On February 15 at 11 pm, CNN Tonight with Don Lemon held a debate between the Nation’s Joan Walsh–The Nation is the farthest left of the U.S. political magazines, and is fairly described as Socialist—and National Review editor Rich Lowry. TNR is the most venerable of U.S. conservative publications. The subject was gun control, following the horrific high school shooting in Florida. Lemon was supposed to moderate.
I began watching the segment, which was amazingly, perilously long, until my head exploded, nearly killing Rugby. Yesterday, I finally found a transcript of the exchange, and realized that those of you who think your heads are immune from detonation can test your cranial fortitude by trying to read it.
I recommend the test. It is challenging, and if your head survives intact, you can safely assume that nothing will send your brain matter to the ceiling, which is feeling of security we all aspire to. First, however, line the room with plastic sheets. Wear something easily washable (or nothing at all.) And for God’s sake, keep pets and loved ones out of the room. No helmets allowed.
I will break in from time to time to comment, and check on how you are doing.
We’ll begin the transcript when the early part of the discussion had turned to the NRA and its large contributions to elected officials…
RICH LOWRY: Well, I think you’re looking at this totally from the wrong perspective. Let’s take Paul Ryan for instance. I’m sure — I’m almost certain he was pro-gun rights even before he thought about running for Congress. So the idea all the Republicans are secret gun controllers and just have been bought off to go out and lie and pretend they’re in favor of gun rights is not true. This is a sincere conviction.
DON LEMON: Where is the evidence? I never said that.
JOAN WALSH: I don’t think Don was saying that.
LOWRY: Well you’re suggesting that Paul Ryan —
LEMON: I’m not suggesting anything.
LOWRY: — because of the money.
LEMON: I’m just reading the facts.
LOWRY: Okay, so the contributions have nothing to do with Paul Ryan’s conviction on guns? We agree on that?
LEMON: No, we don’t agree with that.
LOWRY: Okay. That’s the point I’m making. I’m sure he was pro —
LEMON: I’m not saying — you’re saying they’re secret gun controllers. I never intimated that.
LOWRY: Yes. You’re saying they’re bought off. So — if they’re — what are they being bought off to a position they don’t agree with it? Is that what you’re suggesting?
LEMON: Do you think they’re not influenced by the money?
LEMON: Are you influenced by money?
LOWRY: Let’s talk about Paul Ryan.
LEMON: Do you know where your bread is butter?
LOWRY: Let’s talk about Paul Ryan. You think he is a secret gun controller? He has always been in favor of gun control.
WALSH: No, no one is saying that why creating the straw person that is what. It’s not something either one of us would.
LOWRY: No. Well — How it the money relevant? So it’s a sincere conviction.
WALSH: The money is relevant, because they have an alliance, the money is relevant.
LEMON: The money is getting them elected.
WALSH: The money gets them elected.
LOWRY: The NRA supporting him because he’s pro-gun.
WALSH: They have come around to —
LEMON: I am looking at it that way.
WALSH: — absolutism version of the First Amendment where common sense gun laws don’t work.
LOWRY: What’s wrong?
LEMON: No it doesn’t. Because he is influenced by the money.
LOWRY: No, no, no. So you think he —
LEMON: If the NRA —
LOWRY: — you think that —
LEMON: — is not paying him the money, then he would —
LOWRY: — when he was 16 years old out hunting deer, he was in favor of gun control then he ran for office and all this lobbyist money came to him and he changed his view on guns. That’s absurd
WALSH: You are creating a straw person.
LEMON: So, why oppose common sense restrictions that the vast number of Americans support and, by the way, do you think he was out with an AR-15 hunting?
LOWRY: I’m sure he is out with a rifle.
LEMON: Okay but an AR-15?
HEAD CHECK I. Head still intact? Good for you.
A. Note that Don Lemon is supposed to be the moderator. This format is that CNN invites two “experts” on different sides of an issue to debate points for the edification of its audience. The theory is that this is fair and even handed. Lemon is the worst, most incompetent moderator of all time, because he literally could not be worse. If he were a boxing referee, he’d be pummeling one of the fighters. Not only does he take the role of an advocate, teaming up with Walsh against Lowry, but because that leaves the segment with no moderator, it rendered the segment incoherent, with everyone talking over each other, shouting and interrupting while seldom finishing a sentence or a thought. Lemon, supposedly a professional broadcast journalist, is, therefor incompetent as well as biased. He’s not doing his job; he’s abusing his position, and he’s cheating his audience. All of CNN’s anchors do this, but seldom to this extent. Does Lemon even know what moderating is?
B. My head lasted through this segment, but Walsh using the ridiculous, politically correct “straw person” twice almost did me in. The term is “strawman,’ and it refers to scarecrows, which, unless someone is trying to make a feminist point to birds, are made to look male. This is how Leftists make themselves look silly. I can’t take someone seriously who uses a phrase like “Straw person.” It’s as bad as “Hangperson.”
C. Lowry is quite right: if Walsh and Lemon believe that the NRA’s money is the reason why members of Congress don’t support gun restriction measures, then they are arguing that these members would vote for such measures without the contributions. They are exhibiting a particularly crippling kind of bias. They believe that their position is so obvious, so correct, that nobody would ever sincerely oppose it unless they were bribed. It is also an unusually hypocritical argument for any partisan to make, as it can easily be turned around to make the same claim regarding legislators opposing “sensible abortion restrictions,” for example. I’m sure that legislators on both sides of the aisle have positions that they vote for to keep donors happy; I’m also sure that that many big interest group donations go to politicians because they sincerely and enthusiastically support those interests, and would with or without the contributions.
D. Most of all: how useless, inarticulate. amateurish and chaotic can a segment be? You’re going to find out, unfortunately…
LOWRY: An AR-15 is the most popular rifle in the country at the moment.
LEMON: So what does that mean? That is a problem. That is a problem.
LOWRY: Millions people own them and they don’t go out and shoot up schools. Every one of those gun control measures that you mentioned… universal background checks, a cosmetic ban on certain stylistic weapons… would do nothing to stop these sort of killings.
WALSH: That’s actually not true.
LEMON: How do you know that unless you try it, Rich? How do you know?
WALSH: That’s actually not true and we’re not —
LOWRY: Okay, Virginia Tech one of the worst school shootings. What weapon was used?
WALSH: — changing the culture.
LEMON: Hold on, hold on, hold on let me — let me just tell you this. Other countries have done the same thing. They have banned, done background checks. They have done sensible gun legislation and guess what? They aren’t nearly where we are when it comes to guns, but even — even by percentage wise.
LOWRY: Let’s talk about background checks. Everyone brings up background checks.
LOWRY: Almost every single case, they passed a background check because they hadn’t been adjudicated and weren’t guilty of crimes.
LEMON: So, then that is —
LOWRY: There is no background check you can devise —
LEMON: — that’s the problem.
WALSH: In fact there is. There actually is. You could — you could devise it.
LEMON: So they haven’t been adjudicated. That’s the problem. It doesn’t have to be adjudicated.
LOWRY: So how are you — how are you going to adjudicate someone who hasn’t committed a crime?
WALSH: This young man —
LEMON: So you could do a background check and do it longer.
WALSH: — the police were at —
LEMON: Hold on, Joan, let me get — you can do a background check. You can have the length be longer. So you can also have —
LOWRY: If you’re talking.
LEMON: — it where it doesn’t have to be adjudicated. It could be a doctor, you could — you could send people to be checked.
LOWRY: Two things.
LEMON: You could check their records when it comes to psychology.
LOWRY: If you’re saying that means pay more attention to people who are troubled and mentally ill —
LEMON: No, I’m saying you can do both.
LOWRY: — have more interventions I agree with you.
LEMON: You can do both.
LOWRY: I agree with you.
LEMON: You can do both.
WALSH: But Republicans are siding with the budget.
LOWRY: But you’re criticizing Donald Trump for saying that.
HEAD CHECK 2.
A. I literally have no clue what some of that was about. What does “siding with the budget” mean? They are criticizing Donald Trump for saying what? You know what would help a lot? A moderator. At one point, Lemon interrupts Walsh to make his point, and badly, too. This is moderator malpractice.
B. Lemon keeps saying, “That’s the problem.” Yes, Don, we know the entire issue is a problem. You’re ignoring your duties as a moderator to inject brilliant observations like “That’s a problem”?
C. This is like listening to strangers at another table in a restaurant talk about something they know nothing about. Or like in “Annie Hall”…
In the case of Lemon and Walsh, we would want to pull out George Mason and James Madison to explain the Constitution, which prohibits taking away individual rights without due process, or “adjudication.” These segments are supposed to make viewers better informed, not less.
D. As every parent know, it is impossible to argue with six-year-old without sounding like one. What is Lowry talking about with his “pay more attention to people who are troubled and mentally ill”? This is lazy blather. What’s troubled? What’s mentally ill? Michael Savage argues that liberals are mentally ill. Some experts think transexuals are mentally ill. A large segment of police suffer from depression. What the hell is “troubled’?
LEMON: I’m criticizing all politicians —
LOWRY: Okay. It’s a constitutional right.
LEMON: — regardless if they’re Republican or Democrat who will not even broach the subject of how we get sensible gun legislation to stop this from happening.
LOWRY: No. We talk about it all the time.
WALSH: Well, there’s very few Democrats who won’t talk about it.
LEMON: The solutions —
LEMON: We talk about it all the time. We don’t do anything.
LOWRY: — the solutions you offer have no interaction with these horrific crimes. If you can give me a gun control idea —
LEMON: Okay, Dianne Feinstein proposed —
LOWRY: — that would actually stop one of these, then —
LEMON: — proposed that people who —
LOWRY: — we can have a conversation.
LEMON: — Diane Feinstein proposed people on the terror watch list were not able to buy guns. Republicans couldn’t — could not even come to consensus on that. How does that make sense?
WALSH: It’s ridiculous.
LOWRY: Because the terror watch list is a mess. Everyone acknowledges that. [LEMON GRAONS] If you clean it up.
WALSH: Well, then clean it up.
LOWRY: There is —
WALSH: Clean it up.
LOWRY: Fine. Let’s clean it up —
LEMON: So, clean it up —
LOWRY: — and then we can have the conversation, but —
LEMON: — and then do that as well.
LOWRY: — the fundamental fact, Don —
LEMON: So, you’re saying —
LOWRY: — is the Second Amendment —
LEMON: — so, you’re saying —
LOWRY: — in this country —
LEMON: — that people on the terror watch list, in the interim, while you’re cleaning it up, they should be allowed to have guns.
WALSH: Guns. Mentally ill people? guns.
LOWRY: Again, none of these shooters are on the terror watch list. So, again —
LOWRY: — you’re talking about something that has no interaction with these actual crimes.
HEAD CHECK 3.
A. My head blew when they all endorsed the unconstitutional watch list scheme, which was, and is, a slam-dunk unconstitutional violation of due process. The ACLU opposes this legally, ethically and constitutionally ignorant measure, because it’s indefensible. You can’t “clean it up.” Joan Walsh shows she is ignorant of the Constitution while she is on national television discussing the Second Amendment. Don Lemon shows he is ignorant of the Constitution while he is on national television discussing the Second Amendment. Rich Lowry shows that HE is ignorant of the Constitution while he is on national television discussing the Second Amendment, though to be fair to Lowry, I suspect he suffered a closed head brain explosion as he tried to fend off the other two blathering idiots.
B. When they were not blithely ignoring the Bill of Rights, Lemon and Walsh hit several classic gun control faux-arguments, like
- “sensible gun legislation to stop this from happening.” Except sensible gun legislation won’t stop this from happening, and anything that will stop this from happening isn’t sensible. That’s why, when challenged to name such “sensible gun legislation,” Walsh and Lemon immediately wanted to repeal the Due Process Clause.
- “We don’t do anything.” In other words, do something, anything, though when challenged to describe what, the answers are either trivial or totalitarian.
WALSH: We care more —
LOWRY: That’s the whole weakness of your case.
WALSH: — we care more about guns than we do children and it’s disgusting and we need to change the culture that — that enshrines guns as a kind of manhood. We were — are not entitled to AR-15. We are entitled to own guns. We are not entitled to own weapons of mass destruction. You brought the receipts all these guys, yes they’ve been bought and paid for. They may now have come around to agree. They are not secret gun controllers.
LOWRY: So, now you’re contradicting yourself.
WALSH: They have — they have —
LOWRY: You’re saying they have been bought off, so they must not agree with this position.
WALSH: — they are now kept. I don’t know how they started
LOWRY: So you’re saying the gun position is sincere?
WALSH: — but they are kept.
LEMON: Do you know the definition of conflict of interest?
LOWRY: They’re saying —
WALSH: Huge conflict.
LOWRY: — no one’s sincere?
LEMON: Do you know the definition of conflict of interest?
LOWRY: No, look.
LEMON: No you don’t the definition of conflict of interest?
LOWRY: No, no, no you believe none of these people are sincere? None of them think the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right
LEMON: I never said they weren’t sincere. All I did was —
LOWRY: I don’t know what you’re saying.
LEMON: Here is what I’m saying. I put the information out there. Did you hear what I said?
LOWRY [SARCASTICALLY]: Right.
LEMON: Facts First.
LEMON: These are the facts. You make up your mind —
LEMON: But what — what you’re — okay. I’ll —
LEMON: — so, if you think that getting —
LOWRY: But what are you suggesting?
LEMON: — thousands of dollars, millions of dollars doesn’t influence someone, then you’re sadly mistaken. Come on, Rich.
WALSH: There’s an alliance. There’s an alliance. There’s an alliance of all beliefs.
LOWRY: So you’re saying they sincerely believed there are all sorts of gun control measures that will magically make these go away.
LEMON: No, I think you’re doing the same thing — no, no, no. I think you’re doing the same thing now with me in the conversation as people who oppose sensible gun laws do. You go to extremes.
LEMON: And you say things that people are not saying.
HEAD CHECK 4.
A. Now we are completely off the rails. The best Walsh can do is circle back to the NRA and default to arguing from emotion, which is what “we care more about guns than we do children.” is. Really Joan? Really? “Think of the children”? That’s a cheap shot, intellectually bankrupt, and certifiably stupid. Try that one in court before a jury in, say, the Casey Anthony case: “The defense wants you to care more about a fair trial than about children!” It is pundit malpractice to poison viewers’ brains with arguments like that, and I. for one, can’t respect any advocate who stoops that low.
No wonder Don won’t let you talk.
B. Lemon, who is, I’m afraid, an idiot, contradicts himself in the space of about ten seconds. He believes that the gun advocates in Congress are sincere, but he believes they are bought.
C. Does Lemon know what a conflict of interest is? Then he knows that using that as an argument against anti-gun control legislators is hypocrisy, unless he advocates banning all interest group donations, like, say, Wall Street’s donations to Hillary Clinton.
WALSH: That young man —
LEMON: You don’t want to look at the facts —
LOWRY: No, that’s so — when you say —
LEMON: — because they don’t line up with your ideology.
WALSH: That young man couldn’t buy a beer couldn’t buy a handgun —
LOWRY: — Paul Ryan is being bought off — bought off.
LEMON: No. I’m saying Paul Ryan has gotten 340 some odd thousand dollars —
WALSH: — but he could buy an AR-15.
LOWRY: So, what’s the consequences of that?
LEMON: — from the NRA. Then you —
LOWRY: Who do you think is being bought off? You think he’s being bought off.
LEMON: What do you think the consequences are? You tell me. You brought this up.
LEMON: No, I’m asking you. What do you think the consequences are?
LOWRY: You tell me. You brought this up.
LEMON: I am asking you. What do you think? What do you think it is?
LOWRY: So, you think he’s being bought off?
LEMON: No, I don’t think that.
LOWRY: I think he sincerely believes one in gun rights and two, that the kind of measures you have talked about in the program would have nothing to do with stopping the shootings.
WALSH: That’s not true.
LEMON: That is not true.
LOWRY: What univ — how does the universal background —
LEMON: That’s not true.
LOWRY: — check stop any of these shooting?
LEMON: Every single study shows — there is a new poll from Harvard that was printed in The New York Times yesterday. The only factor that separates us from other countries —
LEMON: — is the amount of guns and access to guns in this country.
HEAD CHECK 5.
A. Isn’t this amazing? Who could stand watching this, except as sick entertainment? They keep repeating the same non-arguments with decreasing coherence. Walsh is especially pathetic. She has nothing but clichés. “He couldn’t buy a beer, but he could buy an AR15!” What a non-sequitur. So if we lowered the drinking age, it would be OK for him to buy a semi-automatic rifle?
B. “LOWRY: The kind of measures you have talked about in the program would have nothing to do with stopping the shootings. WALSH: That’s not true. LEMON: That is not true.”
It is absolutely true.
C. ‘When in doubt, cite polls.’ Constitutional rights are not controlled by polls.
LOWRY: Well, look. We had an assault weapons ban and the best research in the 90s —
LEMON: The time — there was a time —
LOWRY: — says it did nothing.
LEMON: — limit.
LOWRY: It’s a cosmetic —
LEMON: There was a time limit.
LOWRY: — it’s a cosmetic definition. Semiautomatic —
WALSH: There is debate on that.
LOWRY: — we have a ton of —
LEMON: That is not true.
LOWRY: We have a huge amount of —
LEMON: The facts don’t show that.
HEAD CHECK 6.
What the hell???
LOWRY: — guns in this country are semiautomatic weapons. That’s a basic technology. If you want to ban all semiautomatic weapon, that is enormous prohibition. To have to make any difference, you probably have to go and confiscate them.
LEMON: That is, again, an extreme —
LOWRY: And then you’ll have enormous Second Amendment problems.
LEMON: — that’s not what any one is saying. No one is saying ban all semiautomatics…
LOWRY: Well, see this is your contradiction.
LEMON: No. It is not my contradiction.
LOWRY: Yes, it is.
LEMON: I sit here to have a conversation to talk about it and to actually do something about it. I gave you facts about what most Americans want. Most Americans want a ban on semiautomatic weapons. Most want a ban on assault weapons.
LOWRY: But that won’t stop school shootings. Just polling doesn’t — see, there is no magic solution, Don.
LEMON: Most Americans —
WALSH [ABOUT LEMON]: You weren’t saying there’s a magical solution.
LEMON: — vote for people. That doesn’t mean that they’re going to —
LOWRY: This is the problem with gun controllers, okay? You can either say there are minor things that work where suggesting universal background check. Those would make no difference or you actually advocate something on large scale [WALSH GROANS] that might make a difference. But it doesn’t make a difference.
LEMON: Unless you try. How do you know it doesn’t make a difference?
LOWRY: Okay. What shooting would a universal background check —
LEMON: You can’t even take the — why can’t you even take the baby steps!
LOWRY: — what mass shooting — what mass shooting — what mass shooting?
LEMON: Why can’t you take the basic steps?
LOWRY: Because most of this —
WALSH: This young man was known to the police. The police came to his house multiple times and he got a gun when he turned 18.
LOWRY: I agree. There should be more intervention. There should be — there should be more.
WALSH: There should be matching — mental health and police records with guns.
LOWRY: It should be easier compel treatment for people who are seriously mentally ill —
WALSH: And shouldn’t have guns.
LOWRY: — and obviously we need more intervention for people who are on the borderline.
LEMON: Should they be able to get guns?
LOWRY: If they haven’t been adjudicated, gun ownership is an individual right. If I said to you, Don, the media is part of the problem here,,,
LEMON: So, should this —
LOWRY: …We need to ban the media from talking about —
LEMON: Should this kid —
LOWRY: — these shootings you would say, “Rich —
LEMON: — should this kid —
LOWRY: — there is a First Amendment right, you can’t do that. That is the way this country works. There is a Bill of Rights.
HEAD CHECK 7.
A. If your head hasn’t exploded yet, it’s not going to. Congratulations!
B. I know 7th graders who can discuss this topic more substantively than this. Lemon’s “baby steps” argument, aka “Do something!,” aka “Do something everyone knows won’t work, so we can advocate step after step until the only step left is banning guns” is social media low-level junk, yet after ten minutes of shouting, this is the best he can come up with.
C. Walsh mentions some relevant facts but refuses to acknowledge their implications. The Florida shooting was a failure of law enforcement, not gun laws. The FBI admits it screwed up. No system is any good if it isn’t followed.
LEMON: Yes, there is a Bill of Rights. But then if Congress or someone decided to do something about that, then we could talk about that.
LOWRY: To do something about the Bill of Rights?
LOWRY: To do what about the Bill of Rights?
LEMON: To something about — if — if you —
WALSH: Talking about the availability of guns.
LEMON: — if you want to have a convers —
LOWRY: What do you want to do to the Bill of Rights? Now we’re —
WALSH: We’re not saying that.
LOWRY: You just said it.
LEMON: There is nothing that stops people
LOWRY: What do you want to do about the Bill of Rights?
LEMON: — from having conversations about it. How much does the President —
LOWRY: Ok, we’re having a conversation.
LEMON: Listen to me! Stop! Don’t over talk me. The President talks about all the time the media. He hates the media. He is upset about the media —
LOWRY: Yeah, yeah, I know that.
LEMON: — has a conversation about the media. The sheriff today says please media don’t put the camera on anybody’s face. Did anyone say: “Ohhh, oh my gosh! No! Please stop doing it!”
LOWRY: But if they proposed a law —
LEMON: No, we are free to talk about it.
LOWRY: — if they proposed a law, a lot of people would rightly say, sorry, there is a First Amendment. If you want to change —
LEMON: But this is America
LOWRY: — the Second Amendment, fine. Let’s have that debate.
LEMON: If someone wants to try to propose a law, let them do it. Fine. Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
HEAD CHECK 8.
A. Did I get you?? I’m sorry, that was mean, saying your head was in the clear, and then having this come up. Yes, we need to DO something about that pesky Bill of Rights. Don shows his progressive bona fides now, doesn’t he? “Someone” needs to do something—you know a dictator you can trust, like Obama or someone.
B. ‘How dare you talk over me when I’ve been talking over everyone when I was supposed to be moderating? I’m a smug, loud-mouthed, opinionated ignoramus who can get away with this disgraceful display because I’m black and gay and CNN wouldn’t dare touch me no matter how unprofessional I am. Watch me get drunk again on New Years Eve!’
Let’s just plow on to the end…
LOWRY: Sure. So, you want to change the Second Amendment?
LEMON: I’m not. [GROANS]
WALSH: He didn’t say that.
LOWRY: Ok what are you saying?
LEMON: I never said I wanted to change the Second Amendment.
LEMON: Again, that is your extreme argument, because —
WALSH [GROANS]: It always goes there.
LEMON: — you don’t want to take you don’t want to take the small steps to try to figure out how to stop what happened.
LOWRY: That’s not what I’m saying, Don.
LEMON: Yes. It’s exactly what you’re saying. No, you’re saying that I want to — I want to —
LOWRY: I’ll say it again and then I’ll stop —
LEMON: No one has ever said that. What we said —
LOWRY: — and let you say it.
LEMON: — no. I’ll said it. Let me say it again.
LEMON: What we said was we gave the facts on how much money gun lobbyist are offering these people who are in Congress who are lawmakers and who then refuse to do anything at all about gun violence in this.
LOWRY: I get that.
LEMON: That is the fact.
LEMON: You took it to an extreme
LEMON: — saying I want to get rid of the Second Amendment, people who want sensible gun laws want to get rid of the Second Amendment and there is nothing that can be done about, that is extreme.
LOWRY: Okay so what I said, you threw out the numbers. I think most people —
LEMON: I didn’t threw out the numbers, those are facts.
LOWRY: Okay, right. I know. That’s fine.
LEMON: I’m not throwing them out.
WALSH: They are real.
LEMON: Those are real numbers.
LOWRY: Whatever verb you want to use. You told people about these numbers, but I’m saying if most —
LEMON: Facts are nouns. They’re not verbs. Go on.
LOWRY: Okay. Well throwing is a verb. But let’s not get grammatical here. So, I’m saying people like Paul Ryan are sincere in their convictions and I’m quite certain he believed the same things about guns even before he ran for Congress.
LEMON: That doesn’t mean he’s right.
LOWRY: That is true.
LEMON: That doesn’t mean he’s right.
LEMON: That is true. That’s a different discussion.
WALSH: He won’t bring up bump stock legislation and he won’t even bring up sensible things that there’s a bipartisan consensus on.
LEMON: And is the nail on the — thank you, Joan. Go on. That is the nail on the head.
WALSH: He blocks everything. He has total control and he is — he is beholden to the NRA. He believes it.
LOWRY: But most — most of the things you bring up just wouldn’t stop the shootings and, look. They’re horrific.
WALSH: It would stop some shootings.
LOWRY: We should be focused on them. We should fortify schools to a further degree.
WALSH: They might have.
LEMON: No. This is a circular argument. Do you think that the young man in Florida should have had this gun?
LOWRY: No, but you can’t. [LEMON LAUGHS] But of course not.
LOWRY: I don’t want murderers to have guns.
LEMON [GROANS]: Oh my gosh. So then — again —
LOWRY: But what law —
WALSH: We agree.
LEMON: That is good. Now we agree.
LOWRY: — what law would you pass under these circumstances.
LEMON: So let’s have a conversation so then what next?
LOWRY: Okay, so what law can you pass that would prevent him from having a gun?
LEMON: Ok. Then that is the conversation.
LOWRY: What is it? Tell me.
LEMON: That’s the conversation.
LOWRY: Tell me.
LEMON: I’m not a lawmaker.
LOWRY: Let’s have a conversation.
LEMON: Okay. That’s exactly — so you —
WALSH: Much more stringent background checks.
LOWRY: You know what the problem is?
LEMON: So, you refuse to allow —
LOWRY: You refuse to answer my question.
WALSH: Much more stringent background checks.
LEMON: There is an answer to that question. There is an answer to that and it’s not necessarily passing laws or what have you. But there is an answer to that question.
LOWRY: Well, if you want to say people around him should have been more concerned, I mean obviously —
LEMON: Well, to your estimation.
LOWRY: — they were concerned to some degree already calling the police.
LOWRY: And they shouldn’t have allowed him to have this gun and they should have taken it away. I would completely agree with that.
LEMON: Rich, you refuse to have any conversation about any sensible gun conversations.
LOWRY: I love having conversation. We’re having a debate.
LEMON: You refuse to even —
LOWRY: It’s feisty.
LEMON: — you refuse to even —
LOWRY: I’m enjoying it.
LEMON: — you refuse to even have our lawmakers take on possible legislation for sensible gun legislation.
LOWRY: I’m all in favor of debate.
WALSH: But not the legislation.
LEMON: So —
LEMON: — so, to answer my question, no, you’re not.
LOWRY: So, univers —
LEMON: So, there is nothing we can do. It ends there. It’s — we’re done.
LOWRY: No. We should try to do things. We should try to do measures to stop this from happening. What I’m saying is, you can —
LEMON: I don’t think you know what you’re saying.
LOWRY: — it’s called common sense — sure I do.
LEMON: No, you don’t. I don’t think you know what you’re saying.
LOWRY: What you call common sense gun legislation are minor matters that do not, in most cases interact, with the shootings. What you could propose is something much more wide ranging and I’m, saying that —
LEMON: Would you say that to the face of the mom who is on here earlier with her 17-year-old?
WALSH: The politics are changing on this.
LEMON: That these are minor matters?
LOWRY: Well, look, my heart goes out to them.
WALSH: These students are going out and will be activist and vote against guns.
LOWRY: But that doesn’t change the facts.
WALSH: These students are going to change the world. They were chanting no more guns. This debate is opening, Rich. You’re not seeing it.
LOWRY: But we’re never going to have a situation where you have no more guns. Sorry.
LEMON: No one says we should have no more guns.
LOWRY: I — well, Joan was just —
WALSH: — they meant no more guns in schools. They —
LOWRY: Okay. Well, that — I mean, I support keeping guns out of school and if there are ways to do it, let’s do it.
WALSH: The point is politics are changing and these kids are going to change it.
LEMON: Yeah. Thank you. That was lively.
WALSH: That was fun.
LEMON: I appreciate it.
LOWRY: We’ll discuss grammar a little bit more next time.
LEMON: Ah well, facts are nouns.
This is CNN.
This is the state of journalism in 2017.
This is how gun control is discussed and argued across the country.
This is the best we get from those whose job is to enlighten the public.