COMMENTS: The Right to Bear Arms

Yesterday, NBC's Pete Williams reported on Cho's arsenal and ABC's Jake Tapper reported on the loophole in the gun control laws that allowed him to purchase his weapons legally despite a mental health diagnosis as potentially violent. Now CBS' Armen Keteyian followed up on both angles. Keteyian reported on Cho's online purchase of a .22-caliber pistol in February: "Cho appears a sophisticated shopper, intent on getting the latest model, brand new." The federal BATF is now reviewing whether Virginia's loophole to the mental health gun ban--the one that does not disqualify out-patients--is legal, Keteyian added.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, ABC's Tapper (subscription required) inquired why Democrats, normally gun control advocates, had not used the intense coverage of this killing as an opportunity to press their cause. He offered two explanations: many of the newly elected Democrats in the class of 2006 are gun rights activists; and after Al Gore's defeat in states like Tennessee and West Virginia in 2000, the party had decided that gun control was a losing issue. Tapper recalled one political anecdote. What should Democrats do about gun control? Shut the hell up! Tapper showed the latest advertising campaign by That is funded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City--so nowadays the nation's leading gun control advocate is a Republican.


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