It’s been more than a week since gunman Stephen Paddock killed 59 people and wounded more than 500 others attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in the Las Vegas strip on Sunday, October 1, but liberals are still trying to use this tragedy to push for stricter gun-control laws.
Joining the fray on the Sunday edition of Fareed Zakaria GPS (Global Public Square) on the Cable News Network, the host called for laws to be enacted to restrict gun possession apparently without knowing that those laws are already on the books.
According to an article by Stephen Gutowski, a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon who spent four years with the Media Research Center (the umbrella organization of NewsBusters), Zakaria responded to the massacre by calling for legislation that already exists.
Gutowski stated: “While chastising the country for not more quickly adopting gun-control measures he favors, Zakaria said a ban on gun sales to domestic abusers or illegal drug users could make a big difference.”
The CNN host noted:
Given the Second Amendment, given America's gun culture, given the influence of the gun lobby, there isn't any simple answer, but there are many small fixes that might make a big difference.
Universal background checks. Restrictions on military-style weaponry -- of which banning bump stocks would be a tiny first step, A ban on selling to people with a history of domestic violence or substance abuse.
Gutowski then quoted federal law to declare that “it is already illegal to sell a firearm to anyone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense or an illegal drug user.”
“It is also illegal for any user of illegal drugs or person convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense to own or possess a firearm,” he continued. “The prohibition extends to users of drugs that are legal at the state level but still illegal under federal law.”
Nevertheless, Zakaria stated: “How to tackle this issue is a more complex problem made particularly difficult by the fact that we refuse to study it."
The CNN anchor then noted: “One of the main government agencies that sponsors research on public health -- the Centers for Disease Control (and Prevention) -- has been virtually forbidden by law from doing any research on gun violence and public policy for two decades.”
Zakaria also stated: “A law championed by the NRA (National Rifle Association) essentially prohibits the CDC from sponsoring research that might advocate or promote gun control, so in America in 2017, we have a ban on scientific research that might lead to inconvenient conclusions.”
“But first,” he continued, “we have to stop the dodges and the diversions. When you consider America's stubborn inaction in the face of this continuing and preventable epidemic of gun violence, I sometimes wonder if it is all of us Americans who are crazy."
Selling a firearm to a person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense or who is a user of illegal drugs is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison.
Possession of a firearm by an illegal drug user or someone convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor is also punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison.
“Additionally,” he stated, “if an illegal drug user or person convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor has three or more prior convictions for violent felonies or drug trafficking felonies, they may receive a minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without the possibility of parole.”
“Federal law also prohibits felons, people awaiting trial for a felony, nonpermanent aliens, anyone subject to a domestic restraining order, fugitives from justice and anyone dishonorably discharged from the military from buying, owning or possessing firearms,” Gutowski noted.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Zakaria isn’t the first person on CNN to call for more gun control after the Las Vegas massacre.
On Friday's edition of CNN’s weekday morning New Day program, co-host Chris Cuomo responded to a call for restrictions on bump stocks -- which speed up the rate of semi-automatic fire to mimic fully automatic fire -- by accusing the NRA of "hypocrisy" and seeing "craven political BS" from some Republicans.
Then on Sunday, a panel on the Inside Politics program whined that legislation on gun control wasn’t advancing fast enough.
While host John King seemed excited by the fact that House Speaker Paul Ryan was open to having some form of regulation on bump stocks, the Washington Post’s Karoun Demirjian fretted that an ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) regulation would just be removed later.
Of course, no movement on gun control is fast enough for liberal Democrats, who are following the motto of not letting a good crisis go to waste.