CNN’s Cuomo Admits Texas Shooting ‘Doesn’t Set Up Great for the Gun Debate’

On Monday, even liberal CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, an ardent gun control advocate, acknowledged that Friday’s school shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas didn’t fit the media’s usual anti-gun narrative. “This case in Santa Fe doesn’t set up great for the gun debate, by the way,” the New Day host fretted.  

Cuomo’s admission in the morning show’s 6:00 a.m. ET hour was preceded by a live report from correspondent Nick Valencia in Texas, who lamented: “...there were calls for students here to pick up the gun control movement that we saw sparked in Parkland. But there is no indication, from what our crew is seeing, that that movement is taking hold here.”

 

 

Following the story, Cuomo recounted his visit to Sante Fe over the weekend: “I was surprised, when I got down there....there is fatigue. This was another one.” Fill-in co-host Poppy Harlow worried that students were not pushing for gun control: “But after Parkland, after all that you saw, all the action that [singer] Kelly Clarkson’s calling for [at the Billboard Music Awards], after Parkland, that was what, two months ago?”

Cuomo wrung his hands: “Yeah, and you know, look, I could see it. I could see it in social media....I could see it when the shooting was happening that people weren’t, you know, weren’t reacting to it the way they wanted.” He went on to urge politicians to “do something” and that “Lawmakers should feel a degree of shame as they come back now into session in D.C.”

However, in a moment of candor, Cuomo observed: “This case in Santa Fe doesn’t set up great for the gun debate, by the way.”

During a panel discussion minutes later, he reiterated: “The Santa Fe shooting...doesn’t set up well as being a law away or one vetting step away from this not having happened.” Though political analyst David Gregory insisted that “the gun debate still lines up in a kind of similar place. Which is we have huge divides about how to restrict gun rights and whether to restrict gun rights.”

“And we still have voters for whom this is single issue that they’ll vote on and others who are mobilizing around it but don’t necessarily vote on it. That’s going to have to change if there’s going to be a change in political behavior,” he pleaded.  

Gregory also took time to slam the National Rifle Association and its new president:

And let me just say quickly, I mean, Oliver North is the head of the NRA. This is not – they’re not a constructive group here. They’re just trying to protect the Second Amendment and use the gun issue as a proxy for government encroaching on individual rights. That’s not where were gonna have real meaningful change.

Later, in the 8:00 a.m. ET hour, during an interview with Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo about his call for gun control, Cuomo repeated: “This case doesn’t really set up that well in terms of we were one law away, one gun control law away from stopping this shooting.”

When even someone like Cuomo can admit that the facts of the Texas shooting run counter to liberal talking points on guns, perhaps his press colleagues should engage in similar reflection.

Here are excerpts of the May 21 coverage:

6:32 AM ET

(...)

NICK VALENCIA: It was an emotional funeral, no doubt, for Sabika Sheikh, she is the Pakistani foreign exchange student, one of ten people murdered here on Friday. And at her funeral, there were calls for students here to pick up the gun control movement that we saw sparked in Parkland. But there is no indication, from what our crew is seeing, that that movement is taking hold here.

(...)

6:34 AM ET

CHRIS CUOMO: I was surprised, when I got down there. It wasn’t just that the big shots weren’t around, this wasn’t covered, there is fatigue. This was another one.

POPPY HARLOW: But after Parkland, after all that you saw, all the action that Kelly Clarkson’s calling for, after Parkland, that was what, two months ago?

CUOMO: Yeah, and you know, look, I could see it. I could see it in social media.      

HARLOW: Why?

CUOMO: I could see it when the shooting was happening that people weren’t, you know, weren’t reacting to it the way they wanted. Because they’re sick of hearing about them. And the problem is, tell that to that community down there, tell that to those families. And look, Clarkson’s giving a good message. We should do something. Lawmakers should feel a degree of shame as they come back now into session in D.C. What are they going to do?

But it’s guns. This case in Santa Fe doesn’t set up great for the gun debate, by the way. But you have, who knew that this kid was going dark and did nothing? What kind of resources do you have? How do you make schools safer? There’s a lot on the table where there’s common ground. Even if you take the fringes on this debate, there’s common ground. And they have still done nothing. It’s just the truth. Sorry it is, but it is.

So, you’re going to hear talk about guns and what you can do about controlling access to them to make sure that people who are bent on murder and destruction don’t get them. Second Amendment supporters, however, like Texas’s lieutenant governor, they’re saying there is a lot to talk about here that don’t include guns. Like what? Next.

(...)

6:41 AM ET

CUOMO: The Lieutenant Governor is not wrong when he says our violence problem is complex. We are a violent society. You do have cultural issues that are at play. The Santa Fe shooting, as James, I’m sure will go into detail, doesn’t set up well as being a law away or one vetting step away from this not having happened. But when the Lieutenant Governor sets it out this way, ignoring guns altogether, does it help or hurt?

DAVID GREGORY: Well, I think it hurts because we’re so divided in this country politically about the role of guns in an effort to prevent what everybody wants to prevent, which are these hideous, horrible, anguishing school shootings. And so, right, he can tick off these elements of devaluing of life and violence in video games and in our culture. I mean, as a parent, I agree with all of those things. I don’t know that we know that those are hard triggers for this kind of violence.

But the gun debate still lines up in a kind of similar place. Which is we have huge divides about how to restrict gun rights and whether to restrict gun rights. A lot of that is rural versus urban in the country. And we still have voters for whom this is single issue that they’ll vote on and others who are mobilizing around it but don’t necessarily vote on it. That’s going to have to change if there’s going to be a change in political behavior.

(...)

6:45 AM ET

GREGORY: And let me just say quickly, I mean, Oliver North is the head of the NRA. This is not – they’re not a constructive group here. They’re just trying to protect the Second Amendment and use the gun issue as a proxy for government encroaching on individual rights. That’s not where were gonna have real meaningful change.

(...)

8:16 AM ET

CUOMO: This case doesn’t really set up that well in terms of we were one law away, one gun control law away from stopping this shooting.

(...)


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