On Tuesday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, Mitchell hosted two liberal guests in a discussion about President Obama’s national service program and the prospects for more gun control laws being passed by Congress in the near future. Speaking to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mitchell repeated a grossly inaccurate statistic that 90 percent of guns used by Mexican drug cartels are manufactured in the U.S. Mitchell: "Mr. Mayor, first to you, why not go after the assault weapon ban, as President Calderone in Mexico is calling for? Ninety percent of the weapons used in the drug cartel crimes south of the border are said to have originated in the United States."
But, as previously documented by Mike Sargent, FNC's William LaJeunesse reported on April 2 that 83 percent of guns recovered from Mexican drug cartels are not from the United States. Most of these weapons are never submitted to the U.S. for tracing because they are clearly not American in origin.
After Bloomberg advocated passage of an assault weapon ban, but later indicated that almost all those killed using guns each day are killed using "illegal handguns," Mitchell did not take the opportunity to challenge the Mayor on just how much impact an assault weapon ban could have if such guns are are so rarely the weapon of choice by criminals. She then moved on to set up New York’s Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy to promote the passage of more gun laws. Mitchell: "And, Mr. Mayor, you mentioned Virginia Tech, Columbine anniversary was yesterday. Only weeks ago, we had the killings of police officers in Pittsburgh and in Oakland. Congresswoman McCarthy, is there any chance that something will be done in Congress? And also the gun show loophole which is sitting out there?"
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Tuesday, April 21, Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC:
ANDREA MITCHELL: Now, the two of you have also teamed up on an issue of great passion, great emotion, which is gun control. Congresswoman McCarthy, when we first met, when you were mourning the terrible loss in your family after the gunman on the train shot your husband and son, and you became an advocate. You were elected to Congress on this issue. Yet, right now, Barack Obama says it’s not the right time politically to try to reinstitute the assault weapon ban. Mr. Mayor, first to you, why not go after the assault weapon ban, as President Calderone in Mexico is calling for? Ninety percent of the weapons used in the drug cartel crimes south of the border are said to have originated in the United States.
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I-New York City): Andrea, I see no reason not to go after it. And if you do polling, you find that 82 percent of NRA members, 82 percent of gun owners think that assault weapons don’t, aren’t needed for hunting and should be banned. We have a crazy law in America where you have to have a background check if you buy guns from a dealer but not if you go to a gun show. If we take away a gun dealer’s license, the gun dealer can then sell his or her inventory on the streets, no question asked, to criminals and to children. You know, we have federal laws that prohibit the sale of guns to those that have criminal records and to kids. And yet, we don’t do anything to, or enough to enforce those laws. And instead of 32 people getting killed one time at Virginia Tech – I think the anniversary was just the other day – but today, about 34 people get killed across this country every single day, almost all with illegal handguns, and we don’t seem to do anything about it. And I think it’s a perfect issue for the President to get behind and to be a real leader here.
MITCHELL: And, Mr. Mayor, you mentioned Virginia Tech, Columbine anniversary was yesterday. Only weeks ago, we had the killings of police officers in Pittsburgh and in Oakland. Congresswoman McCarthy, is there any chance that something will be done in Congress? And also the gun show loophole which is sitting out there?
REP. CAROLYN MCCARTHY (D-NY): Well, I happen to believe very strongly that we have to keep trying. When you talk about unfortunately the shootings and the anniversary at Virginia Tech, I was able to get a bill passed, you know, the NICS, the national instant background check system, improved, so that was a small step. This week, we’re going to be introducing the gun show loophole bill, and, as the Mayor had said, there is no reason in the world why anyone that’s buying a gun at a gun show shouldn’t go through a background check. New York state did it. It’s still working fine. We still have the gun shows, but everyone goes through a background check. The assault weapons, I still believe that that’s a bill that should be put forward so that we are seeing today our cops out being gunned again. If anybody cares to remember, that’s why we had the bill originally with assault weapons, because our police officers were being outgunned. When you see the amount of guns now – assault weapons and other ammunition – going to Mexico, obviously, it’s very easy trade. We need to do something, and I’m hoping that President Obama will use the power of his office to push this forward.