CNN Analyst Fears 'Dallas Biker Bar Shootout' at RNC Due to Open Carry

On Friday's New Day, CNN analyst and former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes played up the possibility of fatal gun violence at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland due to Ohio's open carry law: "[The] law means that you're going to see people — and some of the websites have already said for their protest groups to show up and openly carry assault rifles on the streets of Cleveland....my fear is that if you have people show up like that, you could have another Dallas (sic) — biker bar shootout. One shot could lead to a massacre." [video below]

Anchor Chris Cuomo raised the concerns over security at the upcoming political conventions, in light of latest terrorist attack in France, with Fuentes and former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino. Instead of bringing up the suspected Islamist motivation with Thursday's massacre in the French city, the journalist emphasized that "mental illness — like what we just saw in Orlando — where the diseased mind winds up grasping on to this radical idea — or any kind of perverse tendency that takes over from there."

Cuomo then asked Bongino, "How do we get better, in your estimation, as law enforcement, at finding these kinds of people; and giving us the ability to get them treatment before they become murderers?" The conservative guest noted that "you have the ability right now to have someone committed if they are a danger to themselves or others." He also underlined that "there is no federal answer to this. The federal government has no idea what's going on at the local level. This is a local law enforcement issue — involves some training; maybe, some better recognition of symptoms there."

Cuomo countered that "you only get 72 hours — even in New York City — then you get to get a hearing; and those people get out. It's tough to prove that they're a danger to themselves or others." He turned to Fuentes and stated that "the overwhelming majority of mentally-ill people aren't dangerous. They're actually more likely to be a victim than an assailant." He wondered, "Do you share Bongino's confidence going into these conventions — that the assets are in place to keep them safe?" The CNN analyst replied with his concerns about Ohio's open carry law. Since it was the end of the 8 am Eastern hour, Bongino wasn't given a chance to respond.

It should be pointed out that Fuentes mixed up two mass shootings in Texas. He, of course, referenced the recent anti-police attack in Dallas, but he also hinted at a violent confrontation between two rival biker gangs in Waco that took place in May 2015.

Back in October 2015, the CNN analyst lobbied President Obama to take the lead on gun control in the wake of a mass shooting at a community college in Oregon:

TOM FUENTES: ...Put out a program: This is what we're going to do. This is how we're going to address firearms — who can have them under what conditions. This is what we're going to do about the mental health problems in this country that go completely unaddressed in some cases. Lay out a plan. Get the people behind it. Lead us...it's great on his part to come out and be so sympathetic and be the — you know, the mourner-in-chief, as he is after these events. But then, when that settles, lead. Tell us what you want. Tell us where we should go. Tell us what the American people think will be a reasonable plan to address this kind of violence.

Three months later, during breaking news coverage of the Islamist attack in San Bernandino, Fuentes speculated that an "anti-government domestic militia group" carried out the massacre. He also punted after the terrorist attack on military centers in Tennessee in July 2015 on whether the perpetrator's name was Muslim. John Berman asked, "Now that we have the name [Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez], the key questions are what?" He replied, "I know...what the name sounds like, but we don't know that it's a Muslim name. We know it's an Arabic name."

The transcript of the relevant portion of the Tom Fuentes/Dan Bongino panel discussion segment from CNN's New Day on July 15, 2016:

CHRIS CUOMO: Now, there are 'X' factors. The biggest one that we've been dealing with — although, we're talking about terror — has nothing to do with terror. It's mental illness — like what we just saw in Orlando — where the diseased mind winds up grasping on to this radical idea — or any kind of perverse tendency that takes over from there. You had said earlier, Dan, when we had you on the show, that — you know, you've got to take personal responsibility. But, you know, that winds up fighting the reality. You know, if you're sick, you can't take personal responsibility; and it's about how you find people like that. How do you — how do we get better, in your estimation, as law enforcement, at finding these kinds of people; and giving us the ability to get them treatment before they become murderers?

DANIEL BONGINO, FMR. SECRET SERVICE AGENT: Well, I think Tom kind of hinted at it before. Having been in law enforcement — uniformed law enforcement officer with the NYPD — you know, we used to have what was called an 'EDP' case — an emotionally-disturbed person. And you have the ability right now to have someone committed if they are a danger to themselves or others.

So, I think it — it's really going to be a focus on local law enforcement — more training at that level. But Chris, I really — I can't emphasize this enough. There is no federal answer to this. The federal government has no idea what's going on at the local level. This is a local law enforcement issue — involves some training; maybe, some better recognition of symptoms there — but that's the only person that's going to solve this. It's not going to happen in Washington, D.C.

[CNN Graphic: "Can These Terror Attacks Be Prevented?"]

CUOMO: But, as we all know, you only get 72 hours — even in New York City — then you get to get a hearing; and those people get out. It's tough to prove that they're a danger to themselves or others. And let's be honest, Tom Fuentes: the overwhelming majority of mentally-ill people aren't dangerous. They're actually more likely to be a victim than an assailant. So Tom, do you share Bongino's confidence going into these conventions — that the assets are in place to keep them safe?

TOM FUENTES, FMR. FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: I'm a little more worried about it, because — you know, the Ohio open carry law means that you're going to see people — and some of the websites have already said for their protest groups to show up and openly carry assault rifles on the streets of Cleveland. So, you know, my fear is that if you have — if you have people show up like that, you could have another Dallas (sic) — biker bar shootout. One shot could lead to a massacre—

[CNN Graphic: "Concern Over Protests, Open Carry Laws In Ohio"]

CUOMO: God forbid — God forbid we see anything like that again. Tom, Dan, thank you very much for your perspective — appreciate it.

NBDaily Convention Watch Crime 2016 Republican Convention Europe France Government Agencies Labeling War on Terrorism Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN New Day Video Tom Fuentes Chris Cuomo Dan Bongino
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