NBC Nudges D.C. Police Chief to Push for Gun Control

After framing a doctor's plea to end gun violence as a push for gun control earlier this week, NBC's Today teed up D.C.'s police chief to defend the city's strict gun regulations and slap gun "loopholes."

In a segment on the Navy Yard shooter, correspondent Jeff Rossen transitioned into gun control. "You have fought hard for gun control. Yet here is somebody who is clearly mentally disturbed, but he was still able to legally get a gun. What's wrong here?" he asked D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier.

"She wants the loopholes closed," Rossen stated boldly. Lanier said the shooter avoided D.C.'s mental health background check by purchasing his gun in Virginia.

"Here in the district for firearms registration, we require a background check that includes mental health. But there is that gap," she noted. Rossen filled in the blank, "Where you can get it somewhere else." Lanier added, "Where you can get it somewhere else, and in this case, literally a ten minute drive away."

Alexis reportedly passed an FBI background check and a state background check when he bought his shotgun there, and the FBI does include mental health in its background check.

Rossen's generosity to gun control proponents reflects the liberal media's support of the policy, which as NewsBusters pointed out is at times obnoxious advocacy.

Below is a transcript of the exchange, which aired on Today on September 19 at 7:09 a.m. EDT:

[7:09]

JEFF ROSSEN, NBC News correspondent: D.C. Police chief Cathy Lanier is speaking exclusively with NBC News.

(Video Clip)

ROSSEN: (on camera) You have fought hard for gun control. Yet here is somebody who is clearly mentally disturbed, but he was still able to legally get a gun. What's wrong here?

CATHY LANIER, Washington, D.C. police chief: Here in the district for firearms registration, we require a background check that includes mental health. But there is that gap.

ROSSEN: Where you can get it somewhere else.

LANIER: Where you can get it somewhere else, and in this case, literally a ten minute drive away. You can purchase.

ROSSEN: (voice over) She wants the loopholes closed.

LANIER: You start thinking about the 12 people that went to work the morning before and didn't come home, it's heart breaking.

(End Video Clip)

ROSSEN: One other interesting note here, law enforcement officials tell NBC News Alexis created a website with the name Mohammed Salem. But he never did anything with it and gave no indication he was interested in violent jihad. Authorities, Matt, say it is a complete mystery why he did that.

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