2020 Democrat Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) probably didn’t expect to actually have to defend his own policies when he appeared on liberal CNN this weekend, but that’s exactly what happened. CNN’s Jake Tapper had Booker on his show, State of the Union early Sunday, where he immediately pressed the Democrat to explain how his gun control plan would have prevented the recent shooting massacre in Virginia Beach.
Tapper began by summarizing the tragic shooting last Friday, where a disgruntled city government employee went on a shooting rampage killing twelve of his co-workers. The CNN host explained that the shooter used handguns purchased legally, before bringing on Booker to answer questions about his radical gun control plan he announced in early May, which included a federal licensing database. Straight away, Tapper challenged how Booker’s plan would’ve stopped the VA beach shooting:
You said yesterday mass shootings in America, quote, can't just go on in our country. You’ve unveiled a comprehensive gun reform plan. Now ATF says the two weapons used in the attack were handguns, not semi-automatic assault rifles and they say they were purchased legally. How would your plan have stopped this tragedy if at all?
As Booker rambled generally about the problem of gun violence, Tapper pressed him to answer the question, again:
Booker avoided answering the question again. Instead, he argued his plan would lower gun violence “overall.” Finally Tapper gave up in trying to get a straight answer.
I'm sorry to interrupt. You keep saying we're not helpless, so I’m saying, what would have prevented this tragedy? I think that's one of the issues that people wonder about when there are these horrible tragedies. What steps specifically would have stopped the massacre in Virginia Beach?
“So I hear you not talking about this specific massacre, but talking about gun violence in general. So let's talk about your proposals in general,” he said, before explaining how even fellow Democrat candidate Joe Biden thought Booker’s plan was ineffective and unConstitutional:
“You've called for federal gun licenses that would require fingerprints, an interview, a gun safety course. I want you to listen to former Vice President Joe Biden who seemed skeptical about your proposal when he was asked about it in New Hampshire,” he said before playing the clip of Biden denouncing Booker’s plan.
“Is Vice President Biden correct, that gun licenses ultimately is not what's going to help here?” Tapper pressed finally, later adding skepticism that aggressive gun control policies like Booker’s could get passed in Congress anyhow.