On Monday’s New Day, as Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake appeared as a guest, CNN host Alisyn Camerota spent nearly five minutes repeatedly pushing in favor of more gun laws in the aftermath of recent mass shootings, lamenting that it seems “hopeless” to expect Congress to take action.
During the interview — which took place before it was reported that a clerical error had allowed the gunman in Texas to pass a background check and purchase guns in spite of a criminal record — Flake advised her that it was important to wait long enough to learn how he obtained his guns before rushing to take action.
In her second question, the CNN host sounded like she was repeating liberal gun control talking points as she referred to there being “270 million guns on the streets.” Camerota: “Has Congress just sort of decided that this is the cost of living in the United States in a country with 270 million guns on the streets?”
She soon brought up the issue of bump stocks and complained that Congress is not moving quickly enough: “But why doesn’t it seem that Congress ever does anything? What’s happened with bump stocks, for instance?” She soon pressed: “Why isn’t Congress acting? It’s been 35 days. Let’s do something.”
After Senator Flake indicated that, if the ATF does not begin regulating bump stocks, that he would then push for congressional action, Camerota followed up: “I don’t know, Senator. It just feels so hopeless, you know. After every one of these, we all say, ‘Well, maybe there’s nothing we can do. I don’t know. We have to change attitudes.’ Do you think this is a mental health issue, as the President said?”
Below is a transcript of all of Camerota’s questions on guns that came before she shifted to discussing North Korea, from the Monday, November 6, New Day on CNN:
ALISYN CAMEROTA: In the past three weeks, three acts of mass murder have shaken America — two mass shootings and a terror attack have left 92 Americans dead and more than 500 injured. President Trump says the latest attack was a mental health issue, not a gun issue. So what will Congress do about that?
Twenty-six people killed — 20 injured while they were at a Sunday church service. Has Congress just sort of decided that this is the cost of living in the United States in a country with 270 million guns on the streets?
This guy did a year in jail for assault of his wife and child. He was kicked out of military service as a result. How could this guy get a gun?
It can happen anywhere. This is what’s happening now. I mean, look at Charleston — look at what happened in that church service. Look at what happened to you. You were playing baseball in Virginia in the morning with your colleagues, and a gunman opened fire. I mean, do you have a feeling that “enough is enough.”
But why doesn’t it seem that Congress ever does anything? What’s happened with bump stocks, for instance?
What do you — I mean, having been a victim of it now yourself, what do you think is the solution? What can happen today?
SENATOR JEFF FLAKE (R-AZ): I don’t think there’s any one solution, but there are —
CAMEROTA: What can help?
CAMEROTA: Why isn’t Congress acting? It’s been 35 days. Let’s do something.
FLAKE: We’re waiting for — to see what the agencies do on their own. If they don’t act, then Congress will.
CAMEROTA: And what’s the time frame on that?
FLAKE: We’ll see. We’ll see. I know that it seems like we never take action —
CAMEROTA: It seems like you never take action.
FLAKE: It’s a lot easier for the agencies to move on something like this — I hope they do. But if they don’t, Congress needs to act on this.
CAMEROTA: Within the next month?
FLAKE: I would think so. I would think that’s enough time for the agencies to actually come back and say we can do this.
CAMEROTA: I don’t know, Senator. It just feels so hopeless, you know. After every one of these, we all say, “Well, maybe there’s nothing we can do. I don’t know. We have to change attitudes.” Do you think this is a mental health issue, as the President said?
CAMEROTA: Do you think there’s any element of this that is a guns issue?
FLAKE: We don’t know enough yet. We don’t know what kind of weapon or if it was an automatic or a semi-automatic —
CAMEROTA: We know he had a semi-automatic weapon and that he had done time for assault. Is that okay?
FLAKE: Well, we don’t know how he got the weapon, if that came up or should have come up —
CAMEROTA: I think legally.
FLAKE: I think it should come up if somebody’s done time like that.
CAMEROTA: Can you do something about that?
FLAKE: When we find more information, but I, you know, we’re less than 24 hours in, so I want to find out more information before I say definitively.