MSNBC Bewails Lack of Weapons Ban: “What’s It Going to Take?”

Gun Rights

Just a day after President Biden pledged he was going to “get rid of assault weapons,” MSNBC viewers heard guests and hosts obediently blame gun deaths on Republicans for failing to pass legislation banning these weapons.

“What’s it going to take?” MSNBC anchor Katy Tur wailed at the top of the 2pm ET hour of MSNBC Reports on Friday. “If it’s not going to take children getting shot, or shoppers in a Walmart, even though that was a pistol, other places, other markets, kids getting shot, lawmakers getting shot, I mean what is there — do you have a sense of where the line is, or if that line exists for lawmakers to say, ‘ugh, God, we’re just a little bit tired of this?’”

“The line is probably 60 Senate Democratic votes,” Punchbowl’s Jake Sherman replied.

“This has become a signal of where you stand on the culture war,” The Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes grumped an hour earlier. “It’s why you have members of Congress who fetishize gun, who put out Christmas cards showing, you know, their families all holding, basically, weapons of mass destruction….Unfortunately you have some of the most prominent voices on the right who have been willing to demagogue this particular issue.”

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Earlier, however, MSNBC’s 11am ET anchor Jose Diaz Balart inadvertently let the cat out of the bag when, at the end of a segment about the upcoming special election in Georgia, asked Atlanta Journal-Constitution Washington correspondent Tia Mitchell about Biden’s push, which he admitted would “probably stall” on Capitol Hill.

“Do you think this issue is something that can bring voters out in Georgia on one side or the other?” he wondered.

Mitchell replied: “The issue of an assault weapon ban, particularly, is more of a rallying cry for Democrats.”

So, why would the President throw his weight behind a legislative dead end? Because it might help get out the vote in Georgia, and pad the Democrats’ Senate majority to 51. Oh, and early voting in Georgia starts tomorrow. How helpful of MSNBC to pump out hour after hour of one-sided cause bolstering this mission.

Here are the relevant transcripts from Friday, November 25. (Click expand)

# MSNBC Reports, 2:09pm ET

Anchor KATY TUR: I wonder, do you have a sense — and you’ve seen a lot over the last decade and a half covering Capitol Hill. You’ve seen lawmakers get shot, Steve Scalise, get shot with an assault-style weapon. What’s it going to take? If it’s not going to take children getting shot, or shoppers in a Walmart, even though that was a pistol, other places, other markets, kids getting shot, lawmakers getting shot, I mean what is there — do you have a sense of where the line is, or if that line exists for lawmakers to say, ‘ugh, God, we’re just a little bit tired of this?’

Punchbowl’s JAKE SHERMAN: The line is probably 60 Senate Democratic votes….

# MSNBC Reports, 1:08pm ET

Anchor CHRIS JANSING: Why hasn’t there been any change? We keep hearing about how the NRA has lost its power, its not putting enough money in, you know, like it used to. They’ve cut their support by millions of dollars. What is the hold that this has on Congress and in this case, in the Senate in particular?

The Bulwark’s CHARLIE SYKES: Well, first of all Chris, a quick correction. I am absolutely not a Republican. Have not been one for years, given what’s happened to the Republican party.

The hold on the, on Congress is, basically, this has become part of the culture war, this has become a signal of where you stand on the culture war. It’s why you have members of Congress who fetishize gun, who put out Christmas cards showing, you know, their families all holding, basically, weapons of mass destruction. And unfortunately this has becoming more than simply the second amendment. And this is something that has been locked in and unfortunately you have some of the most prominent voices on the right who have been willing to demagogue this particular issue.

But you know even though this is a lost cause for the Biden administration and gun control advocates, I think that this is a lost cause worth pursuing because otherwise the world is going to look at the United States and wonder why are we so indifferent? Why are we numb? Why are we unable to do the kinds of things that is virtually every other civilized country on the planet has done? so even though the votes are not there, I hope they go ahead with it, because I think we need to constantly challenge the conscience of the nation and put people on record.

# MSNBC Reports, approx. 11:15am

Anchor JOSE DIAZ BALART: Tia, as you know, President Biden announced that he’s going to be renewing his push for a national assault weapons ban, a move which is likely to probably stall in Congress. Do you think this issue is something that can bring voters out in Georgia on one side or the other?

TIA MITCHELL, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: You know, I do think that the issue of guns, which is kind of one subset of the overall issue of crime, is really important to voters. When we polled voters both formally and informally ahead of the general election, we heard over and over again that crime is of concern from voters in both parties. But we know that interpretation is different. Democrats are more likely to support gun control measures, Republicans are more likely to support legal access to guns which they think can help good guys deter the bad guys. So I think — however, the issue of an assault weapon ban, particularly, is more of a rallying cry for Democrats.

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