MSNBC's Cavanaugh: Congress Is 'Wholly-Owned Subsidiary of the Gun Lobby'

Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's MSNBC Live, MSNBC law enforcement analyst Jim Cavanaugh derided Congress as a "wholly-owned subsidiary of the gun lobby" as he complained about the difficulty of getting new gun laws passed.

Calling himself a supporter of the Second Amendment, he went on to declare that it should not be a "suicide pact that takes away our life and liberty."

 

 

Cavanaugh's comments came as co-host Ali Velshi brought up the issue of bump stocks that can be used to make semi-automatic firearms behave similarly to fully automatic. Velshi wondered: "What's the legal position on this? Why have we created a system in which you can create basically a fully automatic gun that emulates a machine gun?"

Cavanaugh immediately went after opponents of gun control as he began:

Well, basically because Congress won't act. In large part, it's a wholly-owned subsidiary of the gun lobby. It won't enforce any law or pass any law that would make us safer. And it goes with the false narrative that if you go for reasonable gun law, you're against the Second Amendment.

He added:

Look, I'm a champion of the Second Amendment -- I believe in it -- I enforce the laws all my life -- I love it -- I love the Constitution as a whole -- but I don't want the Second Amendment to be a suicide pact that, you know, takes away our life and liberty.

So it's a false narrative that, if you're for the Second Amendment, you're against reasonable gun law. Congress could change the law on bump stocks -- they could change the law on conversion kits if they wanted to.

Not mentioned was a point made by CNN law enforcement analyst Harry Houck -- appearing on the same day's Across America with Carol Costello on HLN -- that the necessary tools could still be bought from other countries and shipped to the U.S. even if it were illegal to sell them from the U.S.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, October 3, MSNBC Live:

9:37 a.m. ET

ALI VELSHI: There have been laws implemented -- notwithstanding the Second Amendment -- that have said that civilians -- that are designed for civilians not to have things that are like machine guns -- fully automatic guns where you depress the trigger once and it shoots many times. And yet -- as Ken and others have been reporting -- there are modifications that can be made to certain guns -- particularly those made before 1986 -- there are modifications that can can be made to newer guns, and there are things like these bump stocks that can be completely legally bought. What's the legal position on this? Why have we created a system in which you can create basically a fully automatic gun that emulates a machine gun?

JIM CAVANAUGH: Well, basically because Congress won't act. In large part, it's a wholly-owned subsidiary of the gun lobby. It won't enforce any law or pass any law that would make us safer. And it goes with the false narrative that if you go for reasonable gun law, you're against the Second Amendment.

Look, I'm a champion of the Second Amendment -- I believe in it -- I enforce the laws all my life -- I love it -- I love the Constitution as a whole -- but I don't want the Second Amendment to be a suicide pact that, you know, takes away our life and liberty. So it's a false narrative that, if you're for the Second Amendment, you're against reasonable gun law. Congress could change the law on bump stocks -- they could change the law on conversion kits if they wanted to.

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