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CNN Gives Anti-Trump Heckler Forum to Bash Trump

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Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

On Tuesday afternoon, CNN host Brianna Keilar picked up on the heckler who shouted at President Donald Trump during the State of the Union Address, and gave him a forum to complain about how the President has handled the gun control issue.

Setting up her interview with Fred Guttenberg -- a gun control activist who lost his daughter in the Parkland school shooting -- Keilar showed a clip of him shouting and being escorted away after President Trump talked about protecting the Second Amendment:

KEILAR: That was Fred Guttenberg. He is a gun reform activist whose daughter Jamie was killed in the Parkland school shooting two years ago this week. And he was escorted out of the President's speech for shouting. A few days after the State of the Union, President Trump met with a group called Stand with Parkland which is comprised of some of the families of Parkland victims who have been working with the federal government on a new school safety website. Fred Guttenberg is not a member of that group.

The CNN host then began by posing to him:

So I want to walk through this moment with you because you were responding to the President who was saying that the Second Amendment was under attack across the country. The thing you shouted was, "What about victims of gun violence like my daughter?" Will you just take me through what you were feeling and why you yelled out?

As if there were any doubt that Guttenberg's political views are generally to the left, he began by complaining about President Trump's effort to prevent crime by illegal immigrants or even calling them "illegal." Guttenberg:

FRED GUTTENBERG, GUN CONTROL ACTIVIST: Earlier in the speech, he spent time talking about violence, but talking about violence against Americans by "illegals," as he would say, and how the way to address violence is to do all this awful, nasty stuff. And all I could sit there thinking about was my daughter was killed by an American teen male. And so I was getting angry because he wasn't addressing actually the cause of all violence in this country.

Guttenberg then complained about President Trump's talk of defending the Second Amendment:

Later on in the speech when he got to the part about the Second Amendment, and he said, "I will defend your Second Amendment rights which are under attack and under siege all over this country," he's saying to his followers that people like me want to attack the Second Amendment. And that's just an absolute, brutal, disgusting, vicious lie. Under no circumstance in no place in this country is the Second Amendment under attack.

In spite of the fact that there are Democrats trying to infringe on gun rights beyond the actions that were taken in Florida, Guttenberg claimed the Second Amendment is not really coming under attack:

And no lawful legal gun owner feels the sting of gun safety measures that are being proposed. In Florida, we passed gun safety three weeks after my daughter died -- not a single legal lawful gun owner spends a second thinking about that law because it has not impacted them. And so when he said he's going to defend the Second Amendment with a lie, but not "I'm going to defend your children -- I'm going to defend your loved ones against gun violence," I got emotional, and I lost it. And I try to go forward in this process of fighting for gun safety and not letting my emotions get the best of me -- they did that night.

Not mentioned was that the Florida law made it illegal for those under 21 to purchase certain types of guns, thus placing restrictions on legal gun owners. Keilar did not dispute any of his claims for the rest of the eight-minute segment as she asked him followup questions on the issue.

Guttenberg later complained about the White House making him feel excluded from a meeting of some Parkland parents because the schedule originally neglected to specify that it was for the group, Stand with Parkland, which he is not a member of.

Below is a partial transcript of the segment from the Tuesday, February 11, CNN Right Now with Brianna Keilar:

BRIANNA KEILAR: At last week's State of the Union Address, President Trump made a pledge to continue his support for gun rights which sparked this moment.

[clip from State of the Union in which Fred Guttenberg heckles President Donald Trump and gets escorted out]

That was Fred Guttenberg. He is a gun reform activist whose daughter Jamie was killed in the Parkland school shooting two years ago this week. And he was escorted out of the President's speech for shouting. A few days after the State of the Union, President Trump met with a group called Stand with Parkland which is comprised of some of the families of Parkland victims who have been working with the federal government on a new school safety website. Fred Guttenberg is not a member of that group. He is joining me now. .... So I want to walk through this moment with you because you were responding to the President who was saying that the Second Amendment was under attack across the country. The thing you shouted was, "What about victims of gun violence like my daughter?" Will you just take me through what you were feeling and why you yelled out?

FRED GUTTENBERG, FATHER OF PARKLAND SHOOTING VICTIM: Yeah, you know, listen, earlier in the speech, he spent time talking about violence, but talking about violence against Americans by "illegals," as he would say, and how the way to address violence is to do all this awful, nasty stuff. And all I could sit there thinking about was my daughter was killed by an American teen male. And so I was getting angry because he wasn't addressing actually the cause of all violence in this country.

Later on in the speech when he got to the part about the Second Amendment, and he said, "I will defend your Second Amendment rights which are under attack and under siege all over this country," he's saying to his followers that people like me want to attack the Second Amendment. And that's just an absolute, brutal, disgusting, vicious lie. Under no circumstance in no place in this country is the Second Amendment under attack. And no lawful legal gun owner feels the sting of gun safety measures that are being proposed.

In Florida, we passed gun safety three weeks after my daughter died -- not a single legal lawful gun owner spends a second thinking about that law because it has not impacted them. And so when he said he's going to defend the Second Amendment with a lie, but not "I'm going to defend your children -- I'm going to defend your loved ones against gun violence," I got emotional, and I lost it. And I try to go forward in this process of fighting for gun safety and not letting my emotions get the best of me -- they did that night.

 

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