Fluff and Falsehoods in MSNBC Gun Control Segment

Rather than hard-hitting journalism, weekend MSNBC anchor Joy Reid routinely allows soft answers and vague replies from her liberal guests. An interview on Sunday was no exception when the AM Joy host asked Democrat Lucy McBath, congressional candidate for Georgia’s 6th district, questions about her stance on gun control.

After being asked how exactly she would, as a member of Congress, prevent gun violence, McBath argued that the tragic death of her son in a shooting “gives me a lot of credibility to really be able to speak very concretely to this crisis.” However, she failed to talk very concretely. 

 

 

Instead, she condemned the government for “overall just not really taking very seriously how important it is that we change this culture” without explaining what cultural changes she would like to see or her problems with the “culture.” She concluded by explaining how she would be willing to work with Republicans to “concretely make some changes and some headway on this issue to continue to save lives.” What exactly those concrete changes would be, let alone how they would save lives, was not explicated. 

Reid, in response, had to read off her platform planks, which included background checks, a minimum age for purchases, and limits on concealed carry. No questions were asked about how these measures could have prevented any recent acts of gun violence. In the next breath, however, Reid mentioned: “we've seen in Florida the agriculture commissioner have to admit that they failed to do thousands and thousands and thousands of background checks because the administrator apparently couldn't get into the computer.” As explained by the NRA-ILA, this is a blatant misrepresentation of the facts. 

Finally, asked about making new laws versus enforcing the law, McBath responded that such failures “will continue to happen. But there again, it’s about legislation” and legislators with “a very watchful eye over these kinds of things.” McBath continued that the solution comes in the form of “putting in place bills, initiatives, and amendments to prevent these kinds of things from happening.” The solution to a failure to follow laws, apparently, is more laws. 

During this segment, Reid promoted rather than seriously questioned McBath, and let empty answers go by without an ounce of scrutiny. 

 

The full transcript is below: 

JOY REID: You have been inspired by the death of your son, Jordan Davis, and you have said-- there is an interview with Mother Jones in which you talk about the fact that you are running to make sure this never happens again. Tell me how as a member of Congress you would try to ensure that what happened to your son doesn't happen to other kids. 

LUCY MCBATH: Well, Joy, I am the face of gun violence, unnecessary gun violence. And that is my reality. I think that gives me a lot of credibility to really be able to speak very concretely to this crisis. I think that it’s just outrageous to me that, you know, you would have state governments or the government overall just not really taking very seriously how important it is that we change this culture. And so it’s a matter of me trying to be able to build bridges in Washington even with Republicans and people that don't always necessarily agree with my standpoint. But being able to concretely make some changes and some headway on this issue to continue to save lives. 

REID: And obviously you’re in a state that is an open on carry state to the maximum. I mean, even gun-- concealed carry’s allowed in bars in Georgia which is pretty scary. Among the things that are on your platform-- that we pulled from your platform: background checks for all firearm purchases, raising the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21, defeating conceal carry reciprocity, legislation to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and other criminals. Lucy, we've seen in Florida the agriculture commissioner have to admit that  they failed to do thousands and thousands and thousands of background checks because the administrator apparently couldn't get into the computer. Even if we have stronger gun laws, how do we combat against people who  just oppose the idea of them and not enforcing them? 

MCBATH: Well, I mean and I think that was very, very reckless for that to happen because they just did not put gun safety first. And I think these kinds of things will continue to happen. But there again, it’s about legislation. There again, it’s about putting people in place, our legislators in place that are gonna have a very watchful eye over these kinds of things happening. You have to have people that you put in place that this is their focus, not the only focus, but understanding how important it is to make sure  that we are always keeping a watchful eye, putting in place bills, initiatives, and amendments to prevent these kinds of things from happening. 

 


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