Whenever a mass shooting happens, there are a lot of things that are as certain as death and taxes are in normal times. Sadly, one of those things is the National Rifle Association going on the defensive–and trying to insist with a straight face that we don’t need to close the loopholes in our gun laws.
Well, an encouraging sign came that this approach is no longer working. The NRA’s top lobbyist thought that if he stopped by “Fox News Sunday” to peddle his usual talking points in the wake of last week’s bloodbath in Las Vegas, he’d be able to get away with it. But he was in for a surprise.
Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA’s lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, told host Chris Wallace that those calling for a new look at our gun laws were trying to politicize a tragedy. On paper, that might have flown on the fair and balanced network. But this time, it didn’t. Watch here.
Cox claimed that while a number of NRA members had been shot, and in some cases killed, at the concert, “common decency” demanded that “people pause from talking about policy” after a tragedy of this magnitude. Wallace was having none of it.
“You say common decency, let’s wait. What’s enough time? I mean, here where 58 people killed, almost 500 injured–is it common decency to wait a day, two days, a week, a month? I mean, it is understandable. You can–I know you don’t agree with their solution, but what’s wrong with saying. ‘we need to address this issue’?”
Cox claimed–with a straight face–that calls for a conversation on this issue from the likes of Hillary Clinton and Dianne Feinstein were a mask for their true desire–to take our guns. He took a swipe at Hillary for daring to suggest we needed to take a look at gun control when she didn’t understand what it was like to live “in a high crime area” and want a way to protect yourself. He was echoing NRA executive director Wayne LaPierre’s claim from earlier this week that the elites wanted to protect themselves while wanting to deny Joe Sixpack that same protection.
Wallace called this for what it was–a crass attempt by the NRA to launch “class warfare.” Cox scoffed at that notion, saying that he was simply trying to express “what the American people want.” That set Wallace off.
“But wait–that’s not actually true. I mean, yes, Second Amendment, but if you talk about background checks, if you talk about automatic weapons–well, let me just say that there are a lot of people, in fact a majority of people, according to the polls, would like to see those gun controls. I’m just–I have to say I’m put off at the argument that if you believe in gun control, you’re an elite.”
Cox tried to dig his way out by claiming that he was more annoyed by the “hypocrisy” from celebrities and politicians who don’t think people in flyover country “deserve the right to defend themselves.” He then tried to turn the conversation to background checks, pointing out that Stephen Paddock passed a background check, as did a number of other gunmen in mass shootings.
Wallace pounced, pointing out that Dylann Roof wouldn’t have passed his background check–but was able to get a gun because it wasn’t completed in 72 hours. He wondered why the waiting period couldn’t be extended to four or five days.
Cox claimed that the NRA has supported the inclusion of “every mental health record, every court adjudication, every criminal record” to keep guns out of the wrong hands. But Wallace pointed out one big problem with that line–“That’s not true, sir.” Why? As Wallace reminded Cox, the NRA loudly supported Trump’s decision to undo an 11th-hour Obama decision to include information on people who “lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs,” as defined by the Social Security Administration.
A common-sense move, right? Not according to the NRA.
— NRA (@NRA) December 28, 2016
The NRA claimed that this rule made Social Security part of “the federal government’s gun control apparatus.” And yet, in the face of this, Cox claimed that Wallace was misrepresenting both the NRA’s position and Trump’s actions. Um, Chris? The facts, and your own organization’s words, don’t lie.
This looks like been Cox’ only appearance on the Sunday talk shows this week. Judging by the reception he got from Wallace, it’s just as well. When Fox News doesn’t allow a right-winger to lie and dissemble on-air and get away with it, it’s a good sign that right-winger has lost, and lost bigly.
(featured image courtesy Cox’ Facebook)