From the October 2 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Charles, an impassioned plea by the president. I do wonder though, yes, there is mentally illness across the globe, but I guess Howard would probably agree with me that some European countries are far more advanced in taking care of mental illness than we in America are. I mean, we've been dragging out feet. What do we do if you're a defender of the Second Amendment but you find these attacks abhorrent and states like Oregon had done “all the right things.” What can we do to keep guns out of the hands of people with mental illnesses.
CHARLES C.W. COOKE: Look, I think it's very difficult and I think that it's different. There's a difference between saying are we upset? Yes, we are. And is the president upset? Yes he is. And does the president have the slightest clue as to how we fix this? I mean, let's look at what he proposed in the past. He proposed universal background checks. Now, Oregon had background checks as you say. The argument for universal background checks is that guns can come in from other states, but that's an anti-crime measure. That doesn't stop mass shootings. No mass shooter seems to get their guns in any sense that would intersect with private sales. They either buy them from a dealer or they get them illegally. Obama also wanted a so-called assault weapons ban. Well that doesn't seem to have much of an effect here either given that the shooter had three handguns. And similarly he had --
SCARBOROUGH: And by the way, Michael Bloomberg, when I was talking to Michael, when I was talking to the mayor after Newtown -- he said the assault weapon ban bill, he goes that's a big bright shiny light. That it's used sometimes and it's horrifying but the mayor talked about, if we're going to reduce gun deaths, he talks about background checks which I support but also the trafficking of it. Isn't it true that only like 3 percent of murders and crimes are committed with guns from people who actually purchase those guns. Isn't this a big trafficking problem too?
COOKE: Sure, sure. But again, we have a problem in the United States with stopping contraband. We've never been able to do it effectively. We couldn't do it during prohibition, we don't do it during the drug war. In fact, if anything, if you look at the way our attitudes towards policing are changing, we're more and more reluctant to go after people, especially minorities and those who would be more vulnerable and search them, and check them for items -- drugs, guns -- that we don't want them to have.