Here is the interview ABC interview with Senator Chris Murphy (D-Ct)as it transpired on today’s This Week on ABC. The interviewer and substitute host was one of the few journalists, Jonathan Karl (Jake Tapper and Ed Henry also qualify; there are a few others) who at least strive for objectivity and don’t see themselves as Democratic party allies….
KARL: That’s Connecticut senator Chris Murphy. He spent 15 straight hours on the Senate floor this week demanding that Republicans hold votes on gun control measures and Senator Murphy joins us here right now. So, Senator Murphy, you are getting those votes on Monday. Tomorrow. But are you going to have to look those families in the eye once again and tell them that you have failed? Because those bills are not going to pass. None of them.
CHRIS MURPHY: Well, we’re going to work hard, over the weekend, on the bill that stops people on the terrorist watch list to from getting guns. I admit the background checks bill will be tough to get 60 votes on. But, we have hope we can get Republicans to support the bill stopping terrorists from getting weapons.But listen, I think something important happened last week. It wasn’t just 40 Senators came to the floor and supported my effort to get these votes. There were millions of people all across the country who rose up and who joined our effort. And what we know is, ultimately, the only way to win the issue is by building a political infrastructure around the country that rivals that of the gun lobby. And so, I’m still hopeful we’re going to be able to get votes. I know there are also some compromise negotiations happening that may bear fruit. But, in the final analysis what many be most important is that our filibuster helped galvanize an entire country around this issue.
KARL: But you’re specifically pushing a bill and have been pushing the bill, and it will be voted on on Monday, to close the so-called “gun show loophole.” Would that have done anything to stop the massacre in Orlando?
MURPHY: So, it may have in the sense that if you partner with a bill that stops terrorists from getting guns.—
KARL: But wait a minute. He didn’t buy those guns at a gun show. And he would have passed the background check. He did pass a background check.
MURPHY: He did pass a background check. But, if the Feinstein bill was in effect, the FBI could have put him on the list of those prohibited from getting guns. What if he went into the gun store and got denied, he could have gone online, or to a gun show, and bought another weapon.
KARL: Okay, but what I’m trying to get at is, we hear every time there’s one of these terrible tragedies there are proposals. Your proposal would have done nothing in the case of Orlando, it would have done nothing to stop the killing in San Bernardino. And in fact, it was unrelated to the killing in Newtown. So why — why are we focusing on things that have nothing to do with the massacres we’re responding to?
MURPHY: So first of all, we can’t get into that trap. I disagree, I think if this proposal had been into effect it may have stopped the shooting. But we can’t get into the trap in which we are forced to defend our proposal simply because it didn’t stop the last tragedy. We should be making our gun laws less full of Swiss cheese holes, so that future killings don’t happen. That trap in an impossible one. The Sandy Hook families lobby for background checks. You know why? Because they are just as concerned with the young men and women who are dying in our cities because of the flow of illegal guns, as they are about a ban of assault weapons, or high magazines clips that might have prevented the Newtown killings. So, this has to be broader that just responding to the tragedy that happened three days ago.
KARL: But, why can’t Congress pass things there is obvious agreement on. For instance, the question of the terrorist watch list. There is opposition to banning gun sales for people on that list. People have constitutional concerns. But why can’t you simply pass a provision that says that, “anybody who’s on a terrorist watch list or has been on a terrorist watch list for the last five years, tries to buy a gun, the FBI is automatically notified?” I mean at, at least they can follow the person, track the person. Why can’t Congress at least do that?
MURPHY: Well first of all, does the FBI have the resources, I mean that’s a question, to take those notifications, especially if the individual walks out of the store with the gun, and stop the killing before it happens? It would be much more effective to make sure the individual [doesn’t] get the gun, rather than to make the FBI go find him after he gets it.
1. Bravo, Jon Karl. I don’t think Murphy was prepared for these questions, which were as necessary as they were obvious, but not something a good, compliant, Democrat, anti-gun lackey is supposed to ask. The news media is biased, but it isn’t always biased, and not all journalists are partisan, at least not all the time. I can’t call Karl an Ethics Hero for just doing his job the way journalism schools say it should be done, but he certainly is an exemplar.
2. The cheers and accolades sent Senator Murphy’s way because of his filibuster were sad. He was grandstanding; I kept trying to explain that to people as they called him a hero. A more cynical, misleading stunt would be hard to imagine. It was a direct appeal to the emotional “Do something, anything!” crowd, with the intention of being able to blame Republicans when none of his ineffective or unconstitutional measures were passed. This make any accord on gun regulations less likely, not more.
Some hero. Continue reading