Guilty of What? MSNBC’s Matthews Smears NRA: They’re ‘Immune to Justice’

The school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas wasn’t carried out with the media’s favorite weapon to mischaracterize and demonize (the AR-15), but this was only a minor speed bump for those looking to take away Americans' rights. During Monday’s Hardball on MSNBC, host Chris Matthews brought on anti-gun activist Nicole Hockley to join him in whining about those who respected the Second Amendment. During the segment, Matthews absurdly claimed that since NRA had hired Oliver North to be their president, the organization was somehow “immune to justice.”

After last week's deadly shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, gun advocates tried to cast blame on anything but guns,” Matthews began his gun-bashing segment. He then lambasted Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick for focusing on hardening schools and for noting the culture’s devaluation of life. “Well, he continued to avoid blaming guns yesterday when he attributed to school shooting to violence to American culture, including he mentioned abortions.

Matthews turned to Hockley, the managing director of the anti-gun lobbying group, Sandy Hook Promise, to rip into gun rights advocates. “I think these are standard diversionary tactics rather than dealing with the issue at hand. Talking about every possible other cause of gun violence, other than the one thing that everything is in common,” she chided.

In addition to her attacks on the pro-gun crowd, Hockley spewed forth contradictory statement after contradictory statement about. For example, while Hockley suggested she was “not about taking all the guns away,” she kept insisting the only thing all these tragic events had in common was the type of weapon:

 

 

However, I think for anyone to actively choose to maintain this blind spot and say it's everything except the one thing that all shootings have in common, and that is the choice of weapon, that is the gun. And that is something that in addition to looking at all these other issues, if that's what we choose to do for it, we need to look at the gun as well. You can't exclude it from the conversation.

When Matthews beckoned her to continue, she suggested the only thing that was worth looking at was guns. “It has to -- we have to look at the person, and we do have to look at their choice of weapon,” she said. “The only common thing is the guns. And we need to address that. And if they just choose to continue to force a blind eye on it, then they're being disrespectful and disingenuous to this problem.

Of course, if Hockley really wanted to look at the whole problem and wasn’t just focused on guns, she would have noted that the other key attribute all the shootings had in common was the deranged people carrying them out. Her assertions also overlooked knife attacks in the U.S. and abroad. Saying we must look at the perpetrator then shifting to guns as the only commonality was the real source of disingenuousness.

Towards the end of the segment, Matthews bemoaned how the unreasonable pro-gun crowd were active in elections and took his swipe at the NRA. “And I don't understand why reasonable people have so little power at the ballot box. They just don't. The NRA, Oliver North, the fact that they would pick him. I mean, they seem to be immune to justice.

Playing off of Matthews, Hockley attacked Second Amendment advocates who have lost loved ones to gun violence for not becoming rabid anti-gunners themselves:

But, this something that people don't engage in, unfortunately, until it happens to them. And then it's far too late. And sometimes we see even people that are very pro-gun and pro-gun rights. And when it happens to them, they still turn a blind eye. And that's something I really can't reconcile or understand.

Everything you said before and now is what the American people believe, according to all the polling. So keep speaking for America. The NRA does not speak for America,” Matthews said to wrap up the mind-numbing segment.

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

 

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MSNBC
Hardball
May 21, 2018
7:32:02 PM Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Welcome back to Hardball. After last week's deadly shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, gun advocates tried to cast blame on anything but guns. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick of Texas suggested shootings could be prevented by limiting the number of doors in schools. Let's watch.

(…)

MATTHEWS: Well, he continued to avoid blaming guns yesterday when he attributed to school shooting to violence to American culture, including he mentioned abortions. Let's watch that.

(…)

MATTHEWS: Meanwhile, incoming NRA president, Oliver North said that medications prescribed for attention deficit disorders are the culprit here. Let's watch that.

(…)

MATTHEWS: Well, as the Daily Beast points out, there is no evidence that Ritalin or any other drugs are to blame for any of the school shootings we've seen in recent years. I'm joined right now by Nicole Hockley, managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, she lost her six-year-old son at the Sandy Hook school shooting.

Nicole, thanks for joining us tonight. I don't want to be sarcastic, but it just calls for that. What do you think of somebody who says it's the number of doors? I don’t think if we had more doors in Sweden or Japan, that they’d have more shootings. It's so hideous. The door numbers has something to do—If somebody is coming to the building carrying a gun, they're going to find a way in somehow. And what are we kidding-- there was one school, was it yours where it was the front door that the shooter came in.

I don't understand why people -- and this abortion. I'm sorry. Well can argue about abortion for the rest of our lives and we probably will, abortion rights. But I don't even see a tangential connection to a teenaged kid going mad with a gun. Your thoughts. You lived through this.

NICOLE HOCKLEY: I think these are standard diversionary tactics rather than dealing with the issue at hand. Talking about every possible other cause of gun violence, other than the one thing that everything is in common. Talking about violent video games or violent movies. There are so many countries that have billions of impressions of violence every day, and they don't have the same level of gun violence that we do because they don't have the guns.

And you know me, Chris. I'm not about taking all the guns away. I don't think that's a realistic solution for our country. However, I think for anyone to actively choose to maintain this blind spot and say it's everything except the one thing that all shootings have in common, and that is the choice of weapon, that is the gun. And that is something that in addition to looking at all these other issues, if that's what we choose to do for it, we need to look at the gun as well. You can't exclude it from the conversation.

MATTHEWS: Well, let's go back to why they do this. You think it's just diversion? They don't want to get into gun safety. It's as simple as that.

HOCKLEY: I think that they want to talk about -- they want to blame anything except the choice of weapon. This is about protecting second amendment rights, but in a very extreme way by saying that the weapon of choice is not part of the problem. It has to be part of the problem. It has to -- we have to look at the person, and we do have to look at their choice of weapon. (…) The only common thing is the guns. And we need to address that. And if they just choose to continue to force a blind eye on it, then they're being disrespectful and disingenuous to this problem.

(…)

MATTHEWS: You think there is a resignation this country? It's almost like seasonal weather. Anything else that happens, it's like car accidents because you have highways that are busy with traffic and people make mistakes. They just absorb this as part of a every couple of month event?

(…)

MATTHEWS: Well, Charles Blow had a great column in The New York Times, I don’t know if you saw it. Basically, he showed all the polls. He’s great on polls. And it shows there’s an overwhelming support in this country for gun safety, for basically banning semiautomatic assault weapons. It all makes sense. It all sounds like you talking. And yet because you are a reasonable for safety person. And I don't understand why reasonable people have so little power at the ballot box. They just don't. The NRA, Oliver North, the fact that they would pick him. I mean –

HOCKLEY: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: They seem to be immune to justice.

HOCKLEY: Well, we look at all the youth activism that has come out after Parkland. People do need to register to vote and they need to get out and vote. It's your responsibility to ensure that your voice is heard and your vote counts no matter what the opinion is on this. You don't like what your politician is saying, vote them out and vote someone else in. But, this something that people don't engage in, unfortunately, until it happens to them. And then it's far too late. And sometimes we see even people that are very pro-gun and pro-gun rights. And when it happens to them, they still turn a blind eye. And that's something I really can't reconcile or understand.

MATTHEWS: Everything you said before and now is what the American people believe, according to all the polling. So keep speaking for America. The NRA does not speak for America. Nicole Hockley, thank you.

(…)

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