MSNBC's Ruhle Laments New Gun Control Unlikely to Pass

February 27th, 2019 7:35 AM

On Tuesday's MSNBC Live, host Stephanie Ruhle griped about the difficulty of passing new gun laws as she and Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack pined for more gun control. Ironically, on the same day's New Day show, CNN's John Avlon admitted that there are problems with the gun laws that already exist being properly enforced.

At 9:44 a.m. Eastern, Ruhle began the segment by informing viewers that House Democrats are "finally" planning to take up what she called a "crackdown" on "gun violence" that has been "long-awaited" even though the "crackdown" would seem to be more on gun buyers and sellers than on those who actually commit violence and other crimes.

STEPHANIE RUHLE: This week, House Democrats are expected to finally act on a long-awaited crackdown on gun violence with two key votes expected starting tomorrow. The first one, a bipartisan measure to require federal background checks on all gun sales and another to extend the deadline for those federal background checks to as many as 20 business days from the current three days that are required.

She then fretted: "Here's the problem. These bills, they're not likely to go anywhere in the Senate, and that's a bit of a bummer."

Ruhle then brought aboard Stack and praised him for choosing to put restrictions on what guns Dick's would sell and to whom in the aftermath of the Parkland school shootings, and gave him a forum to complain that it has been so difficult for Congress to pass "universal background checks." 

She began by posing:

Ed, thank you for everything you've done, I know you signed a letter along with other CEOs supporting this, but the truth is, it's not going to go anywhere in the government. Does it frustrate you that business leaders like yourself are doing more than government?

At no point in the segment was it clarified that most gun sales already require background checks, and that "universal background checks" would mean requiring a background check for private transfers.

A couple of hours earlier on CNN, during the show's regular "Reality Check" segment, Avlon informed viewers of several layers of law that were not enforced that allowed Illinois gunman Gary Martin to acquire and keep a gun he was supposed to have been legally barred from obtaining.

Avlon even hinted that polls showing 97 percent support for "universal background checks" are also questionable, although he didn't tell the half of it. As previously documented by NewsBusters, the only three states -- all Democratic-leaning -- that have held ballot initiative votes on "universal background checks" failed to come close to 90 percent of the vote.

Additionally, other polling which informs respondents about the laws that aLready exist, register substantially less support for expanding background check requirements to private sales.

The CNN analyst also misleadingly suggested that gun shows are exempt from background checks even though licensed gun dealers do, in fact, perform background checks when they take part in gun shows.