It's an immutable fact that Aaron Alexis only brought a shotgun to the massacre at the Washington Navy Yard last week.
Despite this, MSNBC's Chris Jansing on Monday didn't challenge Democratic strategist Steve McMahon when he claimed on the program bearing her name Alexis "walked in with an assault weapon" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS JANSING, HOST: Look, Steve, I don't think there's an appetite in Congress to take up serious gun legislation. Even Joe Manchin who was so brave after Newtown says he's not going to push for even a debate unless he sees an increase in support for the effort. So is it worth it for the President to spend time and any political capital on this?
STEVE MCMAHON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I mean, I think you’re absolutely right that the NRA has the politicians in Washington and many state legislatures completely spooked, but Wayne LaPierre talked about mental health and I think he ought to perhaps have I think a little bit more about that himself.
If he's suggesting that there weren't guns at the Navy Yard when this gunman walked in and shot 13 people, he's crazy. There were guns everywhere. And this person walked in with an assault weapon, and he was able get off enough rounds to kill 12 people instantly, or nearly instantly. And everybody with the guns stood around and watched or apparently were unable to stop him. The guns were present. It was a Navy facility. It’s ridiculous.
No, what was ridiculous was McMahon making these comments without Jansing correcting him.
First, there weren’t guns everywhere. As a gun-free zone, only security officials had guns. None of the other people inside the Yard were allowed to have a gun.
That's the law.
As such, the point folks like LaPierre and others make is that if there had been guns “everywhere” – meaning people inside the facility other than security officials being able to carry them – maybe someone would have been able to take Alexis down before he killed so many innocents.
As for McMahon’s claim “this person walked in with an assault weapon,” it has now been confirmed that the only gun Alexis had when he entered the facility was a shotgun. This is no longer up for debate.
A shotgun is not an assault weapon, and for McMahon to be allowed to make this false representation without any challenge from Jansing was utterly pathetic.
Instead of correcting him, Jansing let his comments stand and moved on to question her other guest about a possible ban on assault weapons furthering McMahon’s false claim rather than refuting it.
When she eventually got back to McMahon, he once again spouted untruths that went unchallenged:
JANSING: Steve, you brought this up: states, because when legislation failed on a federal level after Newtown, gun control advocates said they would take the fight state by state. But the New York Times pointed out that gun rights advocates have pushed new laws in about half the states to relax restrictions on concealed carry laws.
JANSING: What's happening?
MCMAHON: Well, I mean, some of the blue states and some of the people who frankly are running for president that the NRA should fear like Mario Cuomo, I’m sorry, Andrew Cuomo and Martin O’Malley. I don't know if they'll run if Hillary runs, but they were the people who took on the NRA and signed tough gun laws in their states.
There are states that have relaxed gun restrictions and have enabled people to carry concealed weapons, but I don’t think that's the problem here that Democrats are going after. People carrying concealed weapons with licenses is not an issue. The issue here is the easy access that people who are mentally unstable have to guns, period, and then the easy access that people have to assault weapons and magazines that carry 30 or more rounds that can fire off rounds very, very quickly before the good guys with the guns that Wayne LaPierre likes to talk about can get there and do anything.
You saw it in Connecticut, you saw it in Aurora. You saw a nut with a gun last week in the Navy Yard where there were a lot of guns around and 12 people still got killed.
The dishonesty on display here was sick-making.
If people carrying concealed weapons with licenses isn’t a problem, then why have gun-free zones especially on military facilities?
That’s the very point LaPierre and others made concerning this recent massacre and others in gun-free zones: if more people with concealed carry licenses had guns at the Navy Yard last Monday, maybe fewer people would have died.
Instead of making that case, McMahon once again brought up “assault weapons and magazines that carry 30 or more rounds that can fire off rounds very quickly before the good guys with the guns that Wayne LaPierre likes to talk about can get there and do anything.”
Alexis didn’t possess such a weapon or ammunition when he entered the facility thereby making this point moot.
Sadly, Jansing once again opted not to challenge McMahon for his falsehoods or correct them for her viewers.
This led conservative author Ann Coulter to wrote me last evening about this segment saying, “Only on MSNBC could such breathtaking ignorance go unchallenged.”
I mostly agree with Ann on this with the exception of CNN’s Piers Morgan who also is allowed to demonstrate such breathtaking ignorance with total impunity.
He, too, believes every gun is an AR-15!