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MSNBC Lets Gun Control Activist Bash GOP Over Mass Shootings

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Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

In the aftermath of the mass shooting at the naval base in Pensacola, Florida, MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle invited on gun control activist Fred Guttenberg as a guest to complain about Republicans refusing to pass Democratic-supported gun control, It was the second time in less than two weeks that she has had the liberal activist on her show to discuss the issue.

At 9:29 a.m., as MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle gave coverage to the Pensacola shootings, Ruhle noted that Guttenberg's daughter, Jaime, was killed in the Parkland attack, and then recalled an op-ed he recently published attacking President Donald Trump and other Republicans, and then asked for his response to the latest mass shooting:

RUHLE: Just a few weeks ago, he penned an op-ed titled: "Trump, McConnell, nearly 2,000 kids died since you blocked gun safety legislation. How dare you accuse Congress of inaction?" Fred, you have been fighting for gun safety for the last two years, and here we are this morning talking about another shooting -- this time in your home state. What's your initial reaction?

After noting that he had recently attended a ceremony to honor victims of gun violence, he then added:

My reaction is, America is sick. And until we deal with this sickness which allows this overwhelming abundance of weapons on our streets in the hands of people who intend to kill without taking any serious effort to do anything about it, this is going to keep happening.

Without acknowledging that there are strict laws that prevent most people on military bases from carrying their guns with them, Guttenberg argued that the presence of armed individuals does not prevent mass shootings:

And what frightens me, Stephanie, is we're now watching two military bases this week where people -- where you have armed guards all over the place, and yet you still have armed shooters killing. We're now talking about putting more armed guards in schools and places of worship. Armed guards are not stopping these shootings. They're not. And if we don't take this seriously about how to grapple with the reality that we're allowing weapons in the hands of those who intend to kill, we're going to keep having these casualties.

Ruhle followed up: "So what is your message to lawmakers right now? I mean, you're living in the state of Florida where we're seeing this happen time and again."

Guttenberg then admitted he was not familiar with gun laws on military bases but still pushed his views attacking Republicans for how they have handled the gun issue anyway:

Yeah, and without knowing all the details yet, of what happened here and not being as familiar with all the laws around military bases, my message to lawmakers in general is: Get off your asses -- it's enough. There are so many things that can be done -- very practical, pragmatic things that will save lives. And you watch, for example, what happens right now in Washington, D.C., with Mitch McConnell and the President playing this little dance that keeps them from doing anything at all while our people -- the people who serve this country -- are now dying. It's unbelievable. Get off your ass, stop talking about the politics of it, do something. There are things we can do to save lives, but standing back and making politics of this and playing games isn't going to save anybody.

On Tuesday, November 26, Ruhle had Guttenberg on her afternoon Velshi and Ruhle show in the aftermath of the Santa Clarita school shooting, and read from his op-ed attacking Republicans. At 1:28 p.m. Eastern, she announced:

STEPHANIE RUHLE: It has now been just 12 days since that latest school shooting, and classes will resume on Monday. And it has been almost two years since a former student opened fire in Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida -- the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history. where 17 people were killed and 17 others were injured. Now, the father of one of those victims is speaking out in a scathing new op-ed directed at President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Guttenberg began by praising Democrats and others who have pushed more gun control:

GUTTENBERG: I'm glad you distinguish between what's happening nationally and locally because you have mayors, governors, and state attorneys general across this country who are doing amazing, heroic things. You have businesses who are doing amazing, heroic things. Ed Stack of Dick's Sporting Goods is my hero. However, you also have Washington, D.C., and what's happening in Washington is the House of Representative under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi and some really heroic people in the House have gone ahead and passed legislation -- legislation that, if enacted into law, will start saving lives immediately.

He then took aim at Republican leadership as he added:

GUTTENBERG: And, sadly, Mitch McConnell and the current occupant of the White House are standing on it. They will not allow anything to go forward, and so it puts everything at a standstill, And what they do is it's worse than doing nothing because then they take that and they act as if they're doing something and the House of Representatives isn't. And that's the ultimate lie. And I will tell you, this next election can't come soon enough.

Relevant transcripts follow.

From the Friday, December 6, MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle:

9:29 a.m. Eastern

STEPHANIE RUHLE: We're going to bring in Fred Guttenberg now, Fred lost his daughter, Jaime. She was killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Fred has become an activist speaking about taking action around gun safety since he lost his daughter, Jaime. Just a few weeks ago, he penned an op-ed titled: "Trump, McConnell, nearly 2,000 kids died since you blocked gun safety legislation. How dare you accuse Congress of inaction?" Fred, you have been fighting for gun safety for the last two years, and here we are this morning talking about another shooting -- this time in your home state. What's your initial reaction?

FRED GUTTENBERG, GUN CONTROL ACTIVIST: You know, Stephanie, a few days ago, I was in D.C. … attending the National Gun Violence Vigil in Washington, D.C., and, while there, there was news of a shooting on another military base. And here we are, two days later, and there's news of another shooting on a military base. My reaction is, America is sick. And until we deal with this sickness which allows this overwhelming abundance of weapons on our streets in the hands of people who intend to kill without taking any serious effort to do anything about it, this is going to keep happening.

And what frightens me, Stephanie, is we're now watching two military bases this week where people -- where you have armed guards all over the place, and yet you still have armed shooters killing. We're now talking about putting more armed guards in schools and places of worship. Armed guards are not stopping these shootings. They're not. And if we don't take this seriously about how to grapple with the reality that we're allowing weapons in the hands of those who intend to kill, we're going to keep having these casualties.

RUHLE: So what is your message to lawmakers right now? I mean, you're living in the state of Florida where we're seeing this happen time and again.

GUTTENBERG: Yeah, and without knowing all the details yet, of what happened here and not being as familiar with all the laws around military bases, my message to lawmakers in general is: Get off your asses -- it's enough. There are so many things that can be done -- very practical, pragmatic things that will save lives. And you watch, for example, what happens right now in Washington, D.C., with Mitch McConnell and the President playing this little dance that keeps them from doing anything at all while our people -- the people who serve this country -- are now dying. It's unbelievable. Get off your ass, stop talking about the politics of it, do something. There are things we can do to save lives, but standing back and making politics of this and playing games isn't going to save anybody.

(…)

From the November 26 Velshi and Ruhle on MSNBC:

1:28 p.m. Eastern

STEPHANIE RUHLE: It has now been just 12 days since that latest school shooting, and classes will resume on Monday. And it has been almost two years since a former student opened fire in Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida -- the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history. where 17 people were killed and 17 others were injured. Now, the father of one of those victims is speaking out in a scathing new op-ed directed at President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

(…)

RUHLE: Fred, your daughter, Jaime, was just 14 years old -- a dancer, a student -- when she was killed. What do you make of the changes in gun legislation in the last two years?

FRED GUTTENBERG, GUN CONTROL ACTIVIST: You know, I'm glad you distinguish between what's happening nationally and locally because you have mayors, governors, and state attorneys general across this country who are doing amazing, heroic things. You have businesses who are doing amazing, heroic things. Ed Stack of Dick's Sporting Goods is my hero. However, you also have Washington, D.C., and what's happening in Washington is the House of Representative under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi and some really heroic people in the House have gone ahead and passed legislation -- legislation that, if enacted into law, will start saving lives immediately.

And, sadly, Mitch McConnell and the current occupant of the White House are standing on it. They will not allow anything to go forward, and so it puts everything at a standstill, And what they do is it's worse than doing nothing because then they take that and they act as if they're doing something and the House of Representatives isn't. And that's the ultimate lie. And I will tell you, this next election can't come soon enough..

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