NBC Lobbies for Assault Weapons Ban: ‘You Don’t Need an AR-Whatever’

On Tuesday, NBC’s Today show pushed for a new assault weapons ban in the wake of the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend. The broadcast touted public officials and celebrities urging for gun restrictions, with one of the hosts even insisting, “you don’t need an AR-whatever.”

During an interview with NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism John Miller in the 7:30 a.m. ET hour, co-host Craig Melvin suggested the need for gun control: “From a law enforcement perspective, would changing gun laws in this country in a measurable way, would changing those laws, would it make us safer?”

 

 

Miller longed for the return of a federal assault weapons ban:

We are touted by ourselves to be the most, you know, advanced, civilized society on the planet Earth. Last week, we had four incidents across this country where people with rifles walked in, assault weapons, and killed lots of people for different reasons....We had an assault weapons ban. We passed it in 1994. I was on the White House lawn that day. And Congress let it expire on purpose, not by accident. I think we need to get serious about this discussion....where we’re not thinking of who’s going to walk in with extended magazines with over 30 rounds and a rifle meant for combat that are going into the wrong hands, without having a serious discussion. Again, we’re not moving forward. We just need to take a step back to where we were and have a law that makes sense.

Later in the 9:00 a.m. ET hour, on Today 3rd Hour, co-host Sheinelle Jones promoted how  “Celebrities are now getting involved” and specifically cited country music singer Kacey Musgraves calling for a ban on “mass killing machines”:

Kacey Musgraves, she gave an impassioned plea to lawmakers, she says to do something about the gun violence in America. She was – had a set at Lollapalooza on Sunday. In fact, let’s look at her Twitter comments, she says, “Let me be clear –  I’m from Texas. I grew up around hunting and guns. There’s a time and place for that and even self-protection in ways, but this is different. The system is majorly flawed, and NOBODY NEEDS ANYTHING REMOTELY AUTOMATIC. PERIOD.” She says, “they're mass killing machines.”

The host failed to mention Musgraves launching into a profanity-laden rant about gun control at the Lollapalooza music festival.

Following up on the celebrity activism, Jones declared: “A lot of people have said that. Look, we’re in hunting areas, you know, if you want to shoot a deer, that’s fine. But you don’t need an AR-whatever.”

Melvin chimed in and reminded his fellow co-hosts of his earlier discussion with Miller:

You know, the mayor of Dayton said the same thing. And we just had John Miller on last hour, here on the Today show, of the NYPD, talking about the assault weapons ban that was enacted in 1994 under President Clinton but allowed to expire. And there are a number of prominent officials, locally and nationally, who are wondering openly whether bringing back an assault weapons ban might help.

In the wake of such tragedies, the media predictably rely on liberal celebrities and longtime Democratic agenda items to respond.

Here is a full transcript of the August 6 discussion in the 9:00 a.m. ET hour:

9:05 AM ET

(...)

SHEINELLE JONES: And now, you have a time where people are trying to figure out how they can help. Remember, you said that yesterday, Dylan. How can we help? Celebrities are now getting involved. They’re doing concerts. I think Khalid will hold a benefit concert in El Paso a little later this month. I didn’t realize, he considers El Paso his hometown.

AL ROKER: Yeah, he went to high school there.

JONES: He went to high school in El Paso. Kacey Musgraves, she gave an impassioned plea to lawmakers, she says to do something about the gun violence in America. She was – had a set at Lollapalooza on Sunday. In fact, let’s look at her Twitter comments, she says, “Let me be clear –  I’m from Texas. I grew up around hunting and guns. There’s a time and place for that and even self-protection in ways, but this is different. The system is majorly flawed, and NOBODY NEEDS ANYTHING REMOTELY AUTOMATIC. PERIOD.” She says, “they're mass killing machines.” A lot of people have said that. Look, we’re in hunting areas, you know, if you want to shoot a deer, that’s fine. But you don’t need an AR-whatever.

CRAIG MELVIN: You know, the mayor of Dayton said the same thing. And we just had John Miller on last hour, here on the Today show, of the NYPD, talking about the assault weapons ban that was enacted in 1994 under President Clinton but allowed to expire. And there are a number of prominent officials, locally and nationally, who are wondering openly whether bringing back an assault weapons ban might help. They’re not going to necessarily eliminate mass murderers.

ROKER: No, no. But I mean, this guy in Dayton, if he’d gotten into that bar, Ned Peppers, I think he had like 250 rounds on him.

MELVIN: Rounds, yeah. Oh, yeah. And he managed to only get off – I shouldn’t say only – but police say they were recovering shells yesterday, it looks like he got off 50 or 60. So, it’s just –  

JONES: It seems like, I would think, there is a common sentiment where for gun owners, there has to be a line, right? You can still have your rights protected, and the Second Amendment protected, without – right?  

MELVIN: Well, some have also suggested that maybe we should look at gun laws for urban areas and gun laws for rural areas. I mean, if you live in certain parts of Alaska, maybe you do need to have certain kinds of weapons. If you live in a high-rise in New York City or Chicago or Boston –  

JONES: Would you consider a city in Ohio –  

DYLAN DREYER: I mean, still, my brother lives in the middle of nowhere, Oregon, and he’s a hunter. And he has rifles, he has hunting weapons. That’s all he needs to hunt. He’s, you know, he’s hunting deer. You know, he doesn’t need an AK-47, which he would never have, because it’s just not what you need to hunt with, you know?

(...)

NB Daily El Paso/Dayton shootings Guns NBC Today Video Craig Melvin

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