For much of Thursday, a number of CNN and MSNBC hosts predictably reacted to the quick enaction of new gun restrictions in New Zealand by lamenting the fact that U.S. political leaders are not so willing to restrict the rights of its citizens to own guns, and mostly had guests who bolstered their left-leaning views.
On CNN's Early Start, co-host Christine Romans declared that the "swift action puts it in contrast with the United States and how many terrible mass shootings we have had been this country, and there has been little action," before reading from a Washington Post editorial complaining that "the U.S. political system looks feckless compared to other democracies."
The Atlantic's Elaina Plott commented that the contrast was "insane" as she responded.
CNN's New Day show led with the "breaking news" of New Zealand's new gun control that goes into effect immediately, prompting co-host John Berman to repeatedly comment on the contrast with the U.S. reaction to mass shootings. As he made only a half-hearted attempt to seeming not to take sides, fill-in co-host Erica Hill at one point suggested that the gun control measures that have been proposed in the U.S. are "common sense," prompting right-leaning CNN contributor Scott Jennings to admonish her for her word choice.
Gun control activist terminology of calling semi-automatic rifles "assault weapons" was used without anyone pushing back on the characterization, and liberal contributor Symone Sanders even called the rifles "weapons of war."
It was also not raised by anyone that the fixation on banning alleged "assault weapons" ignores the fact that some hunting rifles are very similar, plus some handguns can be just as effective at killing victims by a mass shooter as an AR-15 as demonstrated by shootings like the one at Virginia Tech in 2007.
CNN hosts Brianna Keiler and Brooke Baldwin both fretted that New Zealand's actions are "in stark contrast" to the U.S., and showed on screen a list of mass shootings from recent years.
Over on MSNBC, the network's early morning First Look show featured co-host Yasmin Vossoughian recalling her views expressed after each shooting that new laws need to be enacted in the U.S., and lamented that it has taken so long for the families of school shooting victims to be allowed to sue gun makers.
At 11:18 a.m. Eastern, MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin read a tweet from far-left New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes calling for more gun control. Melvin: "New Zealand's quick action in the wake of that tragedy is raisnig questions in this country about how difficult it is to move any new gun regulatons forward at the natonal level."
He then quoted Ocasio-Cortes: "Sandy Hook happened six years ago, and we can't even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks. Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market."
As Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank was allowed to respond, he agreed with Ocasio-Cortes and then complained that "it is outrageous that all we hear -- it has become this cliche -- 'thoughts and prayers,' but it's not enough because it's not doing anything to stop this from happening."
A bit later, the Velshi and Ruhle show had gun control activist Robyn Thomas of the Giffords Law Center as a guest who bolstered their views favoring more gun laws, as she complained that in the U.S. "you get thoughts and prayers and empty promises."