A CNN host tried to turn the dialogue on guns in America into a monologue Friday, but in the end learned a lesson about the Constitution.
Carol Costello of CNN made the claim that most Americans support President Obama’s gun control agenda, but refused to give Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, the chance to respond.
” … most Americans, according to our poll, support the president’s executive orders.They support it because it’s strengthening existing laws on the books. My final question to you, my final, is this, my final question to you, Erich, stop. My final question, my final question, my final question: Was this a waste of time by the president? Would anything change your mind? Would you have wanted to go to that meeting and like sat down and talk to people who don’t think like you?” she said.
As Pratt tried to respond, Costello then changed her ground. However, Pratt would not be dissuaded from speaking his mind.
“The polls are conflicting,” he said. “There are many polls that show Americans don’t want stricter gun control.”
“That’s not my question,” Costello interrupted.
“Frankly, it doesn’t matter what the polls say because the beauty of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is that it trumps what people think,” Pratt added.
In another part of the interview, Pratt schooled Costello about what Obama’s proposals are all about, saying he did not attend the CNN town hall on gun control because there’s no reasoning with the president,.”
“Despite what the facts are, he has an agenda. Taya said it well, Taya Kyle. We have more guns than ever in this country and yet our murder rates are at all-time lows, and yet the president proceeds going after the rights of law-abiding Americans. There’s no common ground there,” he said.
“OK. There’s no middle ground then, huh?” Costello replied.
“Well, there’s not when — what middle ground is there for restricting your First Amendment rights? If it’s a God-given, constitutionally protected right—” Pratt said.
“I can’t yell fire in a crowded theater,” Costello interrupted.
“But we don’t gag people before they go into the theater,” Pratt retorted. “We don’t run background checks to say, ‘Oh do you have this kind of history before?’ No, we punish the violator. The president is trying to gag the Second Amendment. He’s putting prior restraints on the Second Amendment. We’re not talking about punishing criminals.”
“Are you saying criminals should own weapons? No matter what’s in your background, you should be able to own a gun? Is that what you’re saying?” Costello asked.
“Do you hear what you’re saying? All the people that committed mass shootings passed background checks,” Pratt said. “I mean, Einstein said the definition of insanity is redoubling your efforts, expecting to get a different outcome. Hope is not a strategy.”