in that situation. Who has done no service by Bob Costas, of all people -- irresponsibly going out and telling millions of NFL viewers that they have permission to blame guns instead of the person who pulled the trigger. So we're not going to talk about the reason for domestic violence. We're not going to talk about maybe whether or not this guy had psychiatric problems. We're going to talk about the gun. For Whitlock or Costas to give an inanimate object human capabilities, saying that handguns exacerbate our flaws and tempt us into escalate arguments and bait us into confrontation is absolutely absurd, and I think that rather than talk about the guns, what we should be talking about is the root of the problem. And Bob Costas has I think, done something shameful and irresponsible and is going to have some blood on his hands in the future if we continue to talk about the wrong problem, what is not the problem. Handguns.

STEVE KORNACKI: Well, I wish you'd grapple with some of the statistics that are out there S.E. before you say something like that, because the statistics --

CUPP: I've written about this a lot, Steve, and very few domestic violence cases are committed with handguns.

KORNACKI: Let me share some of the statistics --

CUPP: That's a fact!

KORNACKI: In a house with a gun, a domestic disturbance is twelve times more likely to end in a homicide, 12 times! A woman living in a house with a gun is five times more likely to be murdered. Two-thirds of all women who are killed by guns in this country, and by the way, that's five women a day, two-thirds of them are in domestic disturbances. So you don't say it's just about the gun here and we're ignoring domestic violence. There's a link here. A gun plus domestic violence turns what would be a horrible situation where a woman gets beat up but at least has a chance to get out with her life and to get away from that situation, it takes that and it makes her dead. That's when you add a gun to that situation, that's what happens.

CUPP: Most women are in danger in domestic violence situations because of fists and hands. What we need to be looking-- anything can be a weapon, Steve. Anything can be a weapon.

KORNACKI: But I just established that there's a difference between having the gun in the house, and not having the --

CUPP: There's a reason for the violence, not the object.

KORNACKI: But there's a twelve times difference between those two things. That's statistically significant.

BALL: Let me attempt to mediate this dispute here. I think one thing that, you know, liberals, gun control advocates do need to bear in mind is there are a lot of very responsible gun owners. My father is one of them, S.E. is one of them, and I think that it's easy to take things very personally when you are blaming the gun because you are in a way casting aspersions on everybody who owns a firearm. And so I think we do have to be very careful about the language that we use around that, about pointing out, you know, the root causes of domestic violence, that it's not just the guns, even though those statistics bear out that it does create a much more dangerous situation. So that's one thing that I would just caution us on.

CUPP: I think Bob Costas could have really had a great moment if he realized that he had a captive audience, mostly of men, to talk about the horrors of domestic violence and really raise that as an issue instead of I think very recklessly just talking about the gun control.

KORNACKI: And ignore the element that takes domestic violence and makes it 12 times more likely to lead to somebody dying. Just ignore that?

CUPP: Yeah, let's talk about domestic violence.

KORNACKI: Yeah, that's right, let's just ignore that.

3:52 p.m. EST