Democratic Senator Wages War On The NRA In The Wake Of Las Vegas Massacre

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 03: U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) (R) listens as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) (L) speaks during a news conference October 3, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Sen. Murphy and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence held a news conference to demand that Congress take action to stop gun violence after the Las Vegas shooting. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The attack on the Route 91 Harvest Festival, the Las Vegas massacre killing at least 58 people and injuring over 450 more, opened up debate on the availability of guns. The same questions raised after Columbine, Newtown, and Orlando.

Yet very few changes were made after these mass shooting tragedies. And some laws became more relaxed. In 2004 the federal ban on assault weapons expired. The ban, enacted in 1994, fails repeatedly to be reinstated in Congress.


"This nation often reaches a tipping point, as it did after the near assassination of Ronald Reagan," Senator Richard Blumenthal stated in an interview with PBS Newshour.

...what we need to recognize is that the tipping point comes through awareness and education and continued, persistent advocacy, which is to mobilize people, in the same way the NRA has done."

"The major obstacle to commonsense measures, like background checks and the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and bump-stocks, and closing a number of the loopholes that enable domestic violence, which is a major cause of death as a result of gun violence, is very simply to break the grip of the NRA."

We must break the grip of the NRA, which will be done through mobilizing the American people."

Democrats cite public opinion polls that show overwhelming support for universal background checks. A national Quinnipiac Poll in June found 94 percent of voters supported background checks on all gun sales. But the measure has failed to get enough Republican support to pass either the Senate or the House.

On Tuesday, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy said "Enough."

In a news conference with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Connecticut Senators vowed to draft sensible gun control bills to curb the accessibility of the weapons used in mass shootings.

Sen. Chris Murphy said he’ll reintroduce legislation to strengthen gun background checks, but acknowledged the bill faces long odds in the Republican-controlled Congress.

“We’re going to press hard for change,” Murphy said. “My belief … is that change is likely to come from outside this building.”

Sen. Blumenthal said he'd introduce narrow legislation to close the Charleston loophole, which allows a gun dealer to sell a firearm after three business days even if an FBI background check is incomplete. The loophole used by Dylan Roof allowed him to purchase the gun he used to kill nine people at a Charleston, S.C., church in 2015. Because of the unfinished background check, the gun dealer approved Roof's ineligible purchase.

“Closing these loopholes one by one, making our laws effective one by one, is a way to make our nation safer,” Blumenthal said.

In 2016 the National Rifle Association spent $22,612,663. Of their 2016 political contributions, the NRA reported 1% went to Democrats, 99% went to Republicans.

C-SPAN

If you think Fox News is the most loyal network to President Donald Trump, you likely haven't heard of One America News Network, or OAN.

The unabashedly pro-Trump network—largely considered a far-Right fringe outlet—has enjoyed expanded viewership over recent years thanks to glowing reviews from the President.

It's even been added to the prestigious White House press pool.

People were reminded of the network's bizarre Trump-era ascension during Monday's White House press briefing regarding the pandemic that—at the time of this writing—has resulted in over 3,000 deaths across the United States.

OAN's White House correspondent Chanel Rion compared the growing number of deaths from the pandemic to abortion procedures, asking Trump if abortions should be suspended all together.

The question flummoxed Trump himself.

Watch below.

Rion said:

"2,405 Americans have died from [the virus] in the last 60 days. Meanwhile, you have 2,369 children who are killed by their mothers through elective abortions each day. That's 16 and a half thousand children killed every week. Two states have suspended elective abortion to make more resources available...Should more states be doing the same?"

Even Trump seemed confused by the question, and notably didn't wade into the abortion aspect of the question:

"I think what we're doing, we're trying to, as a group ,governors—and that's Republicans and Democrats—we're just working together to solve this problem. What you're mentioning has been going on for a long time and it's a sad event, a lot of sad events in this country. But what we're doing now is working on the virus...and I think we're doing a great job—as good a job as you can possibly do."

People noticed that even Trump—either purposely or otherwise—didn't take the bait from one of his favorite networks.




Rion, who is Asian-American, previously made headlines when she asked Trump—who'd been criticized for describing the virus as "Chinese Virus"—if the phrase "Chinese food" was racist.

Her questions, while satiating viewers who prioritize "owning the libs" over potentially lifesaving information, have only confirmed the degradation of the press corps under the Trump era.




OAN's only redeemable quality? It doesn't claim to be "fair and balanced."


Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images // Duffy-Marie Arnoult/WireImage

Even in the face of a global pandemic, President Donald Trump hasn't dispensed with his typical pettiness.

The President made that perfectly clear on Sunday afternoon, as deaths caused by the national health crisis continued to increase.

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President Donald Trump held his pandemic press briefing in the Rose Garden on Sunday—but his mood was far from rosy.

One particularly heated exchange came when he took a question from PBS NewsHour's White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor.

Alcindor asked Trump about the the skepticism he expressed that New York—the epicenter of the health crisis facing the United States—was exaggerating the number of lifesaving ventilators it needs to help curb the virus.

Trump interrupted Alcindor, claiming he "didn't say" that, then proceeded to berate her for her so-called "threatening" question.

Watch below.

Alcindor asked:

"You've said repeatedly that you think that some of the equipment governors are requesting, they don't actually need. You said New York might not need 30 thousand—"

Trump interrupted:

"I didn't say that. I didn't say that. Why don't you people...why don't you act in a little more positive? It's always trying to get me. Getcha, getcha. You know what, that's why nobody trusts the media anymore."

Though the President didn't reciprocate, Alcindor remained professional and repeated her question despite the President's attacks on her journalistic integrity in front of her colleagues.

What's more, Alcindor was right—and video proves it.

Alcindor referred to statements Trump made on far-right Fox News host Sean Hannity's show.

Watch below.

Trump said:

"I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they're going to be. I don't believe you need 40 thousand or 30 thousand ventilators. You go into major hospitals sometimes, they'll have two ventilators and now all of a sudden they're saying, 'can we have 30 thousand ventilators?'"

Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has made clear that New York has yet to reach the height of the pandemic. The current number of ventilators is not enough to treat all of the infections to come, which could force doctors into rationing them and choosing not to treat patients with less optimistic prognoses.

Alcindor later pointed out that Trump did, in fact, express skepticism that New York was asking for ventilators they didn't need.

People called Trump out for responding to his own words with petty attacks.



They praised Alcindor for holding him accountable when so many others won't.




This was far from the first time Trump personally attacked Alcindor for doing her job.

Astonishingly, Trump denied his own words again in the same press conference when CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond asked Trump to elaborate on his Friday statements that governors aren't being "appreciative" enough of him and his administration.

If a President isn't beholden to congressional oversight, basic transparency, and even his own words, how can he be beholden to the American people?

For more stories of Trump's ineptitude from people who were there, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.

Fox News

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Television hosts aren't an exception to this—including far-Right Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro, whose performance on air this past Saturday night seemed a bit...off.

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The health crisis in the United States continues to worsen in the face of the global pandemic, passing the 100,000 mark of confirmed virus cases—just days after earning the grim distinction of having more cases than any other country in the world.

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