On Saturday's Smerconish show, CNN host Michael Smerconish responded to the Virginia Beach shootings by beginning his show with a commentary complaining about the absence of new gun control in the aftermath of other such shootings, and recalled dropping his NRA membership years ago.
Smerconish's liberal commentary even inspired agreement from DNC chair Evan Perez who appeared as a guest in the next segment.
After starting his commentary by regrettting that many have "become accustomed to" mass shootings and that they are unlikely to result in any new gun control, he continued:
I threw in the towel after Sandy Hook. If the murder of 20 children didn't change anything, then nothing will because, as we've shown time and again, we lack the collective will to fundamentally retrench from ingrained notions of gun ownership in American society. We have a disproportionate number of weapons in this country and, not surprisingly, an outsized amount of gun violence.
But right-leaning crime researcher John Lott has documented that the U.S. has disproportionately fewer mass shooting deaths in public places than other parts of the world.
The CNN host noted his negative view of the NRA as he added: "And, by the way, I offer these thoughts as a firearm owner, but someone who decades ago quit the NRA. And oh how pleased I'd be to have my pessimism proven wrong."
At 9:12 a.m. Eastern, as an interview began with Perez, the DNC chair praised Smerconish's advocacy of more gun control: "But I want to thank you for what you did in the first 10 minutes or so of this show." He then promised Democrats would push for more action.
Smerconish then brought up a question from a right-leaning viewer that he had read earlier and claimed that the U.S. has a "gun problem" unlike other countries in spite of evidence to the contrary:
SMERCONISH: I was kicking myself during the commercial break because we posted a comment where somebody said we have a "people problem." And all through the commercial break, I'm beating myself up saying what I should have said is, "We don't have a monopoly on bad people in this country. We don't have a monopoly on mental health issues in this country, We have a gun problem in this country." That's what I wanted to say to that guy.
Absolutely, we can do something about this problem if we muster the will to take on the NRA, and that's what we're going to do. It's not going to happen in the short run. That's why we have elections -- that's why I'm at the DNC, to build an America where we can be safe.