CNN’s Tapper Allows for Some ‘Sober, Serious Firearms Journalism’

Breaking News

In the anti-gun hurricane that has been the liberal media’s response to the tragic Texas school shooting all week, including calls for sweeping bans on everything from rifles to handguns to shotguns, the eye of that storm seemed to pass over CNN’s The Lead on Thursday as anchor Jake Tapper brought on the founder of The Reload (the home for “sober, serious firearms journalism”) former MRCTV writer, MRC Bulldog Award winner Stephen Gutowski to take a sober look at what policies proposed by Democrats and Republicans could have chance to be enacted.

Tapper began by noting that “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he told Texas Senator John Cornyn to work to find a bipartisan solution, to work with Democrats,” and looked to Gutowski as “a supporter of the Second Amendment” for what “might work.”

“I don’t think there’s a single switch that you can flip that’s going to solve the issue. Right? I mean, certainly, that’s something that you do hear from politicians who talk about this. But I think it’s absolutely true,” Gutowski said.

He also pointed out that no matter what gets proposed “there’s always going to be some example of a shooting where whatever you’re trying to apply to prevent it wouldn’t have worked.”

You Might Like

Thinking he found a major conflict among state laws in regards to age for handgun purchases, Tapper pressed. Gutowski set things straight on both the age restrictions and how handguns were statistically used most often in crimes and mass shootings (click “expand”):

GUTOWSKI: You could argue that restricting AR-15s by age, which is something that Florida did after Parkland —

TAPPER: You have to be 21 in Wyoming to get a handgun even.

GUTOWSKI: Well, 21 to buy a handgun anywhere in the country under federal law.

TAPPER: But 18 for a more dangerous weapon seems – it doesn’t make sense.

GUTOWSKI: Well, you know, there’s certainly a dichotomy in our laws over age restrictions for firearms purchases. Because handguns generally are used far more often in crimes than long guns. That’s traditionally been why they’ve been scrutinized more severely.

On the prospect of red flag laws, Gutowski felt “the possibility for passing them in Texas or at the state level, or at the federal level, I think there’s more chance of that happening than something like an assault weapons ban, you know, a total ban on sales.”

With a graph showing a “52 percent” increase in “active shooter incidents” from the FBI (which shows a much smaller number than the false 213 mass shootings number the Gun Violence Archive peddles), Tapper wanted to know why we’ve seen such an increase.

But before getting to the why, Gutowski explained that “active shooter” meant “attempts at mass shootings – active shooters, situations are not necessarily successful in carrying on an attack like we saw in Texas.”

After putting that aside, he went on to examine the why and called out how most of these shooters have the through-line of having troubled family lives:

You know, there are commonalities between a lot of these shooters in that they’re young men who have a history of family issues or domestic violence. They’ve got, you know, they’re troubled people, and they often leave warning signs before something happens, although it’s up easier to see a collection of warning signs in some of these cases.

Tapper agreed hindsight is 20/20 and catching them beforehand is “not easy.” “But the conversation is important and we appreciate you being here,” he concluded.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CNN’s The Lead
May 26, 2022
4:22:23 p.m. Eastern

JAKE TAPPER: Joining us now to discuss, Stephen Gutowski. He’s the founder of [The]Reload.com. He’s a gun safety instructor. He knows a lot about firearms, and I wanted to have you come and just talk about what might work, what could work that could also pass?

So right now, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he told Texas Senator John Cornyn to work to find a bipartisan solution, to work with Democrats. Democrats have talked about a couple of things, a national red flag law to alert people when somebody is acting in a way that might be at risk to himself or to others, and to have a judge step in and say let’s make sure this person can’t buy any guns for a short amount of time, or expanding background checks.

You’ve been reporting on firearms for a long time. You’re a supporter of the Second Amendment. What do you think might work?

STEPHEN GUTOWSKI (The Reload, founder): You know, I don’t think there’s a single switch that you can flip that’s going to solve the issue. Right? I mean, certainly, that’s something that you do hear from politicians who talk about this. But I think it’s absolutely true, there’s always going to be some example of a shooting where whatever you’re trying to apply to prevent it wouldn’t have worked. And certainly, in this case, in Texas, it’s difficult to find one single policy solution that would have prevented this killing.

Obviously, you could imagine that hardening schools as some Republicans have suggested could have helped in this situation, given what we’re now learning about what occurred.

TAPPER: Right.

GUTOWSKI: You could argue that restricting AR-15s by age, which is something that Florida did after Parkland —

TAPPER: You have to be 21 in Wyoming to get a handgun even.

GUTOWSKI: Well, 21 to buy a handgun anywhere in the country under federal law.

TAPPER: But 18 for a more dangerous weapon seems – it doesn’t make sense.

GUTOWSKI: Well, you know, there’s certainly a dichotomy in our laws over age restrictions for firearms purchases. Because handguns generally are used far more often in crimes than long guns. That’s traditionally been why they’ve been scrutinized more severely.

But like I said, after Parkland they did pass an age restriction on certain types of rifles like the AR-15 and other—

TAPPER: In Florida.

GUTOWSKI: In Florida. So, it’s possible that Texas could go that route. Whether that would have prevented the shooting is another question. Of course, he did use an AR-15. But you could just as easily kill a lot of people with other type of firearm. Which, of course, we’ve seen repeatedly. Handguns are actually the most common firearms used in mass shootings – of this scale: four or more people killed.

TAPPER: What about a red flag law? Because that’s something — obviously, in Buffalo, the shooter had said — had written something that alarmed the teachers, they told police. And yet still no one alerted a judge to alert the red flag law, and he was also able to buy guns legally.

GUTOWSKI: Right, and that sort of example shows you why there’s no single policy that’s going to solve this issue just by flipping a switch. A lot of people on either side will try to tell you if you just did red flag laws or just did an assault weapons ban or we just had armed teachers, that would fix this problem. And it’s not — I don’t think it’s true.

As far as red flag laws, the possibility for passing them in Texas or at the state level, or at the federal level, I think there’s more chance of that happening than something like an assault weapons ban, you know, a total ban on sales.

But even still, there are a lot of concerns with red flag laws over due process protections over the fact that all they really do is restrict your access to firearms, but don’t perhaps help you in other ways that if you’re a danger to yourself or others you would need. And people don’t always use them, like you said. In Buffalo, they have a red flag law

TAPPER: I think a lot of people don’t know about it also.

GUTOWSKI: Right. It’s one of the problems.

TAPPER: Lastly, the number of mass shootings has went up 52 percent from 2020 to 2021. Obviously, COVID played some role in terms of people staying indoors or whatever. But the number of active shooter incidents – if you look at the chart right there – are going up. Is there any theory as to why that is?

GUTOWSKI: I think that’s one of the big questions, is why are we seeing an increase in these types of attempts at mass shootings – active shooters, situations are not necessarily successful—

TAPPER: Right.

GUTOWSKI: — in carrying on an attack like we saw in Texas. But there are people that the FBI has identified as attempting to do something of that nature, a public mass shooting.

And yeah, they have increased, obviously. I think the year-over-year numbers are skewed by COVID. There were lockdowns, and we didn’t have a lot of mass shootings in 2020 either, where four or more people were killed. So that’s obviously not a solution to the problem. Just constant lockdown.

TAPPER: [Chuckle] Right. Right.

GUTOWSKI: But there does seem to be a long-term trend, and it’s hard to identify exactly what’s causing that. You know, there are commonalities between a lot of these shooters in that they’re young men who have a history of family issues or domestic violence. They’ve got, you know, they’re troubled people, and they often leave warning signs before something happens, although it’s up easier to see a collection of warning signs in some of these cases.

TAPPER: In retrospect, of course, yeah.

GUTOWSKI: So, it’s not an easy —

TAPPER: It’s not easy. It isn’t. But the conversation is important and we appreciate you being here, Stephen Gutowski, who is with — give everybody the name of your website.

GUTOWSKI: The Reload. TheReload.com.

TAPPER: The Reload.

GUTOWSKI: Sober, serious firearms journalism.

TAPPER: Yes, with — and I am a subscriber. And thank you so much, Stephen. I appreciate it.

Articles You May Like

Massive Recall Announced, Normal Home Item Has Been Spontaneously Bursting Into Flames
US judge stops Kentucky imposing almost complete ban on abortion
NEW NewsBusters Podcast: Abortion Overruled, Media Hardest Hit
Abraham Lincoln bust, Gettysburg Address plaque removed from Cornell University library after ‘someone complained,’ prof says
93-year-old homeowner shoots, critically wounds intruder after crooks kick in his door, attack him: ‘I kept telling them I have a shotgun’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.