CNN's Camerota Presses Andrew Cuomo on Gun Control, Stop and Frisk

CNN's Alisyn Camerota confronted New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday's New Day, after the Democrat used the shooting of his aide to advance gun control. When Cuomo admitted that "we passed a law...that is probably the most restrictive gun control law in the nation," Camerota interrupted the governor and pointed out that "opponents of more laws say the criminals are the ones who will always have the guns – and this appears to be an illustration of that. What gun law could have been on the books that would have prevented this tragedy?" [video below]

The anchor brought on Governor Cuomo to discuss the shooting of Carey Gabay, an attorney in his administration, who was "possibly caught in gang crossfire." The brother of Camerota's co-anchor, Chris Cuomo, first spoke highly of Gabay, a Harvard grad, and underlined that "he could have done anything with that education. He chose to be in state service, because he wanted to use his skills to help others."

Governor Cuomo continued with his pro-gun control point:

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: ...He was just walking with his brother and a friend, and struck down by random gun violence. And the point to me is, how many incidents do we have to have? How many weeks do we have to have with the same story over and over and over about the insanity that this country is allowing to continue – with violence and loss of life of innocent people – because we have people who have no business having guns having guns?

We passed a law in the State of New York – as you know, Alisyn – that is probably the most restrictive gun control law in the nation. And I'm not anti-gun. I own a gun. But criminals should not have guns. Mentally-ill people should not have guns.

Camerota then interjected, "Governor, everyone agrees with that. No criminals should have guns. But what is the answer? I mean, as you yourself just said, New York is considered to have strict gun control laws." She continued with her "what gun law could...have prevented this tragedy" question. Cuomo didn't provide a direct answer. Instead, he continued spouting his gun control talking points – that "the only way to deal with this is a national gun policy."

The CNN journalist followed up with a question about the recent rise in gun violence in New York City:

ALISYN CAMEROTA: [The] former New York City police commissioner [Ray Kelly] sees this differently. He sees a different explanation for the gun violence in New York City. He said this yesterday: 'Murders are up. And if you have a propensity to carry a gun – and there's a policy to de-emphasize stop and question and frisk – it's only common sense you'll see more people carrying guns and more crime.' Is this because stop and frisk has gone virtually away?

As before, the New York Democrat punted on giving a direct answer: "I think he raises a different topic – which is the policing tactics in New York – which may be a bona fide conversation. But that does not change the facts on – that we need a national gun control policy in this country. One state can't do it alone, and our state has demonstrated that."

The transcript of the relevant portion of Alisyn Camerota's interview of Governor Andrew Cuomo from Tuesday's New Day on CNN:

ALISYN CAMEROTA: An aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is in critical condition this morning, after he was struck in the head by a stray bullet before New York City's West Indian Day Parade. Police say 43-year-old Carey Gabay was possibly caught in gang crossfire.

Joining us now to give us the latest is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and he is joining us from Puerto Rico this morning. Governor, we'll get to what you're doing in Puerto Rico in a moment, but can you give us a status report on the condition of Carey Gabay?

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: Yes, I can. Good morning, Alisyn – good to be with you. It's nothing good – I can tell you that. I spoke to the family last night. I spoke to the family this morning. Carey was shot in the – in the head, as you reported, and he's in what's called a very critical condition. But it is not good.

CAMEROTA: From earlier reports, Governor, it sounds as though Carey, your aide, was caught in some sort of gang crossfire. He was just an innocent – not even bystander. He was on his way with his family to go to a celebration – and to go to a parade – and two gangs were fighting, and he was hit in the head with a stray bullet. Is that what you understand?

CUOMO: You know, Alisyn – yeah, that's exactly what the police are reporting. It was just another act of pure randomness – just the randomness of gun violence – of having too many guns on the street, and people having guns who shouldn't have guns, which is the real point here. And, look, I've been to too many funerals. I've seen too many bodies. I've dealt with too parents crying, losing children. This brings it home for me in a personal way.

This – Carey Gabay was the American dream. He grew up in the public housing projects in the Bronx; worked his way up; he went to Harvard – graduated Harvard University – was a roommate with my commissioner of health at one time – a beautiful, beautiful 43-year-old black man. And he could have done anything with that education. He chose to be in state service, because he wanted to use his skills to help others. He made a fraction of what he could have earned – just a beautiful guy.

And you're right – he was just walking with his brother and a friend, and struck down by random gun violence. And the point to me is, how many incidents do we have to have? How many weeks do we have to have with the same story over and over and over about the insanity that this country is allowing to continue – with violence and loss of life of innocent people – because we have people who have no business having guns having guns?

CAMEROTA: Yeah-

CUOMO: We passed a law in the State of New York – as you know, Alisyn – that is probably the most restrictive gun control law in the nation. And I'm not anti-gun. I own a gun. But criminals should not have guns-

CAMEROTA: Yes, but Governor-

CUOMO: Mentally-ill people should not have guns-

CAMEROTA: Governor, everyone agrees with that. No criminals should have guns. But what is the answer? I mean, as you yourself just said, New York is considered to have strict gun control laws. But, I mean – as you know, opponents of more laws say the criminals are the ones who will always have the guns – and this appears to be an illustration of that. What gun law could have been on the books that would have prevented this tragedy?

CUOMO: Yeah. I understand what they say. No – that's not what they say. They say it's a slippery slope, and the government is trying to take away everyone's gun – and this is a conspiracy theory. As I said, I'm not anti-gun. I own a gun. What's happening to me in New York – and to New Yorkers is – yes, we have laws on the books that protect people. The guns are coming in from other states. The only way to deal with this is a national gun policy – doesn't mean no good if we have the right laws in place in New York, but the guns come in from New Jersey or from Virginia, or from Mississippi – or from any state down south.

We need a national gun control policy that respects the Second Amendment, allows people to have guns – bona fide hunters, God bless – but if you are mentally ill, you should not have a gun. If you are a criminal, you should not have a gun. And to do that, Alisyn, you have to check everyone before they buy the gun – and that's the rub-

CAMEROTA: Well-

CUOMO: People who are law-abiding citizens say don't bother me – don't check me – only check the criminal. But you can't check the criminal unless you check everyone. And this nation has to have the political courage to step up – and the elected officials have to have the political courage to step up – and say, this weekly ongoing tragedy of loss of life of innocent victims – school children, young girls, young boys – must stop.

CAMEROTA: [The] former New York City police commissioner sees this differently. He sees a different explanation for the gun violence in New York City. He said this yesterday: 'Murders are up. And if you have a propensity to carry a gun – and there's a policy to de-emphasize stop and question and frisk – it's only common sense you'll see more people carrying guns and more crime.' Is this because stop and frisk has gone virtually away?

CUOMO: The quote is from who – I'm sorry, Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: That's from Ray Kelly, former police commissioner.

CUOMO: I have tremendous respect for Ray Kelly, the former police commissioner, and I think he raises a different topic – which is the policing tactics in New York – which may be a bona fide conversation. But that does not change the facts on – that we need a national gun control policy in this country. One state can't do it alone, and our state has demonstrated that-

CAMEROTA: Governor, quickly tell us – sorry to interrupt-

CUOMO: I can't pass – I can't pass a tougher law than we did – or a smarter law than we did.

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