Parkland parent criticizes Chuck Todd’s gun safety questions from the Democratic primary debate

Fred Guttenberg: “I didn’t love the question. … The issue is not confiscation”

From the June 27 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe:

Video file

WILLIE GEIST (CO-HOST): Let’s talk a little bit about what you saw from the candidates last night on the question of guns. Are there one or two of these Democratic contenders who you believe carry the flag for your daughter in a way that others don't? 

FRED GUTTENBERG (GUN SAFETY ADVOCATE): Well, you know, last night on the question of guns, I thought the candidate who handled it best was Senator Booker. I didn't love the question because it got into a conversation where -- you know, the thing about gun violence and the conversation is it has always run to the extremes. You either are all the way on the left on this or all the way on the right. And when you talk about confiscation, which is not on the table, it’s not something that needs to happen, it just sends it back to the extremes. None of the candidates successfully, I think, redirected it back to a key fact; 40,000 people per year right now die of gun violence, and it’s not all in mass shootings. In fact, half of them or approximately half are suicides. So the issue is not confiscation. Nobody is going into people's homes unless you are deemed a threat to yourself or someone else or a certified domestic abuser because you've already shown you'll be violent. But how do we reduce 40,000 a year? So last night's question was you have all of these AR-15s that are already out there. What are you going to do about it? Focus on ammunition. They don’t work without bullets. And in fact right now in the House Congressman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and in the Senate, Senator Blumenthal, they've actually introduced Jamie's Law, which will extend background checks to ammunition. Because if you're a prohibited user and purchaser of firearms, then you're also prohibited from buying ammunition. But there is no requirement for a background check on ammunition. So if you have weapons illegally, that you've stolen, you won't be able to buy the bullets if Jamie’s Law becomes law. Talk about real solutions to lower the 40,000 death rate. Because here’s reality, while we're sitting here today doing this segment, someone is going to learn they’re a victim of gun violence, someone is burying a victim of gun violence, and someone is planning a funeral for a victim of gun violence. 


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