CBS Mornings resumed its crusade Wednesday against the Second Amendment and gun ownership (outside the military) as the co-hosts spent nearly seven and a half minutes hectoring Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) to support the banning of “assault riles” and do more within his party as too many Americans are “sleeping with our guns and crying over our guns and letting our children die.”
This was despite the fact that Hutchinson has exposed himself as a moderate Republican on numerous issues, including his signaling of support for the raising the age of gun ownership (for at least some firearms) to 21.
Co-host Tony Dokoupil offered a loaded intro by noting that “Arkansas is fifth overall for firearm deaths among kids under 17 and eighth overall in total firearm fatalities per capita” as firearms represent “the leading cause of death among children in this country.”
Signaling mental health was never going to be discussed aside from a few passing mentions, Dokoupil asked whether there’s anything “that we can do to stop” mass shootings and invited Hutchinson to offer up “solutions.”
Hutchinson explained that he had a safety commission in 2018 provide recommendations for schools and it’s something Congress could and should spend more on since “[w]e spend billions of dollars -- that I support -- to Ukraine.”
After he insisted that should be “the focal point of the conversation,” Hutchinson footnoted mental health counseling before going to guns and his belief it’s “a fair conversation to have” about banning those under 21 from owning a “military-style” gun.
Co-host and Democratic Party donor Gayle King responded as if Hutchinson said nothing about meeting her in the middle.
Instead, she reiterated what’s become her incessant claim (see here, here, and here) that the Second Amendment only covers “muskets” and thus “we have to make adjustments” by banning “assault rifle[s] unless you are a trained professional and you’re on a battlefield” in order to protect “children.”
Hutchinson replied that “we should not restrict the type of weapon for those that are over 21” as it wouldn’t stop lawbreakers and it’d infringe on “the right of our citizens to protect themselves.” However, he brought up the esoteric argument to expand background checks (click “expand”):
KING: I do. And I keep thinking when we talk about the Second Amendment, I still say they were talking about muskets. Governor. They were not talking about the firepower that we have today, and don’t we have to make adjustments for that? It seems that we all have children. We all agree that this is terrible. We wring our hands and say how horrible it is until the next one happens and it will happen again. Why is it so difficult to get this right? Why is it so hard to have the uncomfortable conversation, that nobody should have an assault rifle unless you are a trained professional and you’re on a battlefield? Why can’t we just at least come to terms with that? I don’t understand it.
HUTCHINSON: Well, I think that we should not restrict the type of weapon for those that are over 21. I mean, we do — I was a former United States Attorney, I’ve prosecuted people for firearms violation, they improperly acquire them, we don’t allow citizens to have grenades also.
HUTCHINSON: And so there are limits on the weaponry that civilians can have, but we really do not want to take away the right of our citizens to protect themselves, to enjoy it, whether it is a type of gun that is a semi-automatic, you know, we have those and it’s just the age limit between 18 and 21 that I think is a fair part of the debate. I think we need to look at that more deeply. And, and I don’t — and you know, the senators are looking at, you know, background checks, and how we can expand those perhaps. But I think this is one of the conversation about whether you ought to be 21 to acquire one of these military style weapons.
Even though she had just said “assault” weapons should be banned, King falsely and shamelessly claimed “nobody wants to take weapons from responsible gun owners” and “[t]hat’s never the debate.”
Sure enough, King then contradicted herself by calling for the ban of guns she finds scary and invoked someone who told her that many Americans “are sleeping with our guns” and instead “letting our children die.”
Hutchinson pushed back with the reality that “American is not going to be Europe” or Canada, but the entire table interjected in favor of such bans (read: confiscations) under the guise of “we are the only country” with such shootings (click “expand”):
KING: I’m still hung up about these assault rifles that cause tremendous damage, as you well know, I’m not telling you something you don’t know and that we just continue to allow this to happen while we profess our love for children. I had one mother that says to me, you know, we are sleeping with our guns and crying over our guns and letting our children die.
DOKOUPIL: It is a high cost for this absolute freedom you’re talking about.
KING: Exactly. Yes.
HUTCHINSON: It is. It is.
KING: And is it worth that?
HUTCHINSON: America is not going to be Europe. We’re not going to have the gun restrictions that even Canada is looking at. And, you know, in Arkansas —
KING: We are the only country where this happens, though.
NATE BURLESON: Right, and listen —
KING: We are the only country where this happens.
BURLESON: We understand that this is a great country.
BURLESON: We can all agree with that.
Eventually, co-host and former NFL player Nate Burleson came at such draconian measures from another angle, shaming Hutchinson and viewers by saying “we are failing our kids” by not “taking these types of weapons of the streets” since mass shootings occur “so much more often here...versus other places.”
Hutchinson insisted all Americans “want to keep them out of the hands of those that can do this kind of harm” and he’s for raising the age to buy an AR-15, but one through-line is “protect[ing] our children with better security in the schools.”
Wednesday’s anti-gun crusade was made possible thanks to the endorsement of advertisers such as The Hartford and National Car Rental. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.
To see the relevant CBS transcript form June 1, click here.