It’s not often that an MSNBC host gets critical with a Democratic lawmaker, but they do when the lawmaker supports the Second Amendment and their district just had a mass shooting. That exact scenario played out during MTP Daily on Monday when host Katy Tur, back after a long vacation, got irritated with Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar. In their argument, Tur claimed background checks were “not consistent around the entire country” and seemed to insinuate he had taken NRA blood money.
Tur kicked off the show by slamming Republicans for not pushing useless gun control policies that would not have stopped any recent mass shooting. “We've gotten to the point it isn't just that gun violence and mass shootings are a sad and predictable reality in this country, but where the political response to them is just as sad and just as predictable,” she opined. “The Republican deflection once again on full display including from the White House.”
When Cuellar first came on the air, Tur’s conversation with him was cordial since they were talking about the shooting in Sutherland, Texas and the victims. But things took a dive when Tur wanted to talk about his support for the Second Amendment. At one point she sneered and asked: “Do you think that there should be any limits at all to the Second Amendment?”
Cuellar began to explain that there were already limits on who can own a gun and what kind. “What are they,” she snapped at him, seemingly unaware of any current gun laws. As he was talking about how not everyone was able to own a gun because they’re weeded out through background checks, Tur declared “that's not consistent around the entire country.”
That assertion by Tur was utterly false and exposed either an ignorance of the law or a disingenuous attack against a gun advocate. Background checks are by definition consistent around the country because they’re already mandated by federal law. No matter where you are in the country, if you go to a gun shop you have your background checked. Even for online purchases because by law they must be sent to a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer who conducts the background check when you pick up the gun.
But that wasn’t Tur’s lowest point in their discussion. When she first shifted the conversation to his record on guns, she insinuated he was bought by the NRA, seemingly with blood money, to defend gun rights after the Las Vegas shooting. “You yourself are a big guns rights advocate. You get money from the NRA right after the Vegas shooting. You went on Fox to say gun regulations wouldn't stop that sort of thing from happening,” she claimed, citing no evidence. And who could trust her after her false claims about background checks?
“You know, we live in the only place in the entire world, Congressman, where these sort of shootings happen. The only place in the entire world,” she claimed. Of course, this was a blatant lie because in a 2015 terrorist attack in Paris, France almost 100 people were gunned down during a concert. That’s also not including the brutal murders by drug cartels around the world and all the recent ISIS bombings overseas and in the U.S., certainly bombing people was illegal.
Tur also targeted Cuellar over his support the House resolution that the liberal media had falsely claimed allowed mentally ill people to buy guns. “You're one of the few who (…) came out for a bill that became law earlier in the year that would have made it harder for people with mental illnesses to buy a gun. Do you have any second thoughts on that,” she demanded.
But that assertion had been debunked since February. The repeal of the rule was backed by the NRA, the liberal ACLU, many mental health groups, including the American Association of People with Disabilities. The rule was against allowing the Social Security Administration from declaring people “mentally defective” because they needed aid with their personal finances. The rule meant that a bureaucrat could take someone’s right’s away without needing to consult a mental professional.
And before ending their interview, Tur put words in Cuellar's mouth and claimed he didn't want any regulations on guns period. "But I was hoping to find out whether or not you think there should be any limits. I presume your answer is, no." "No. I just told you. There are some limits under the law right now," he responded before she abruptly ended the interview.
This kind of complete disregard for the facts was nothing new for Tur. She had a long history of making dubious statements absent of any facts or truth while acting indignant in her arguments with people trying to explain it to her, or at least educate her viewers.
Tur's gun bashing was sponsored by Allstate, Best Western, and Liberty Mutual.
November 6, 2017
5:01:32 PM Eastern
KATY TUR: Tonight we're once again following the developments of a mass shooting. We've gotten to the point it isn't just that gun violence and mass shootings are a sad and predictable reality in this country, but where the political response to them is just as sad and just as predictable. When these things happen, pretty much all Republicans say: “Now is not the time to talk gun laws.” Democrats say, “Now is the exact time to talk gun laws.” The end result -- nothing happens. And today, while the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas are mourning lost loved ones and praying for the wounded, both sides stuck to their usual scripts.
The Republican deflection once again on full display including from the White House.
TUR: Less than a week ago, eight people were killed in New York. It only took few hours then for the President to immediately call for policy changes. Of course, that was called a terrorist attack, and was caused by an Uzbek immigrant who came to the U.S. on a Visa.
TUR: Joining me now, is Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar, who represents the area of Texas where this shooting occurred.
TUR: You yourself are a big guns rights advocate. You get money from the NRA right after the Vegas shooting. You went on Fox to say gun regulations wouldn't stop that sort of thing from happening. Now that it's happened in your backyard, Congressman Cuellar, do you feel differently than you did a month ago?
HENRY CUELLAR: Well again, if somebody wants to kill somebody, Katy, they're going to find a way. I mean, look what happened in New York. They used of a vehicle, used a truck. We've seen that in other parts of Europe. We saw 9/11 it was an airplane. We've seen people kill people with knives and even with their bare hands. So again, if somebody wants to kill somebody, they're going to find a way to do it.
TUR [Interrupting Cuellar]: You know, we live in the only place in the entire world, Congressman, where these sort of shootings happen. The only place in the entire world. Yeah, you're right. People will kill people if they want to kill people, but this is a 26-year-old person who walked into a church and killed victims as young as 18 months, babies, with a semiautomatic rifle, an AR-15. The same rifle we've seen used over and over again in mass shootings. Do you think it's acceptable just to say that you know, someone wants to kill someone, they're going to kill someone?
CUELLAR: Well, I mean, again, do you want to ban trucks, because a truck was used? Do you want to ban an airplane –
TUR [Interrupting Cuellar again]: I don't really think we're equivocating on this—
CUELLAR: Let me just finish. You asked me a question. I let you ask the question. Let me answer the question, if you can. So do you want to ban trucks because they used a truck in New York? Do you want to ban airplanes because a terrorist used it in 9/11? Again, you know, there were some laws in place. We're going to find out why he was able to get the guns under the circumstances that you mentioned at the very beginning.
TUR: One other question. You're one of the few who came out against, came out for a bill that became law earlier in the year that would have made it harder for people with mental illnesses to buy a gun. Do you have any second thoughts on that?
CUELLAR: No. Again, it's who declares somebody to be mentally ill. Is it a judge or is it a bureaucrat? So -- there is an issue. If you look at that vote. There was a little bit more behind it than just putting it just the way you said it. It's who declares somebody to be mentally ill.
TUR: Do you think that there should be any limits at all to the Second Amendment?
CUELLAR: Any what again?
TUR: Any limits at all to the second amendment? You can't scream "Fire" in a crowded theater, that’s a limit on the First Amendment. Should there be limits at all to the Second Amendment?
CUELLAR: I think there are limits already. I think--
TUR [Interrupting Cuellar a third time]: What are they?
CUELLAR: Laws that -- well, I mean, not everybody can get a gun. I mean, there is some, some background. There is –
TUR [Interrupting Cuellar for the fourth time]: That's not consistent around the entire country.
CUELLAR: Well, again, let me answer your question again. You asked me, there are some limits. There are some limits right now to the Second Amendment. Do I believe in the Second Amendment? Yes. Do I believe in the first amendment? Yes. Until we make some changes to the constitution, those are some of the basic constitutional rights that we have.
TUR: But I was hoping to find out whether or not you think there should be any limits. I presume your answer is, no?
CUELLAR: No. I just told you. There are some limits under the law right now.
TUR: Congressman Cuellar, thank you for your time …