It seems as though MSNBC’s Ed Schultz has taken Rahm Emanuel’s belief that, “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste” to heart. Speaking on Monday prior to President Obama’s final press conference of his first term, Schultz disgustingly suggested that the tragedy at Sandy Hook could be "the 9/11 of gun violence."
Schultz, along with the rest of MSNBC have been on a gun control tirade since Sandy Hook, and used President Obama’s press conference to disgustingly use a tragedy for political purposes:
Well, this is all in the arena of the Second Amendment being one heavy political tool on all of these lawmakers. I'm tired of hearing lawmakers telling me what can pass and what won't pass. Let's listen to the American people for a moment and stop rendering judgment on what's going to have the votes and what's not going to have the votes. The fact is the American people are positioned. We're going to find out within the next few weeks whether Sandy Hook was the 9/11 of gun violence in this country. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
To be fair, Schultz most likely used the 9/11 comparison to mean Newtown is a seminal cultural moment that can unite Americans around a common enemy. But then again, the common enemy seems to be law-abiding gun owners, as the vast majority of owners of so-called assault weapons use them peacefully for self-defense and target shooting.
Leaving aside for a moment the offensiveness of the comparison -- particularly to 9/11 victims and their families -- Schultz seems to forget that while 9/11 did unite the country together, the resulting anti-terrorism measures have faced fierce partisan backlash from the Left.
The PATRIOT Act, unmanned drone strikes on civilians, Guantanamo Bay, and of course the all-too-personal TSA pat-downs all remain unpopular with liberals, many of whom don't doubt that these policies have made it harder, almost impossible for another 9/11-style attack to occur on U.S. soil. Even so, liberals remind us, that is not an acceptable cost to pay for diminished freedom.
By using the 9/11 comparison, Schultz unwittingly opened up himself to that rebuttal: even if stringent gun control were to prove somewhat successful in preventing future mass shootings, it comes at a cost to constitutional liberty.
See relevant transcript below.
January 14, 2013
11:11 a.m. EST
THOMAS ROBERTS: We're watching Sandy Hook Promise there. And the group itself marking the one-month anniversary of those lost at the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown. Really interesting there to hear them say that there's not one simple fix and as the Vice President has been putting together the task force, talking with the families, those that lost a loved one there, other victims of gun violence. We have the NRA being invited to the White House. We had those with the video game lobby being invited to the White House. Ed [Schultz], it seems that there's all this finger pointing going the other way and there’s not a collective, okay, we accept responsibility in our part in this, what can we do to help you?
ED SCHULTZ: Well, this is all in the arena of the Second Amendment being one heavy political tool on all of these lawmakers. I'm tired of hearing lawmakers telling me what can pass and what won't pass. Let's listen to the American people for a moment and stop rendering judgment on what's going to have the votes and what's not going to have the votes. The fact is the American people are positioned. We're going to find out within the next few weeks whether Sandy Hook was the 9/11 of gun violence in this country. The fact is we have got lawmakers who are saying, hey, I own firearms, I hunt. Now that we've gotten everybody's resume off the table, let's look at some serious measures of what we can do and stop telling the American people what's going to pass. It's like they're covering themselves, protecting themselves in the next election cycle so they don't get attacked by the radicals that they are anti-gun and the second amendment is their best friend in their back pocket. Look, here's what we have to do. If we're going to do background checks, what kind of background checks? You cross the border from this country to Canada or you come back in, there's all kinds of level of background checks. How intense are they going to be? This is where you're going to have to coordinate the mental health aspect of this. How deep into somebody's background are you going to go. You’re going to have to close the gun show loophole and you’re going to have to also make sure that every sale in this country is accounted for. That would be a good step without even going down the road of assault weapons.