CNN Pushes Obama to 'Lead' on Gun Control, Not Just 'Mourner in Chief'

On Thursday's The Situation Room, after live coverage of President Barack Obama's speech on the day's shootings at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, CNN was true to form in promoting more gun control as CNN Law Enforcement Analyst Tom Fuentes urged President Obama to "lead" in proposing gun legislation and not just be the "mourner-in-chief."

Notably, moments earlier, when Fuentes described the students sitting in their class rooms as "sitting ducks" for the gunman to attack, anchor Wolf Blitzer noted that "there's no guns supposedly allowed on this campus," but this relevant observation did not develop into anyone suggesting that gun laws in the state be relaxed so professors and students could have a chance of defending themselves.

At about 6:47 p.m., Fuentes compared the shooting spree to the Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook massacres and theorized:

If he had an assault rifle, this could be similar to Sandy Hook Elementary with a semi-automatic assault rifle, 30-round magazines. It can fire at the rate of 700 rounds per minute, just depending on reloading time. So this is really a prolific amount of firepower for people who are literally sitting ducks in those chairs.

Blitzer added:

Literally. There's no guns supposedly allowed on this campus.

Instead of expanding on this point, the CNN host turned to guest and former ATF executive Matt Horace and brought up the gunman's social media activity. Moments later, Blitzer returned to Fuentes and brought up President Obama's speech and the possibility of more gun laws being pushed. Blitzer:

You saw, Tom Fuentes, a clearly angry and enraged President of the United States go out and make that 10 or 12-minute speech that he just made addressing the American people. This is the fifteenth time, by our count, that he's gone out and made a statement on television following a mass shooting like this. He says, "Something needs to be done, common sense gun legislation." What do you think?

Fuentes began:

Well, I'd say the next step is: What? What, Mr. President? Put out a plan. Put out a program: This is what we're going to do. This is how we're going to address firearms -- who can have them under what conditions. This is what we're going to do about the mental health problems in this country that go completely unaddressed in some cases. Lay out a plan. Get the people behind it. Lead us.

The CNN law enforcement analyst then added:

Don't, you know, it's great on his part to come out and be so sympathetic and be the, you know, the mourner-in-chief, as he is after these events. But then, when that settles, lead. Tell us what you want. Tell us where we should go. Tell us what the American people think will be a reasonable plan to address this kind of violence.

Blitzer turned back to Horace and brought up Obama's pro-gun control talking points as he posed:

Because, Matthew, you spent your career at the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency, which is supposed to be in charge of guns. And the President repeatedly says, "Why is it that the United States alone among industrialized countries, advanced countries has these kinds of mass killings that come up every few weeks or months?" How do you stop this?

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Thursday, October 1, The Situation Room on CNN:

TOM FUENTES: This is similar to the Virginia Tech shooting where that shooter did the same thing. He went right down the rows in the classroom shooting everybody, then on to the next one. By the time he was done, more than 32 people were killed, including himself.

So we've had that kind of multiple shooting, and it does matter in this case. If he had an assault rifle, this could be similar to Sandy Hook Elementary with a semi-automatic assault rifle, 30-round magazines. It can fire at the rate of 700 rounds per minute, just depending on reloading time. So this is really a prolific amount of firepower for people who are literally sitting ducks in those chairs.

WOLF BLITZER: Literally. There's no guns supposedly allowed on this campus. Matthew, authorities, they're looking at the gunman's social media activities, especially the night before this attack, and some are suggesting he was actually alerting people he was onto something, he was going to do something like this. And some of the people he was communicating with were actually egging him on. Are you surprised about this?

(MATT HORACE, FORMER ATF EXECUTIVE)

(...)

BLITZER: You saw, Tom Fuentes, a clearly angry and enraged President of the United States go out and make that 10 or 12-minute speech that he just made addressing the American people. This is the fifteenth time, by our count, that he's gone out and made a statement on television following a mass shooting like this. He says, "Something needs to be done, common sense gun legislation." What do you think?

FUENTES: Well, I'd say the next step is: What? What, Mr. President? Put out a plan. Put out a program: This is what we're going to do. This is how we're going to address firearms -- who can have them under what conditions. This is what we're going to do about the mental health problems in this country that go completely unaddressed in some cases. Lay out a plan. Get the people behind it. Lead us.

Don't, you know, it's great on his part to come out and be so sympathetic and be the, you know, the mourner-in-chief, as he is after these events. But then, when that settles, lead. Tell us what you want. Tell us where we should go. Tell us what the American people think will be a reasonable plan to address this kind of violence.

BLITZER: Because, Matthew, you spent your career at the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency, which is supposed to be in charge of guns. And the President repeatedly says, "Why is it that the United States alone among industrialized countries, advanced countries has these kinds of mass killings that come up every few weeks or months?" How do you stop this?

Crime Guns CNN The Situation Room Oregon Tom Fuentes Wolf Blitzer Barack Obama


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