Appearing as a guest on Friday's CNN Tonight, disgraced former CBS News anchor Dan Rather complained about the failure of Congress to adopt gun control in the aftermath of mass shootings as he asserted that politicians are "bought and paid for by the gun lobby."
He also claimed that such reforms have not been enacted because of an absence of "honor and patriotism," and advised that voters demand political candidates divulge how much money they receive from pro-gun groups.
At 10:42 p.m, Eastern, when asked by host Don Lemon to respond to the Virginia Beach shootings from earlier in the day, Rather lamented:
DAN RATHER: This story is not new. This story happens all too often, and the fact that we haven't done anything really to come to grips with it is -- despicable is the only word that comes to mind. And it speaks to our lack of honor and patriotism in this sense. This is a national health epidemic. And can you imagine, Don, what it would be, instead of guns, we had an outbreak of an Ebola epidemic? We the public, we the people, and our political representatives would be behaving in a completely different manner.
Lemon buttered up Rather about his "long and storied career," and followed up: "So the gun lobby is so strong, right? What keeps them in power? Why are they so successful?" Rather responded:
RATHER: Money. They've had money. They put their money into political campaigns, and on the issue of gun violence, I'm sorry to say this, and it sort of catches in my throat to say it because I detest it so, is because many of our political leaders are bought and paid for by the gun lobby which is, in turn, financed by the manufacturers of guns and ammunition. It's down to money.
It was overlooked that the opposition to gun control within the conservative movement is so deep that House Minority Whip Steve Scalise still opposes gun control after being nearly killed in a gun attack while several of his pro-gun Republican colleagues were also attacked but did not change their views.
After Lemon brought up the issue of what role guns might play in the presidential race, Rather added: "But the question to every political candidate, in my mind, now, if you care about this issue, is to say, 'Show me how much you got from the gun lobby in general, and I'm not going to talk to you until you reveal that to me.'"