This was not a "conversation"
I'm not so sure that CNN is doing the Democrats (or gun control advocates) a service in the way it's covering the Parkland shooting.
Last night, the outlet hosted a town hall. It was branded "Stand Up: The students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action."
What it exposed is how poorly our society is equipped to discuss violence and gun laws.
It also proved the intentions of the activists: A sweeping gun ban. The more guns banned, the better.
You can watch the entire event here.
Democrat Rep. Ted Deutsch set the tone with the standard leftist trope that victims don't want thoughts and prayers, that they want action. He went on to promise that he'd introduce an "assault weapons ban" next week.
Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson then stood up and called for "getting assault weapons off of the streets" as a common sense solution. He also called for criminal background checks on every gun purchase.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said he wants to see action, but that we are a nation divided - that doesn't speak to each other. He said everyone agrees school shootings should not happen. But we have to find a way to discuss the issue without accusing the other side of being evil. He then attacked Republican Governor Rick Scott for not participating.
A father of a victim told Rubio that his response to the shooting was "pathetically weak," and then demanded to know if Rubio agreed that "guns were the predominant factor in hunting our kids." He demanded to know if Rubio would support an assault weapons ban.
In one illustrative exchange, Rubio and Deutsch debated the merits of a proposed assault weapons ban. Rubio asked if Deutsch wanted to ban all firearms that are as powerful and high-capacity as an AR-15.
Deutsch refused to say. Rubio noted that this meant banning all semi-automatic firearms.
The questions followed a pattern reminiscent of totalitarian show trials. And maybe this was cathartic for grieving people. Maybe this felt like a victory for gun control activists and the media.
But to me - it was embarrassing boosterism designed not to give clarity to policy solutions, but rather to flog Republicans and the NRA.
Also, the CNN forum showed that gun control activists can say anything they want - particularly in the aftermath of tragedy. They will not be fact-checked. Their misinformation will be swallowed and regurgitated by a supportive media.
Here is a "leader of the movement" who grilled Rubio about donations he received from the NRA:
Becket Adams writes at the Washington Examiner that this was a lose-lose undertaking for the NRA.
By appearing in CNN’s town hall (and good on the network for inviting them!), the NRA is suggesting it has some sort of culpability in the Parkland shooting. It doesn’t. It is an advocacy group whose power comes from its millions of dues-paying members. The NRA doesn’t manufacture firearms. It doesn’t sell firearms. It certainly doesn’t promote unsafe gun habits (anyone who has been to the NRA range in Northern Virginia can tell you this).
And then there's this...
A Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student told Local 10 News that he declined an invitation to attend CNN's town hall on the Parkland school shooting after he was given scripted questions.
"CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions, and it ended up being all scripted," junior Colton Haab said Wednesday night.
Haab wrote questions about school safety and suggested using veterans as security guards, but he claims CNN wanted him to ask scripted questions instead.
So, Haab said, he declined to participate.
As Allahpundit says -- it's completely pointless to have a “discussion” on gun policy, because there's nothing to say.
We can compromise on marginalia but by definition marginalia doesn’t matter much. Liberals seem to believe that right-wingers are morally indifferent to murder, conservatives believe that liberals are constitutionally indifferent to the right to have a firearm in your own defense. What the hell’s left to talk about? See you at the ballot box.
Billy Graham and Woody Allen
Yesterday, Congressman Patrick McHenry mentioned this clip. So, I went looking for it... and here it is: