On Wednesday’s Good Morning America, ABC co-host George Stephanopoulos lauded a group of Democratic governors gathering in New York City who wanted to tackle “gun violence” by plotting to slam gun manufacturers with frivolous lawsuits suggesting they were to blame for crime and murders in their cities. He called their work “critical” and thanked them for it.
“Big city mayors from around the country are gathering today in Gracie Mansion in New York for a summit on preventing gun violence,” Stephanopoulos touted at the top of their “Cover Story.” “[New York] Mayor [Eric] Adams, let’s start with you. You got 15 mayors coming together, all in. What do you all hope to accomplish?”
According to Mayor Adams, the “problem” wasn’t that progressive, soft-on-crime district attorneys were releasing criminals back on the streets, including people charged with gun crimes, but rather the gun manufacturers. Without evidence, he claimed their business models were to turn “profits” by “turning pain in our communities.”
“And the goal is to use a centralized database to show where guns are coming from, who are the manufacturers,” he said. “Five manufacturers in this country are producing over 50 percent of the guns that are used in crimes.”
That purported statistic was parroted by Stephanopoulos. “Half the guns coming from just five manufacturers. It’s a pretty stunning statistic right there, Mayor Jones. But we also know there are hundreds of millions of guns in circulation,” he gawked without question.
The implication is that gun manufacturers are knowingly funneling guns to criminals for the intended purpose of creating crime and death. We know for a fact that less than one percent of the guns owned by private citizens are used to commit crimes, which means that the vast majority are in the hands of law-abiding Americans. And as NewsBusters has previously reported (via an interview with The Reload founder Stephen Gutowski), most guns used to commit crimes are not purchased new.
And in spite of the fact an armed law-abiding American had single-handedly stopped a mass shooting 15 seconds after it started in an Indiana mall over the weekend (and whom ABC called a “hero” earlier in the week), Stephanopoulos decried the right of Americans to conceal carry in public:
MAYOR FRANK SCOTT JR. (Little Rock): Any time that you have the ability to have a gun in a church or in a park, we can't find this comfort when it happens at our doorstep.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Especially when those guns are concealed.
The former Clinton lackey concluded the interview by heaping praise on the group: “Your work is critical. Thank you all very much.”
The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:
ABC’s Good Morning America
July 20, 2022
8:10:52 a.m. Eastern
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Now to our GMA cover story on guns in America. Big city mayors from around the country are gathering today in Gracie Mansion in New York for a summit on preventing gun violence.
Joining us now New York Mayor Eric Adams, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, and Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. Thank you all for joining us this morning.
Mayor Adams, let’s start with you. You got 15 mayors coming together, all in. What do you all hope to accomplish?
MAYOR ERIC ADAMS (New York): Well, we have clearly identified that we're dealing with the same problem, a $9 billion industry that their profits are turning pain in our communities. And so, we want to mobilize, strategize, learn from each other, and see best practices. We were successful in decreasing shootings and homicides in the city but we have a long way to go. And the goal is to use a centralized database to show where guns are coming from, who are the manufacturers.
Five manufacturers in this country are producing over 50 percent of the guns that are used in crimes. We must learn from each other. United as mayors we can send a strong message on the national level and the state level that we have to stop this senseless over-proliferation of guns.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Half the guns coming from just five manufacturers. It’s a pretty stunning statistic right there, Mayor Jones. But we also know there are hundreds of millions of guns in circulation. So, will the focus on gun manufacturers, lawsuits on gun manufacturers really make a difference?
MAYOR TISHAURA JONES (St. Louis): Well, if this were any other industry and it was as deadly, then the government would have already acted to make sure that we got rid of whatever was killing our citizens. And we haven't seen that sort of action from the federal government. So, we have to look at the root causes and look at other strategies to try to cure gun violence in our communities.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Mayor Brown, the day after the horrific massacre back in Buffalo where ten black people were killed at that shopping center, you said you believed it was a turning point in this debate. Do you still believe that?
MAYOR BYRON BROWN (Buffalo): You know, as we continue to heal and recover from the white supremacist mass shooting in Buffalo on May 14, I do believe that it was a turning point. I've been talking to mayors all across the country, Republicans as well as Democrats, who want to do something about the over-proliferation of guns in our country that are taking innocent American lives over 110 people are killed by guns every day in our country, and more than double that injured, something has to be done about guns and sensible gun reform.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, I mean, Mayor Scott, in Arkansas, in your state it seems like any kind of legislation would be a nonstarter in a red state like Arkansas. What can you hope to accomplish there in your community?
MAYOR FRANK SCOTT JR. (Little Rock): Well, violent crime is decreasing in the city of Little Rock. We understand that we have to bring attention as we address gun violence as an epidemic in our communities. Any of us at any point in time will receive a phone call about a homicide and 99.9 percent of the time as it relates to a gun. And many times someone who has illegal accessed to a gun or was illegally sold a gun.
And what we have to do is continue to – united as mayors – what we do to continue to ensure that we have low violence, low crime, but have to address the guns. Any time that you have the ability to have a gun in a church or in a park, we can't find this comfort when it happens at our doorstep.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Especially when those guns are concealed.
Finally, Mayor Adams, I think, Mayor Jones did bring up importantly about the federal government has to act. But we know we’re seeing real paralysis – have for a long time – in Washington despite that fact that they were finally being able to pass some legislation last month.
So, on the state and city level, what kind of changes can you implement on your own? How do you do it?
ADAMS: Well, that's part of the conversation today with these mayors. We not only must use the tools in our toolbox. We have to think outside the toolbox. And we want to strategize together. We've shared the horrific actions of gun violence in our city. But it must be intervention and prevention. The prevention we need more help from the federal government. But the intervention, let's use the tools we have.
ATF, let's make sure we expand on a number of ATF agents, let's do information sharing for the first time this database we're going to use where guns are coming from. We are encouraging others to share this information. And then let's think differently. Let's get that gun before it hits our streets and that is one of the most important things that we want to accomplish and ATF could be a real information-sharing resource to accomplish that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Your work is critical. Thank you all very much.