Dana Loesch appeared on CNN’s Tonight with Don Lemon Tuesday to talk about, among other things, firearms in America. “There is something wrong with people's hearts when they want to go out and mass murder people,” she said to Lemon explaining the real issue behind mass shootings, “They are not going to be put off of committing that crime by just a simple gun law.”
Don Lemon was still uneasy about, what he perceived to be, “assault weapons” being available to the public. “But you don't think even the types of guns that should be available, you don't think that should be limited? Or some limitation,” Lemon asked of Loesch.
She told Lemon that because of the, “National Firearms Act, you can't go out and just purchase a fully automatic firearm.” She went into detail discussing how the term “assault rifle” is misused in the current gun debate. And it was understandable for people to be put off by the AR-15’s appearance, “It just looks dangerous because it's all black and has a scope and things on it that people don't know what they are, and they think it looks aggressive.”
Only 1.4 percent of crimes are committed using rifles Loesch stated. She argued that crimes committed with handguns vastly outnumber crimes with the AR-15. “It's the media saturation though about these tragedies that everyone thinks that these rifles and crimes with them, that's more prevalent,” Loesch said.
But fellow guest Bakari Sellers wasn’t a fan of Loesch’s position. Sellers tried to argue that, even though he is a gun owner, he has never known a person to use an AR-15 for protecting their home. He also claimed that anyone could walk into a gun store, buy a gun, and kill people in a church like in Charleston, South Carolina.
There was only one problem with that claim, as Loesch pointed out, “James Comey, the Director of the FBI came out and said, “you know what, we screwed up. It was an error on our part and if we had not made this error he wouldn't have been able to get the firearms.”” Leosch went on to point out how law enforcement had missed chances to stop most of the recent mass shootings. Eventually declaring, “Here’s the problem, criminals are always going to have guns. That's not good enough argument to take mine from me and I want to defend myself.”
Partial transcript below:
Tonight with Don Lemon
June 21, 2016
10:54:15 PM Eastern
DANA LOESCH: To me I think that there's a lot of misinformation out about the issue. Look, there's -- there's common ground here. There's common ground for pro-second amendment advocates for myself and people who don't like the idea. We're on the same page here. I don't want to prohibit a possessor illegally obtaining a firearm and running around with it, and using it to murder innocents any more than you do or anybody for gun-control does.
Here’s the thing, gun control doesn't solve that problem, because it's not a gun issue. It is a hate issue, it is a heart issue. There is something wrong with people's hearts when they want to go out and mass murder people. Mass murder. That's a pretty serious crime. They are not going to be put off of committing that crime by just a simple gun law.
DON LEMON: But not even the type of gun that should be available, because we know -- people are going to get their hands on guns. If you want to get your hand on a gun illegally, you're probably going to get it. But you don't think even the types of guns that should be available, you don't think that should be limited? Or some limitation?
LOESCH: Well it is already limited. National Firearms Act, you can't go out and just purchase a fully automatic firearm. Whenever they say assault weapon, that's incorrectly applied because they are talking about military grade firearms. The AR-15 is the civilian version of the M-16. In fact the M-16 was patterned after the AR-15, but it’s semi-automatic.
LEMON: And the sig Sauger?
LOESCH: It’s just a high powered .22. Is what the AR-15 is. And it just looks dangerous because it's all black and has a scope and things on it that people don't know what they are and they think it looks aggressive. But they cannot go out and get fully automatic firearms.
LEMON: But, you can get semiautomatic weapons. You can get what is perceived and known as an assault weapon, this sig Sauer that he used and the ar-15. You can get that.
LOESCH: Those are semi-auto.
LEMON: Those are semi-automatic guns that can kill a lot of people.
LOESCH: But fewer than 1.4 percent of crimes are committed with those, with rifles. They are committed with handguns, and that's the big issue. It's not rifles. It's the media saturation though about these tragedies that everyone thinks that these rifles and crimes with them, that's more prevalent.
BAKARI SELLERS: There was a young man who was deranged, filled with hate, who shouldn't have got a weapon. Got a weapon which was handgun, multiple handguns, and walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina and murdered nine people and someone in that same situation can do the exact same thing today, so I think we have two options. We have two options. Either we extend that loophole --
LOESCH: You asking me a question?
SELLERS: I am. Either we extend the days whereby the FBI has the opportunity to perform the background check.
LOESCH: Ah, that’s the problem right there.
SELLERS: Or we actually give the FBI the resources to complete the background problem.
LOESCH: Also a problem. The FBI -- let me answer that really quickly. It's quite easy. The FBI admitted that they screwed up with that. Dylann Roof was a murderous racist thug who, you’re right, he shouldn't have been able to obtain a firearm. But the very system that our government tells us was designed to protect us from acts like this failed us. James Comey, the Director of the FBI came out and said, “you know what, we screwed up. It was an error on our part and if we had not made this error he wouldn't have been able to get the firearms.”
SELLERS: You’re not telling the full story.
LOESCH: Let me finish my whole answer and I'll get the full story out there.
LOESCH: The government tells us they’re going to protect us from incidents like this, but they didn't protect us in San Bernardino. That was an illegal transfer and violated the universal background check law that was in California. The San Bernardino terrorist attack, that could have been stopped, could have been Tashfeen Malik was fully vetted. Jared Loughner in Tucson, could have been stopped Sheriff Dupnik’s office had responded to community colleges, there notices. Here’s the problem, criminals are always going to have guns. That's not good enough argument to take mine from me and I want to defend myself.