MSNBC anchor Peter Alexander on Monday didn’t bother challenging an assertion by a Democratic Representative that Congress is “endorsing” “mass murder” with a failure to pursue gun control. Talking to Senator Chris Murphy, Alexander began by pushing the politician from the left: “Do you think that President Obama could do more?”
Murphy bluntly blamed, “I think that Congress is effectively, quietly, endorsing these mass murders because people who are having their minds unhinged note that there is no one here in the elected legislative branch of Congress who is getting together to do something about it in a practical way.”
Alexander offered no question or push back on the claim that the United States Congress “endorses” mass murder. Instead, he moved on to Hillary Clinton talking to parents of the Sandy Hook massacre: “Why do you think these parents who have lost their young children to gun violence have been unable to bring about any real real gun control, gun safety reforms?”
A partial transcript is below. (Thanks to MRC intern Michael McKinney for the transcript.)
PETER ALEXANDER: You heard about Hillary Clinton’s plan today. It includes comprehensive federal background legislation. It tightens rules governing gun shows and internet sales, repeals a law that prevents crime victims from suing gun manufacturers, revokes the licenses of back, back actor dealers. So we have been asking the viewers whether they think the plan or one like it could work. I want your take on that and whether you believe as she calling for some more executive actions right now, if she were to be president. Do you think that President Obama could do more? They say they’ve exhausted the possible executive actions without the help of Congress.
SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY: Well, I think Secretary Clinton today outlined some additional executive actions the Obama administration can take a look at. It would involve bringing more dealers across the country, who are outside of the requirement, to do background checks into that requirement.
ROBERTS: It would basically call them businesses so they would have different guidelines for the sales.
MURPHY: Yeah. It would be an acknowledgment that there are some people that are showing up at these gun shows on a weekly or a weekend basis and are acting much more like full-time gun dealers than part-time gun dealers. So — and there are people selling on the internet who are doing enough volume to be doing background checks, as well.
So, there’s no doubt that there’s more room with respect to executive action and I think the President actually said that during his statement last week that he’s going to be looking at additional ways to work without Congress and hitting a ceiling some point. And if we want meaningful change, then we have to do something. And I’ve said for a long time I think that Congress is effectively, quietly, endorsing these mass murders because people who are having their minds unhinged note that there is no one here in the elected legislative branch of Congress who is getting together to do something about it in a practical way. So, I think without Congress acting here, we are going to see more and more of these mass slaughters, and that’s an abomination.
ALEXANDER: So, Senator, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton appeared emotional today when she introduced the mother of Sandy Hook victim, 6-year old Dylan Hockly. I want to listen to that moment.
HILLARY CLINTON: So many of the parents of these precious children who were murdered, have taken the unimaginable grief that they have been bearing and have tried to be the voices that we need to hear.
ALEXANDER: Strikingly emotional moment there in New Hampshire today. Why do you think these parents who have lost their young children to gun violence have been unable to bring about any real gun control, gun safety reforms?
MURPHY: I think the NRA spent several decades building up a political infrastructure that was ready when Sandy Hook happened to beat us in congress and, you know, I hope that doesn't take us 20 years but we have to build up a political infrastructure in favor of anti-gun violence measures that rivals theirs and what I like about Hillary Clinton is that she is going to put this issue on the ballot. A lot of my colleagues, Democrats, have been scared to go out there and be forcefully for background checks or bans on assault weapons because they are scared of the gun lobby. 90% of Americans agree with on background checks and really important that Secretary Clinton is showing that she is going to put the issue on the ballot in 2012. I think we'll win.
ALEXANDER: Some people at, "The New York Times" I think in an op-ed of this summer said and we have it up on the screen to pull up, the federal government is the nation's top gun buyer. It purchases more than a quarter of the guns and ammunition sold legally in the US. State and local law enforcement agencies also purchase a large share. Major gun manufacturers depend on it for the government to keep buying guns from the companies, purchases meant to ensure public safety without making demands for change is to squander its leverage. Do you think that's a place where this administration can look for some potential change by putting pressure on gun manufacturers for some new technologies whether it's fingerprint I.D. or some codes required on the side of the gown to make them safer?
MURPHY: I think that's a really important point. And the fact is that technology has been slow to develop in part because the gun manufacturers haven't decided to put money behind it. They don't think there's a market there and so if the U.S. Government has the ability, we have to purchase these weapons and so we might as well tell manufacturers if they're working on technologies to make guns safer, they're more likely to get purchases from the U.S. Government. I think we have got to look at every possible lever here and the Sandy Hook parents have been really strong on this issue of gun safety. They recognize there's no one solution to the epidemic of gun violence and working on mental health, I think the best chance to pass something in congress. Working on new gun laws and safety initiatives. They understand it’s got to be a panoply of responses.