Leave it to the folks at MSNBC to take a tragic shooting as an opportunity to push a liberal agenda. On Monday November 4, the co-hosts of The Cycle brought on NBC terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann to push the continual MSNBC theme that more armed security would have made the tragic situation which left one TSA agent dead much worse. On top of that, Kohlmann blamed a libertarian talk show host with inciting the shooting, although he produced absolutely no evidence to back up his claim.
The segment began with Kohlmann showing his true MSNBC colors on the subject of guns:
Every time there's an incident at a school at a hospital at a military base or an airport and it involves a gun, the answer is we should have more guns? That doesn't make any sense at all.
Coleman did correctly point out the need to prevent mentally ill people from committing acts of violence, but his rationale behind opposing arming TSA agents was pretty thing:
I can guarantee you had TSA agents been armed and had they been shooting back at this individual, right now we would be asking that exact question is, why are TSA agents shooting into a crowd full of innocent people.
Of course, if TSA agents were armed and properly trained and drilled for active-shooter scenarios, they'd be another layer of security in an airport on top of local or state police who patrol the terminal.
As the segment continued, co-host Krystal Ball curiously brought up the fact that:
The Southern Poverty Law Center which tracks hate groups and radical ideology, has seen a huge increase in the number of patriot groups which he seems in his ideology to sort off align with.
In response to this, Kohlmann pointed out to nutty conspiracy theorist and libertarian radio host Alex Jones as someone who should be “exposed" because he was "doing the same thing as people in the Middle East who encourage individuals who carry out suicide bombings.” Far be it for us to defend Jones's views, which are indeed nutty and fringe, but Kohlmann failed to provide even one example of Jones calling for his listeners to take violent action against a TSA officer.
Of course, neither Kohlmann nor Ball or any other Cycle panelist thought fit to express such sentiments towards extremists when a crazed shooter injured a security guard at the Family Research Council in August 2012 after learning of the group’s “hate group” status from the SPLC's website.
Ultimately, of course, the only person to blame for the LAX shooting is Paul Anthony Ciancia, just as the only person to blame for the FRC shooting is Floyd Corkins, but if MSNBC is going to play the blame game when it suits their political narrative, they should note it when it doesn't.
See relevant transcript below.
November 4, 2013
3:26 p.m. Eastern
TOURE: Let's turn to NBC News terrorism analyst Evan Coleman. Evan did Friday’s incident expose vulnerabilities in the system or did it show that our system actually worked?
EVAN COLEMAN: Well, I mean it showed us that there were vulnerabilities we already knew existed there. We’ve known for years that U.S. airports were vulnerable to this kind of attack. The concern before this was really about suicide bombers getting into airports before airline security. It’s still a concern. The question is what do we do to address that? Do we really want to lockdown airports like they do in certain European airports where you can't even get inside the building without going through a metal detector? Is that even feasible? I mean, the civil aviation industry in this country is far larger than that of Israel. It’s far larger than any other country. And I'm not sure that there's any practical way of dealing with this threat other than going for what the threat actually is. In this case, you have someone who believed that the TSA was out to kill people and he was going to kill them in response. It seems to me that the more direct way of approaching that is to stop having people out there who are saying that the TSA are traitors who are trying to murder people or are terrorists. I think that’s a much more direct way of solving this problem.
ABBY HUNTSMAN: Right, because whenever something like this happens, the question quickly becomes, what could have been done to prevent this? What is the reality? How many people are actually carrying guns up to security checkpoint? And to put it in perspective, the AP reported on this quickly after this happened, they showed that last year they found over 1500 firearms on passengers that attempted to go through screening, that’s up 17% from the year before and more than doubled in the past eight years. So naturally people are saying maybe the TSA officers should be armed. You have the TSA union now asking for guards at every checkpoint. TSA and homeland security have come out saying that's actually not an option, that’s not the purpose of TSA officials. What is your response? Is the answer more guns?
COLEMAN: Well, first of all, this is like assuming that U.S. airports don't already have plenty of guys with weapons in them. That’s totally incorrect. There are already plenty of airport security people who are armed. But beyond that, let's get aside from that and get more to the question about why it is that every time there's an incident at a school at a hospital at a military base or an airport and it involves a gun, the answer is we should have more guns? That doesn't make any sense at all. The answer here is that we should be trying to make sure that if there are people out there who are unstable, we're watching for them and trying were to make sure they don't feed themselves on propaganda that makes them believe that the TSA is out to get them. We need to make sure that we're not demonizing people for very minor and selfish political and financial points and then there are foolish people who believe it and take these ideas and murder somebody. That's a much more serious concern and it’s something we can remedy immediately. I'm not sure we'll ever be able to stop anyone who wants to get inside of an airport with an illegal item from doing that. That will be almost inevitable.
HUNTSMAN: Right and I don't think want to live in that type of world either.
COLEMAN: No, I mean look how Israelis deal with these things when they go to the airport. I do not believe that the American public is prepared for the level of scrutiny that most Israelis tend to get when they reach the airport. We're not ready to get to the airport four or five hours before a flight. We’re not ready to be subjected to interrogations when we try to get on an airplane. I mean, these are just not reasonable steps for this country to take. And I think there are much easier solutions and much more direct solutions for this problem.
ARI MELBER: Well, you get the feeling the Israel analogy is mostly offered by people who have never been to Israel where you have weapons and metal detectors outside of every movie theater and where you have a society where everyone just about is a veteran. So, you're dealing with militarized society, not really relevant to the American experience. Walk us through why some people at our U.S. airports are armed in the screening process and some are not?
COLEMAN: Well, look, there are people who have specific responsibilities. In the case of the TSA agent who was murdered last week, he was a behavioral pattern recognition specialist. His job was to try to pick out people acting strangely. It was not to shoot people. And we've seen what happens when too many people have too many weapons. We've seen this even here in New York where bystanders have gotten shot in exchanges of gunfire between New York police officers and perpetrators and individuals carrying out crimes. And the question always is afterwards, was the police department right for opening fire in a crowded area? And I can guarantee you had TSA agents been armed and had they been shooting back at this individual, right now we would be asking that exact question is, why are TSA agents shooting into a crowd full of innocent people. And look it's just an inevitable question you’re going to have to ask.
KRYSTAL BALL: Right. Well Evan I want to go to back to a point you were making about the radical ideology that this guy apparently subscribed to, the Southern Poverty Law Center which tracks hate groups and radical ideology, has seen a huge increase in the number of patriot groups which he seems in his ideology to sort off align with. And they have skyrocketed from 131 in 2007 to 1360 now. How do we combat the type of radical fringe conspiracy ideology that was apparently fueling this guy?
COLEMAN: It's very simple. It's to make sure that anybody who is a politician or a radio shock jock who goes out there and starts encouraging people to harm TSA agents or harm civil serve ants or demonize these people, we have to hold these people accountable as a society. People like Alex Jones who go out there and say the FBI was behind the Boston massacre. These people should not be allowed to hide. Their views should be exposed and the fact they are lying. The fact that they are profiting off of this should be exposed because this is the same thing as people in the Middle East who encourage individuals who carry out suicide bombings. Not everyone is dumb enough to follow that ideology, obviously not. But there are a small handful of foolish people out there who unfortunately are willing to follow through with this. And they don't understand that this is all rhetoric. They don’t understand that this is heated rhetoric. And they are willing to put their actions where their mouth is. And I think it's time that those who spread these ideas are responsible for them. We hold people that spread al-Qaeda ideologies responsible for that and if you encourage someone to murder a federal employee, you should be held responsible.