Cross posted at the MRC's NewsBusters blog
On Monday morning, in the aftermath of a mass shooting spree in Texas from the weekend, CNN personalities were again pushing for more gun laws, including "universal background checks." CNN's three-hour New Day morning show discussed the issue in four segments, and only had guests with left-leaning views on the issue of gun control.
Not only did liberal Republican contributor Ana Navarro slam the NRA and declare that she was "sick" of politicians giving "thoughts and prayers" instead of passing more gun control, CNN contributor Andrew McCabe made the questionable claim that "universal background checks" would have prevented two high-profile mass shootings as he repeated the myth of the Charleston loophole.
During the 6:00 a.m. hour, as Erica Hill was fill-in host, the three contributors were Joe Lockhart, Bianna Golodryga, and Phil Mudd -- Lockhart was notably press secretary in the 1990s under the Bill Clinton administration. Hill introduced the latest poll claiming that more than 90 percent of Americans support "univesral background checks" without noting that such proposals have never come close to that number in any state where the public has been allowed to vote on the matter.
Mudd called for law enforcement to speak out in favor of more gun control to try to get Congress to take action. Lockhart talked up successes in passing gun control in Colorado and Washington state without noting that violent crime increased in Colorado in the years since gun control was passed, reversing a previous downward trend.
In the second hour, McCabe appeared as a guest to discuss the issue, and, at about 7:20 a.m. Eastern, Hill took the rare step of actually asking hmi if more background checks could have prevented any recent mass shootings.
McCabe cited two cases, although he appears to be wrong on one, and the other was an arguably misleading example because it did not involved a private purchase.
McCabe first claimed that Charleston white supremacist Dylann Roof could have been stopped from buying a gun with a more thorough background check, although it has been argued by multiple sources that an FBI employee erred in claiming Roof was not legally eligible to purchase a gun before the church attack.
The CNN contributor and former FBI agent's second example was that of church attacker who passed a background check because the military had failed to enter some of his criminal background into the existing background check database.
But the often used term "universal background checks" usually refers largely to requiring individual gun owners to go to a gun shop and pay for a background check to sell or transfer a gun, even if it's to a friend or neighbor, which was not how he got the gun he used.
Later in the hour, Golodryga appeared in another segment as New York Times columnist and CNN contributor Frank Bruni also appeared, and the group discussed how gun control activists can overcome the "gun culture" which Bruni derided as "an oxymoron" so that the country could get to a "better place" with more strict gun laws. Bruni also praised Texas Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke for speaking out on the issue.
And, In the third hour, two Republicans finally showed up to discuss the issue, but they were both liberal Republican CNN contributors who agree with liberals on the issue of gun control. Former Pennsylvania Congressman Charlie Dent admitted that "universal background checks" probably would not have stopped recent mass shootings but claimed it was "good policy" anyway.
Navarro had one of her infamous outbursts as she trashed NRA influence over Republicans and then complained:
I am sick of politicians offering their thoughts and prayers. We didn't send them to Congress to pray -- we send them to face the national crises we are facing. And what we have going on with these mass shootings is a national epidemic, so get off your duffs and do your jobs and leave the thoughts and prayers for the rest of us who don't have the power to legislate.
Impressed by her outburst, host Hill approvingly suggested that they pause to ponder Navarro's rant: "I feel like we need a beat after that, Ana, just to let it sink in. And I think your passion is important, and we need to hear it.".