Today, NewsBusters decided to criticize ABC's Good Morning America over an interview host George Stephanopoulos conducted with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, complaining that Stephanopoulos didn't call Bloomberg a liberal and that the interview included a shot of a billboard truck that FixGunChecks.org is currently driving across the nation to highlight the deficiencies in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The truck's banner highlights the 34 Americans who are murdered with guns each day.
From the NewsBusters post by Scott Whitlock:
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday conducted a softball interview with Michael Bloomberg, touting his new gun control campaign and never once calling the New York mayor a liberal.
GMA even featured a truck promoting Fixgunchecks.org, highlighting the parked vehicle just outside ABC studios. Ignoring ideological labels, Stephanopoulos introduced, “New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg joins us now. He's co-founder of Mayor's Against Illegal Guns and he's unveiling a new campaign today to toughen gun control.” [Emphasis in original]
Highlighting the inclusion of FixGunChecks.org's truck and discussing the issue of background checks for less than two minutes is pretty thin gruel for the “liberal media bias” that NewsBusters purports to expose. FixGunChecks.org exists to highlight two common-sense policies -- entering the names of all people prohibited from buying guns into the NICS, and requiring a background check for every gun sale in America -- that are widely popular among all Americans.
Fixing the gaps in the government background check databases by adding missing records, which currently number over 2 million, is broadly popular according to a recent poll that shows 89 percent of Americans and 90 percent of gun-owning households support doing just that. Closing loopholes that allow people to buy guns without a background check is also broadly popular, 86 percent of Americans and 81 percent of gun-owning households support requiring all gun buyers to pass a background check at gun shows. Even 69 percent of NRA members support requiring all sellers at gun shows to conduct criminal background checks. It seems that NewsBusters has its facts wrong in trying to paint these policies are “liberal.”
The practical reasons for these measures are laid out by Omar Samaha, who's sister Reema was shot and killed during the 2007 Virginia Tech mass shooting, in his explanation of why he joined the National Drive to Fix Gun Checks:
Our family's grief later turned into outrage when we were told that Reema's killer never should have been able to buy a gun. But because his mental health records hadn't been loaded into the background check database, he actually passed a background check and purchased the firearms that he used to murder 32 innocent people.
I looked for ways to get involved in the campaign to fix this broken system. I learned that flawed background checks are just one way guns fall into the wrong hands. The truth is, even if my sister's killer hadn't passed a background check, he could have gone to any private gun seller in Virginia and bought his weapons. All you need is cash, and you walk away with guns -- no questions asked.