WHOA: NR’s Geraghty Owns Carol Costello, Bill Press on Far-Left, Anti-Gun Rhetoric

Just as his National Review colleague Rich Lowry did on Thursday night, senior political correspondent Jim Geraghty held his own on Tuesday against liberal HLN host Carol Costello and liberal talk radio host Bill Press in a heated debate about gun control and the left’s asinine rhetoric that gun rights supporters are “child killers.”

Now in Los Angeles for HLN after leaving CNN, Costello hasn’t lost a step in her liberal ways, starting the segment off by touting “[s]tudents who survived the shooting at Stoneman Douglas high school” as “going for the NRA’s juglar” because “politicians who take the NRA money have blood in their hands.”

 

 

After a clip from student Cameron Kasky calling the NRA a “terrorist organization” doling out “blood money,” Costello quipped that “the NRA is not pulling any punches as it goes into survival mode.”

Costello went to Geraghty first, who emphasized that there’s no doubt the Parkland students have “heartfelt” views, but using ugly language to attack your opponent accomplishes nothing:

I think I would ask the question, if you want someone to come around to your perspective, to say, hey, here are certain gun control proposals that we can get behind. I don't know if calling them a terrorist helps. I don’t know if there was another young man who said why are you taking the money of those who are child killers? If you do something like that, do you think it will make people come to you likely to your perspective? Or less likely? 

Geraghty continued, correctly surmising that “[m]y suspicion is you can’t attack” or “demonize” “someone into coming around to your point of view” and denounced Costello for her biased opening because “I don't know if this kind of language makes people more likely to come to a common agreement over this sort of things.”

Costello briefly entertained that notion seeing as how students will appear on networks like Comedy Central ahead of their March for Our Lives event. Meanwhile, Press sang the praises of the students for “making a difference” while Trump has a chance to make gun control “his Nixon in China moment.”

The HLN host tried to pin Geraghty down on calls for the NRA convention to be moved from Dallas, but Geraghty dismissed that before expanding on his first point that “we should always sit down and chat with everybody you want to chat with, but if it is just going to turn to a session of, you know, yelling at someone or further demonization, I could understand NRA representatives would be kinda reluctant to have that meeting.” 

“No one wants to be yelled at or being blamed for the action of, you know, crazed killers,” he added.

Press rebutted with a call for people on the no-fly list to be banned from owning guns, but Geraghty slammed this proposal:

GERAGHTY: Because Ted Kennedy was on the no-fly list. Because there’s a hundred thousand people on the no-fly list and —

PRESS: Look, no, no, no — 

GERAGHTY: — it’s an insane way to check. There is no appeals process to the no-flies list.

PRESS: — okay. Are you kidding me? No, are you kidding? There’s a — don’t tell me because — don’t — that is — no

GERAGHTY: You would not allow someone to take away your First Amendment right.

PRESS: That's crazy, that's an absolute insane idea because there might be no organization or no government is perfect. The fact that there may be one mistake on a list means you are going let every terrorist — 

GERAGHTY: Not one mistake. There are a hundred thousand people — Americans on this list. You think — [SIGH] [EYEROLL]

PRESS: — every terrorist on a no-fly list buy a gun. That’s just an excessive excuse for doing nothing.

Costello encouraged the two to put aside what the students have said about the NRA and come to an agreement, but Press responded by opining that the NRA should come out for an assault weapons ban. 

When Geraghty noted that this didn’t prevent the Columbine shooting, Press responded “so,” thus letting slip that such gun grabs won’t necessarily prevent mass shootings.

Geraghty’s schooling continued, so be sure to check out the transcript. To do so, click “expand.”

HLN’s Across America with Carol Costello
February 20, 2018
12:26 p.m. Eastern

CAROL COSTELLO: Students who survived the shooting at Stoneman Douglas high school are going for the NRA’s jugular. They say politicians who take the NRA money have blood in their hands. 

CAMERON KASKY: This is simply a matter of: Are you with us or against us? Are you for taking steps in with us or are you for taking NRA blood money. We are not the United States be run by that terrorist organization. [SCREEN WIPE] My friends and I and community and I have stared down the barrel of an AR-15 the way you have not. We have seen this weapon of war mow down people we know and love the way you have not. How dare you tell us we don't know what we are talking about. 

COSTELLO: But the NRA is not pulling any punches as it goes into survival mode. Trump supporter and former Georgia Congressman Jack Kingston offered this theory. 

JACK KINGSTON: Their sorrow can very easily hijacked by left-wing group who have an agenda. Well, let’s ask ourselves do we really think and I say this sincerely — do we really think 17 years old on their own are going to plan a nationwide rally. I — I would say to you very plainly that organized groups that are out there like George Soros are always ready to take the charge and it’s kind of like instant rally, instant protest. 

COSTELLO: Kingston backed this up with a tweet. He tweeted this: “O really? ‘Students’ are planning a nationwide rally? Not left wing  gun control activists using 17yr kids in the wake of a horrible tragedy?” So lets talk about this and more, Jim Gerghaty is a senior political correspondent with the National Review and Bill Press is host of the Bill Press Show. Welcome to both of you. Jim, I’ll start with you. DO you think that we’ll hear more of this narrative that Jack Kingston said this morning in the days to come?

JIM GERAGHTY: It’s possible. I am not sure if this is necessarily the most productive or useful line of criticism for those who support the Second Amendment. I think we should take these kids at their word. I have no doubt that what they’re saying is heartfelt and is fueled by their personal experience. I think I would ask the question, if you want someone to come around to your perspective, to say, hey, here are certain gun control proposals that we can get behind. I don't know if calling them a terrorist helps. I don’t know if there was another young man who said why are you taking the money of those who are child killers? If you do something like that, do you think it will make people come to you likely to your perspective? Or less likely? My suspicion is you can’t attack someone into coming around to your point of view. You can’t demonize. You can’t — you know — do something like that. Even in your introduction, you said they’re going for the juggler of the National Rifle Association. You know, look, I don't know if this kind of language makes people more likely to come to a common agreement over this sort of things. So, look, let the kids say what they want to say. It’s a free country, but I don’t know if it will be persuasive. And if you were to ask me why has this not been effective — why have we have not seen changes after past shootings, maybe it’s rhetoric like this. 

COSTELLO: Maybe so. I mean, maybe so. I — I’m opening to hearing everything. Here’s the other thing, Bill. So, George and Amal Clooney is going to donate $500,000 to the March for Our Lives, that’s the march the students are organizing. Some of the students going to appear on Comedy Central, right, on shows like that and on Dr. Phil. And I think that, as far as conservatives are concerned, that just adds to Jack Kingston's narrative that these kids are being hijacked by the liberal left and these kids are talking about the NRA in ways that are not helpful. 

BILL PRESS: Well, I think Jack Kingston and others and I don’t want to get into the heated rhetoric. I think what's happening here, we have never seen anything like this before and I think that the reason after some of these other shootings nothing has happened and I’ve been depressed as any other, by the way, supporters of the Second Amendment and supporter of sensible control law has been by nothing after Sandy Hook, nothing after the Pulse nightclub and nothing after Vegas. Here is why I think it is different. I think these kids are making a difference. They are determined and they are social media saavy. We have never seen them before. They'll be able to build a protest through social media. They’ve already done, I think, remarkable — had a remarkable difference of the last several days. So, I am hoping that this is going to be different, Carol, because of students, because of politicians. Three things, because of the politicians who are up for reelection in 2018 and before politicians might lose their seats because they were not for gun control. I think this time they might lose it because they are against sensible gun safety measures firmly. 

COSTELLO: Maybe. 

PRESS: Thirdly, I think the President has an opportunity here. I really do. We’ve been waiting for that moment when he's going to pivot. This is his Nixon in China moment. Donald Trump could really show leadership here and I hope he does. 

COSTELLO: Well, we'll have to see. I will say one more thing about the NRA. There are small signs, Jim, that some gun owners are turning against the NRA slightly. For example, the pro tempe Mayor in Dallas, Texas, he told the NRA he wants them to move their convention from their city. He owns five guns himself, but he doesn’t want the NRA meeting in Dallas unless they sit down and talk about gun law reform, whatever that might be, instead of just harping on this we need more good guys with guns. And maybe we do. I don’t want to dismiss that, but that’s not the only solution.

GERAGHTY: Yeah, the gun — the NRA convention is in may, it is a little late trying to reschedule or move it to another city. Look, you know, I think we should always sit down and chat with everybody you want to chat with, but if it is just going to turn to a session of, you know, yelling at someone or further demonization, I could understand NRA representatives would be kinda reluctant to have that meeting. No one wants to be yelled at or being blamed for the action of, you know, crazed killers. 

PRESS: Carol, I think the NRA has lost its credibility. That’s the problem. I mean, we have an organization that tries to appear as fair and objective and they even oppose taking people who are on the no-fly list and letting them oppose — refuse —

[CROSSTALK]

GERAGHTY: Because Ted Kennedy was on the no-fly list. Because there’s a hundred thousand people on the no-fly list and —

PRESS: Look, no, no, no — 

GERAGHTY: — it’s an insane way to check. There is no appeals process to the no-flies list.

PRESS: — okay. Are you kidding me? No, are you kidding? There’s a — don’t tell me because — don’t — that is — no

GERAGHTY: You would not allow someone to take away your First Amendment right.

[CROSSTALK ENDS]

PRESS: That's crazy, that's an absolute insane idea because there might be no organization or no government is perfect. The fact that there may be one mistake on a list means you are going let every terrorist — 

[CROSSTALK]

GERAGHTY: Not one mistake. There are a hundred thousand people — Americans on this list. You think — [SIGH] [EYEROLL]

PRESS: — every terrorist on a no-fly list buy a gun. That’s just an excessive excuse for doing nothing.

[CROSSTALK ENDS]

COSTELLO: See, every conversation that adults have about gun control or anything having to do with guns, I shouldn’t have to say gun control or anything having to do with guns turns into this and I think that — if we — if we — like — lets put aside of what the kids are saying about the NRA, right? 

PRESS: Yeah.

COSTELLO: They want us to talk. 

PRESS: Yeah, no, I —

COSTELLO: They want us to sit down and talk like reasonable human beings. 

PRESS: No, the point and the point I’m making is I think — 

COSTELLO:  Bill has a point, right?

PRESS: — the NRA should — I think the NRA should do that, Carol.

COSTELLO: Jim has a point.

PRESS: They should be open to things like the gun show closing the loophole. They should be open to tougher background checks. They should be open to no cop-killer bullets. They even oppose that. They should be open to a ban on assault weapons which we once had in this country for ten years and God bless America, we survived. 

COSTELLO: So, Jim, is that reasonable? 

GERAGHTY: Oh, the assault weapons ban was in effect during Columbine. 

PRESS: So?

COSTELLO: But is most of what Bill Press said? Is that at least something that we can all have a conversation about? 

GERAGHTY: I think I’d feel better if Bill understood that, to get on the no-fly list, there is no appeals process. There is no — this is not like bringing charges. You don’t get to face your accuser.

[CROSSTALK]

PRESS: I’m sorry, no.

GERAGHTY: The government just puts you on the list and there’s no way to get off it.

PRESS: No. I am not going to feel sorry for people on the no-fly list. 

GERAGHTY: There are a hundred thousand people on the no-fly list —

PRESS: Sorry.

GERAGHTY: — and you’re saying you want to limit the rights of people.

COSTELLO: I guess the answer is no.

GERAGHTY: No, I let you finish. Let me finish.

[CROSSTALK ENDS]

COSTELLO: No. I’ll end it there, but I do hope we can talk about all of these things. I really do. I talked to a gun shop owner. I had a great conversation with him. I don't agree with everything he said. I’m sure he does not agree with me but at least we talked about things and we didn’t yell at each other.

PRESS: Now is the time.

COSTELLO: right?

PRESS: Now is the time, Carol. Now is the time. 

GERAGHTY: I don't yell.

PRESS: Alright. 

COSTELLO: Jim Geraghty, we love you, though. We do. Bill Press, love you too. Got to go.

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