Nets Push Fake News Trump Made It Easier for Mentally Ill to Buy Guns

Fresh off their disinformation campaign in the immediate aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting in which they falsely claimed there had been 18 school shootings this year, the three major network news outlets (ABC, CBS, and NBC) moved on to another fake news topic they wanted to push on the American people: President Trump and the GOP made it easier for mentally ill people to buy guns.

The accusation that a bill designed to remove restrictions and allow the mentally ill to purchase guns was passed by the GOP and signed by President Trump had long been debunked. As the National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke wrote over a year ago, what got removed was “in layman’s terms: The rule would have allowed bureaucrats within one of our federal agencies to bar American citizens from exercising a constitutional right — and on the highly questionable grounds that to be incapable of managing one’s finances is, by definition, to be a ‘mental defective.’”

And the bill wasn’t even supported by the NRA. But it was supported by the liberal ACLU and the American Association of People with Disabilities. Yet that didn’t stop the networks from pushing lies and being appalled that the President wasn’t exploiting the situation to push gun control as their previous president did.

The President's efforts to comfort the nation tonight striking for what he didn't say,” chided White House Correspondent Peter Alexander during NBC Nightly News. “President Trump in a nearly seven-minute statement not once mentioning the word ‘Guns.’ Instead, again signaling his focus is on the mental health of shooters, not the weapons they use.” He then spewed a torrent of fake news:

 

 

Despite emphasizing mental health, the White House's newly unveiled budget would slash funding for Medicaid that covers a quarter of mental health care in the U.S. And President Trump last year revoked a hotly contested Obama-era regulation that would have made it harder for some people with mental illness to buy guns.

That lamenting for the lack of a gun control push was echoed on CBS Evening News when anchor Jeff Glor bemoaned that “President Trump did not mention gun laws when he addressed the nation today about the shooting.”

Well, Jeff, the President didn't have a lot to say today about what he actually plans to do about school shootings,” CBS’s Chip Reid whined to Glor. “But just last year, the President signed legislation reversing an Obama-era regulation that would have made it more difficult for some people with mental illness to buy guns,” Reid continued.

The report by ABC’s Senior White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega during World News Tonight was particularly vindictive. “Calling the shooter mentally disturbed, his message was clear … But shortly after taking office, President Trump blocked an Obama-era rule that made it tougher for the mentally ill to obtain guns,” she claimed.

But Vega’s lie appeared to be inadvertently exposed when Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas was describing how the shooter obtained his rifle. “Federal law bans anyone deemed by authorities as mentally ill from buying guns, but it's unclear whether any court or commission designated Cruz as mentally unfit. So, it appears he fell through the cracks,” he explained. So, is it easy for the mentally ill to buy guns or are they banned? ABC doesn’t seem to know, judging by their own reporting.

It should be noted that all three of the networks backed off and didn’t repeat the bogus claim about there being 18 school shootings since the start of the year. BUT, all of them left it out there and didn’t correct their reporting from the previous night.

The relevant portions of the transcripts are below, click expand to read:

 

Sign Up for MRC Newsletters!

 

NBC Nightly News
February 15, 2018
7:10:12 PM Eastern

LESTER HOLT: And President Trump says he plans to visit the site of this horrifying massacre in the coming days. Today he addressed a grieving nation while many are calling on the President and Congress to finally address guns and mental health. We get more from NBC's Peter Alexander.

[Cuts to video]

PETER ALEXANDER: The President's efforts to comfort the nation tonight striking for what he didn't say.

DONALD TRUMP: Answer hate with love. Answer cruelty with kindness.

ALEXANDER: President Trump in a nearly seven-minute statement not once mentioning the word "Guns." Instead, again signaling his focus is on the mental health of shooters, not the weapons they use.

(…)

ALEXANDER: The President's initial response this morning suggesting the Parkland community could have done more tweeting, “so many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem.”

Despite emphasizing mental health, the White House's newly unveiled budget would slash funding for Medicaid that covers a quarter of mental health care in the U.S. And President Trump last year revoked a hotly contested Obama-era regulation that would have made it harder for some people with mental illness to buy guns.

(…)

 

CBS Evening News
February 15, 2018
6:42:57 PM Eastern [1 minute 44 Seconds]

JEFF GLOR: The Broward County Sheriff called today for tougher laws to keep guns out of the hands of people with mental health issues, including forcing them to be examined by mental health professionals. President Trump did not mention gun laws when he addressed the nation today about the shooting.

(…)

GLOR: So the question is what is being done to protect those children and others? Chip Reid is at the White House tonight with more on this part of the story. Chip.

CHIP REID: Well, Jeff, the President didn't have a lot to say today about what he actually plans to do about school shootings. One thing he did say he wants to do is, quote, "work with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health." But just last year, the president signed legislation reversing an Obama-era regulation that would have made it more difficult for some people with mental illness to buy guns.

Now, Jeff, as you mentioned, the President did not even mention gun control today, and the truth is, as long as Republicans are in charge of both Houses of Congress, there is little chance of doing anything on that front. The one thing the President did say today that he definitely wants to do in the coming days is to go to Parkland, Florida, and visit with families and local officials. Jeff.

(…)

 

ABC
World News Tonight
February 15, 2018
6:45:22 PM Eastern [1 minute 38 Seconds]

DAVID MUIR: For the fourth time since his inauguration, President Trump addressing the nation about a mass shooting. Something his predecessor had to do often, as well. Today, President Trump sending his condolences to the families and promising to focus on mental health, but he did not answer questions about guns. Here's ABC's Senior White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega.

[Cuts to video]

CECILIA VEGA: President Trump today speaking directly to those grieving families in Parkland, Florida.

DONALD TRUMP: You are suffering is our burden, also.

VEGA: Calling the shooter mentally disturbed, his message was clear.

TRUMP: We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health.

VEGA: But shortly after taking office, President Trump blocked an Obama-era rule that made it tougher for the mentally ill to obtain guns. Today, no mention of gun control.

(…)

VEGA: Immediately after past shootings, the President has said it was too soon to discuss gun control. But today, in that grief-stricken community, many saying now is the time.

(…)

6:51:57 PM Eastern

PIERRE THOMAS: David, Cruz bought that gun legally at a local gun store, despite all those signs that he was troubled. Federal law bans anyone deemed by authorities as mentally ill from buying guns, but it's unclear whether any court or commission designated Cruz as mentally unfit. So, it appears he fell through the cracks, David.


Please support NewsBusters today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

DONATE
CyberAlerts Events Parkland School Shooting Guns Bias by Omission Conspiracy Theories Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Fake News Video GOP Cecilia Vega Chip Reid Jeff Glor Peter Alexander Donald Trump