January 12, 2016

On Reliable Sources Sunday, S.E. Cupp joined Erik Wemple, ProPublica's Lois Beckett and CNN's Brian Stelter to dish over the NRA's failure to join President Obama for a face-to-face debate on guns.

S.E. Cupp was a faithful defender of the NRA's honor. Here are the high points of her impassioned defense.

  1. The NRA got the current background check through Congress.
  2. The NRA doesn't need to debate the President because he's mean to them after every shooting.
  3. The NRA doesn't oppose gun research.
  4. The media is hostile to the gun issue.

None of these things are wholly true. But ProPublica's Lois Beckett hit the nail on the head when she let the entire panel know the media and the NRA have not handled the gun issue well at all on any level.

When Beckett called out the NRA for being intractable on any gun legislation, Cupp sprang to their defense, saying, "There's a bill in the Senate introduced by Republican John Cornyn that has the NRA backing, to expand mental health checks."

That isn't nearly enough, and it doesn't address the loopholes that currently exist. Until a couple of weeks ago, I was not aware that corporations and trusts could purchase weapons without any background check at all. I vaguely understood that gun shows were easy enough to buy guns without background checks, but not that anonymous buyers behind a shell corporation could do it with no requirement for background checks.

That's a hole big enough for ISIS to drive a truck through!

Beckett wasn't finished with Cupp and the media, calling them out for failing to report even the most basic data.

"After Sandy Hook, Pew did a survey asking Americans if gun violence had gone up or down over the last 20 years. The majority of Americans thought that gun violence had gone up when it was down more than 50 percent. Just a dramatic failure of the media to inform people about the most basic fact about gun violence in America."

Stelter desperately tried to punt for his industry pals, blaming it on a lack of data available to media.

Beckett parried, "Well, many media outlets don't use the data we do have. And that's a problem. "

And they had to more or less leave it right there. Kudos to Beckett for placing the blame squarely where it belongs.

I think S.E. Cupp should have to interview all of the people who have lost loved ones in the past year to guns. She should have to look them in the eye and explain why she opposes simple, easy, common-sense gun legislation. And then she should go home and look in the mirror. When she cashes that NRA paycheck, she should remember it's endorsed with the blood of many people's loved ones.

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