Michael Bloomberg, Dianne Feinstein, Dan Malloy and More Sunday Talk
Bloomberg calls the NRA's power 'overrated,' and more in our Sunday talk roundup.
Feinstein: 'There Will Be A Bill'
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the author of the country's last assault weapons ban—which was signed into law in 1994 but expired in 2004—kicked off the Meet the Press roundtable Sunday with big news. "I'm going to introduce in the Senate, and the same bill will be introduced in the House: a bill to ban assault weapons," she said. "It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation, and the possession—not retroactively, but prospectively" of assault weapons, she said. While Feinstein made clear that the bill exempts "over 900 specific weapons," her proposed bill will also ban the sale, transfer, importation and possession of clips of more than 10 bullets. "The purpose of this bill," she said, "is to get … weapons of war off the streets of our cities."
Bloomberg: The NRA's Power Is 'Overrated'
On Meet the Press, Mayor Bloomberg stood up to the biggest opponent of gun control legislation in the country: the National Rifle Association. "This myth that the NRA can destroy political careers is just not true," Bloomberg said. Even though 34 Democratic incumbents lost their seats in 1994 after voting for an assault weapons ban, Bloomberg questioned how much the NRA had to do with it. Gun control should be Obama's "number one priority," Bloomberg added. Don’t think Bloomberg is going liberal yet, the mayor also defended his city's controversial “Stop and Frisk” policy, which disproportionately targets black and Latino residents, calling it "proactive policing." "We send our police officers to problem places where there are problem people," Bloomberg said.
Hickenlooper: Are Videogames to Blame?
Thursday is the five-month anniversary of the Aurora shooting, where 12 innocent people were mercilessly gunned down in a Colorado movie theater. The state's Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, joined State of the Union Sunday to discuss the country's latest gun-related tragedy, and spoke out against "the culture of violence" that pervades American living rooms. "Look at the level of violence in our media and our videogames," Hickenlooper said. When these killers go on rampages, "they become a part of one of those videogames." One day before the Newtown shooting, Hickenlooper shifted his position on gun control, and told the Associated Press that "the time is right" for tighter gun laws.
Malloy: Damage in Newtown 'Staggering'
Connecticut governor Dan Malloy spoke to—and on behalf of—the bereaved community in Newtown on This Week Sunday, telling George Stephanopoulos that "the damage done to the community as well as, obviously, to those families is pretty staggering." "We always thanked God it wasn't in our community or in our state," Malloy added.
Lieberman: Bring Back Assault Weapons Ban
Discussing the tragedy that has shocked his home state, the country, and the world, Senator Joe Lieberman told Fox News Sunday that he supports the restoration of the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, as well as the creation of a national commission on mass violence. Americans need "to make sure that the heartbreak and anger that we feel now is not dissipated over time or lost in legislative gridlock," he said. Further, Lieberman argued, the commission should look at how violence in entertainment might affect violence in real life. "The violence in the entertainment culture, particularly with the extraordinary realism [in] videogames and movies now, etcetera," he said, "does cause vulnerable young men, particularly, to be more violent."
Schumer: 'No Amendment Is Absolute'
New York senator Chuck Schumer, a gun control advocate, took to Face the Nation Sunday to offer an olive branch to proponents of gun rights. There is a Second Amendment, Schumer said, and he supports it. But "no amendment is absolute, after all," he argued. "The Brady law, the assault weapons ban, limitation to clips, making sure mentally unstable people don't get guns do not interfere with the fundamental right," he continued, "but at the same time make us safer." In other words, Schumer explained, "both sides are in their corner and they can come to the middle.
Tempers flared on Reliable Sources Sunday, as The Baltimore Sun's David Zurawik exploded about the media's casual relationship with accuracy in their reporting of the Newtown massacre. "It's a nightmare!" Zurawik yelled, discussing the initial reports that Ryan Lanza had orchestrated the killing at Sandy Hook Elementary. "This guy's sitting on a bus identified as a mass murderer for hours." (Adam Lanza is now suspected to have committed the crime.) When former CNN correspondent Frank Sesno tried to make the case for reporting what you know with caveats like "sources say," Zurawik shot back. "It's either incorrect, Frank, or it's not ... This lack of precision of journalism is wrong!"