Flashing his inner Jim Acosta (again), CNN’s The Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer harassed and lobbied Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott for gun control restrictions in light of the Parkland shooting to stick it to the National Rifle Association (NRA) and “prevent this from happening again” without any policy prescription besides a gun ban.
Scott opened by stating that “I’m furious” because “[t]his has got to stop.” He promised “to have meetings with state leaders in Tallahassee to figure out how to deal with school safety and get guns away from people with mental illness.”
It was the first of many points in which Blitzer acted like Scott had just run over his pet or insulted his family instead of committing to stop future tragedies.
Blitzer first chided Scott by telling him that it’s “really hard for a lot of us to believe” that “[t]his shooter, he wasn't old enough to buy a handgun...but he could buy at the age of 18 — a year or so ago — an AR-15 style assault weapon in Florida.”
Scott emphatically that “we are going to look at all these things” to “make sure these kids are safe and also make sure that people that are struggling with mental illness do not have a gun.”
Blitzer responded with a non-sequitar question, complaining that the alleged gunman “wasn't old enough to buy a beer legally” due to the drinking age (21), but he “could buy an assault weapon” at 18. That says more about the drinking age, but that’s just me.
Next, Blitzer argued that people still would have died, but far less if Nick Cruz’s weapon wasn’t available.
“So I just want you to tell our viewers you're going to take action as the Governor of Florida to change this to prevent this from happening again for someone only 18, clearly with a history, this individual, just going into a store and buying an assault weapon,” he pleaded.
The Republican Governor responded that “we have to” and “we’re going to figure out how...this never happens again,” but Blitzer continued his petulant talk:
So — because this isn't the first mass shooting in Florida....We keep hearing this, Governor, and I know you love the young kids, you want to prevent this from happening again. So do you have an answer that you can give these grieving parents right now, specifically what you're going to do in terms of new laws to prevent — to prevent the purchase of these kinds of assault weapons by these kinds of individuals?
Scott revealed that he’s contacted the leaders of the Florida House and Senate and they’ve already decided that it’s imperative “to get something done,” but Blitzer scolded Scott because “it’s not that complicated....to make it more difficult for 18-year-olds to buy assault weapons.”
Blitzer teed up a well-publicized CNN clip from a mother who lost a daughter in the shooting by lecturing Scott:
Because Florida is such an important state right now, and the laws need to be tightened. You have so many tourists that come there. They want to feel safe when they come to Florida and I go there, as you know, all the time. But I want you to listen, governor, to this mother of one of the victims, because she is so, so strong. Listen to this.
Responding to Lori Alhadeff’s loud pleas to “do something,” Scott replied that “we got to do everything we can to make sure this doesn't happen.”
Again, Blitzer slammed Scott (click “expand”):
BLITZER: I just want to pin you down on this, Governor, because I've known you for a long time. The President of the United States today — he spoke for about seven minutes. He didn't mention the word “gun” even once. Are you ready to commit your political team to work to tighten gun control, gun restrictions, in the state of Florida?
SCOTT: I'll be stronger than that, Wolf. Everything's on the table, alright? I'm going to look at every way that we can make sure our kids are safe.
BLITZER: Even if the National Rifle Association goes after you?
SCOTT: Wolf, I'm going to do — I — look, I love my kids, my grandkids. I know every family in the state is in the same position. We love our children. I'm going to do whatever I can do to keep these kids safe. I'm going to talk about every issue to keep these kids safe.
BLITZER: Including gun control?
SCOTT: I’m — I’m — Wolf, I'm going to do — it's a lot of things. It's looking at, you know, who should have guns. Should individuals with mental illness have guns? Should — what can we do to create more safety in our schools? What can we do to make it easier for our children and make them feel comfortable to report things? It's not one thing. It's all these things put together.
Bidding Scott a not-so-fine farewell, Blitzer concluded as if he worked for Shannon Watts that “[t]here’s a lot that needs to be done right now” and claimed that viewers all want legislators to “come to some conclusions right now, learn some critically important lessons, and make sure it doesn't happen again.”