According to Good Morning America's Robin Roberts on Monday, the efforts of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence aren't "anti-gun." The morning show co-host interviewed Colin Goddard, the group's assistant director of legislative affairs, and promoted a new documentary on the "gun show loophole."
Colin Goddard survived the massacre at Virginia Tech and now works for the aggressively anti-Second Amendment organization. Yet, while talking to Goddard, she portrayed the group's work as just common sense. She exclaimed, "Because you're not anti-gun."
After playing a clip of the young man going undercover at a gun show, she mildly suggested, "And we were talking in the commercial break and saying there are groups on both sides. There are groups that say I have the right to bear arms, I don't need this. How do we coexist?"
[MP3 audio here. See video below.]
Again, she was speaking to the assistant director of legislative affairs for the Brady Campaign. This is a group that opposed the historic 2008 Supreme Court decision declaring the Second Amendment an individual right. To describe one of their representatives as "not anti-gun" strains credibility.
At no time in the segment did Roberts refer to Brady as liberal or anti-gun rights. Instead, Goddard lobbied for tougher restrictions on gun show sales, "And if you're a law-abiding citizen with no- any sort of record, you will pass that background check every time, and you will walk away with your gun."
Yet, the Brady organization's own website explains its philosophy this way:
We should make it harder for convicted felons, the dangerously mentally ill, and others like them to get guns in the first place. We can do this by passing laws such as requiring Brady criminal background checks on all gun sales; banning military-style assault weapons; and strengthening law enforcement's efforts to stop the illegal gun market, like limiting the number of guns that can be bought at one time.
We can also do this by exposing corrupt gun dealers who feed the illegal gun market. Our Brady Center legal staff works to hold those dealers accountable in court and to protect common sense gun laws when they are attacked in court. We work to strengthen law enforcement's efforts to stop the illegal gun market. We also educate the public about gun violence through grassroots mobilization and outreach to affected communities.
[Emphasis added.] As for the undercover section of the documentary that GMA promoted, ABC is not always so supportive of this type of journalism. Where are the exposes of Planned Parenthood? Would Roberts hail that as "important" work?
A transcript of the December 27 segment can be found below:
ROBIN ROBERTS, AT 8:30 A.M.: And you’re going to meet the extraordinary young man who survived one of the deadliest school shootings in history. Now he’s waging a courageous fight to help keep such violence from ever happening again. You’re going to want to meet this young man.
CHRIS CUOMO: Good man, good man, indeed.
CUOMO, BEFORE COMMERCIAL BREAK AT 8:38 A.M.: When we come back, a young man you must meet, a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting. He is on a mission to make it harder to buy guns, very impressive, when we come back.
ROBERTS: April 16, 2007, Colin Goddard survived one of the deadliest shootings, school shootings in history at Virginia Tech. The gunman, who suffered from mental illness, killed 32 students and teachers, severely injured 17 more in just 11 minutes. The guns he used were purchased legally online, and, in a brilliant new documentary, Living for 32, profiles Colin's efforts to change the laws on buying guns. And Colin, now assistant director of legislative affairs at the Brady Campaign, is with us. It is a delight, a real delight, to spend some time with you, Colin.
[ROBIN ROBERTS GETS COLIN GODDARD TO HIS EXPERIENCE AT VIRGINIA TECH]
ROBERTS: I know what this, I’m just, I'm sorry, I mean, that you had to go through this, that anybody had to experience something like this, and you said it wasn't just that, it was other things that you saw after that led you to where you are right now.
COLIN GODDARD: Right, I mean, it took me a while to get here, as it takes a lot of people different amounts of time to get over and move on with their lives when something crazy that happens like, so, it was watching another shooting unfold on the news that really struck me and motivated me to get involved. I couldn't sit on the sides anymore. I had to do something about this. I couldn't let this just happen to another family and go through the same thing I went through. I had to do something.
ROBERTS: And tell us what you're doing.
GODDARD: So, now, I'm in effort to try to enforce some of the laws that are already on the books, the laws that say those who have felony records, those who are dangerously mentally ill and a few other prohibitive factors shouldn't be allowed to buy guns. And when I learned that Cho bought the guns the way he did legally through the fact that something simple as his court file was never given to the background check system, you know. If that record was there, he would have been denied from the guns that he bought. And I was struck that something simple as that, you know, hadn’t been done, so, you know, we try to improve the number of records in the system, but we also try to improve how broadly applied that background check system is. Right now, in America, if you're a dealer, you have to run a background check on anyone who buys from you, but if you are a private seller selling from your personal collection, you are not required to run a background check. So you can literally go into these places where private sellers congregate, which is quite often gun shows on weekends, and walk up to these guys, pay them cash money, get your gun and walk out, with no questions asked, no ID shown, no paperwork filled out, and, more importantly, no background check run.
ROBERTS: And I know that you went undercover-
ROBERTS: -to expose this, and you're part of the profile in this new documentary, so I want to play a clip now.
GODDARD: All right.
[PLAYS CLIP OF GODDARD PURCHASING GUNS FROM PRIVATE SELLERS WITHOUT BACKGROUND CHECKS]
ROBERTS: Oh, boy, to see it so easily done like that. And we were talking in the commercial break and saying there are groups on both sides. There are groups that say I have the right to bear arms, I don't need this. How do we coexist? Because you're not anti-gun.
GODDARD: No, no, I’ve shot guns many times before. I've been hunting, been to the range. You know, we're simply trying to hold everyone to the same standard. The dealers have to run these checks, the private sellers don't. They're selling the same guns in the same place to the same people, they should have the same requirements. And if you're a law-abiding citizen with no any sort of record, you will pass that background check every time, and you will walk away with your gun.
ROBERTS: Well put. I'm so glad that you're doing well and you’re doing the work-
GODDARD: Thank you.
ROBERTS: -that you are doing, Colin.
GODDARD: Thank you.
ROBERTS: Thank you so very, very much. So important. And you can learn more about Colin's efforts and get details on the screenings of the documentary. It's called Living for 32. Go to ABCNews.com/GMA and find out more about that.
— Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.