‘What About Guns Right Now?’ CNN's Blitzer Pushes Gun Control After CA Bar Shooting

Showing that he’s anything but a fair news anchor, CNN’s The Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer was yet another journalist who tried to make the Thousand Oaks, California bar shooting about gun control despite the state having perhaps the country’s strictest gun laws and state mental health experts had cleared the disturbed individual (thus still allowing him to purchase firearms).

Blitzer led into gun control by asking Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA) about “what else could police” have done if they had visited him previously and “they had some professionals check him out and they concluded he was no threat to himself or to anyone else.”

 

 

It was following this question that Blitzer burst out like he had been given marching orders by the Brady Campaign or Everytown, blurting out his personal frustration and pleading with Speier: 

What about guns right now? Do Democrats — you’re a Democrat. You’re going to have a majority in the House of Representatives. Do you guys, the Democrats, not just you but your colleagues, have the stomach right now to take up the whole issue of guns, given not just what's happened not just in the last few weeks but over the years?

Speier cited the successful efforts to strengthen laws in Florida following the Parkland shooting and then went to vague generalities that Congress must “clos[e] loopholes that we must do in terms of background checks” and consider ways to restrict those with a mental health history from owning guns.

Again showing why Democrats could simply roll out of bed without any preparation for a CNN interview while Republicans are burned at the stake, Blitzer endorsed the notion of “common sense gun control”:

Because after the shooting in Parkland, Florida, 17 people were killed, a lot of kids. The President at that point in the immediate aftermath, as you remember, he expressed an openness to some gun control measures, but that didn't go anywhere. He quickly moved into other directions. But do you think he might cross the aisle and work together with you now to deal with what is widely called common sense gun control? 

Speier agreed and called out the NRA, citing a bogus statistic about mass shootings this year. She concluded the discussion on guns by calling for things to be banned that are already banned in California and either weren’t used by the gunman or used illegally:

[T]here has to be a way we can start to reduce the absolute carnage that took place. High capacity magazines, which evidently were used in this case, another example. Bump stocks, assault weapons, they're not needed to go out and go hunting.

After the Parkland shooting, Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott was gracious enough to appear on The Situation Room, but all he received was a verbal lashing from Blitzer.

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer on November 8, click “expand.”

CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer
November 8, 2018
6:12 p.m. Eastern

WOLF BLITZER: Yeah, I asked one of the police deputies earlier in the day if they'd missed some red flags. They did go there in April, went to the home and they had some professionals check him out and they concluded he was no threat to himself or to anyone else. Clearly it emerged he was a threat to a lot of other people as well, and that's a whole area that I'm sure the military and others are looking into right now. But if they determine he wasn't a threat to himself or anyone else, what else could police do? 

DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSWOMAN JACKIE SPEIER (CA): Well, of course, you knwo, that's the $50,000. Meanwhile we have 12 people who are dead now, and I'm sure their families are asking the question, were there any signs? And we really need to dig into this to determine whether there were. 

BLITZER: What about guns right now? Do Democrats — you’re a Democrat. You’re going to have a majority in the House of Representatives. Do you guys, the Democrats, not just you but your colleagues, have the stomach right now to take up the whole issue of guns, given not just what's happened not just in the last few weeks but over the years?

SPEIER: So the Parkland students had the guts to go to Tallahassee and demand that there be action taken, and in three weeks, a state that rarely does anything around gun violence prevention passed legislation to ban guns being sold to kids under the age of 21, ban bump stocks and require a three-day cooling-off period. There’s many things we're trying to do that really are just closing loopholes that we must do in terms of background checks, but we also have to look at this whole issue of when people are in a mental incapacity, being determined to be mentally deficient is a very high standard to reach and if someone is mentally incapacitated at a time, do you take their gun away for a period of time, have them have the counseling and then give their gun back to them? I think we’ve got to start looking at things like that. 

BLITZER: Because after the shooting in Parkland, Florida, 17 people were killed, a lot of kids. The President at that point in the immediate aftermath, as you remember, he expressed an openness to some gun control measures, but that didn't go anywhere. He quickly moved into other directions. But do you think he might cross the aisle and work together with you now to deal with what is widely called common sense gun control? 

SPEIER: I certainly hope so. The NRA has got to recognize there are things we can and must do to make Americans feel safer about having guns in our community. We have more guns in our communities now than we have people. We’ve had over 300 mass shootings in the United States this year. 12,000 people are dead because they have been — they have come into gun violence situations and there has to be a way we can start to reduce the absolute carnage that took place. High capacity magazines, which evidently were used in this case, another example. Bump stocks, assault weapons, they're not needed to go out and go hunting.


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