CNN Rolls Out Red Carpet for New Gun-Control Push After Maine Mass Shooting

On Thursday’s CNN This Morning, viewers witnessed another soft-soap interview promoting gun-control legislation as fill-in co-host Erica Hill provided a promotional platform for Senator Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses and votes with Democrats, in the aftermath of the October 25 mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine.

CNN feels no need to balance these discussions out with gun-rights advocates.

After spending the first part of the segment discussing the issue of whether federal spending on aid to Israel will be linked to aid to Ukraine, Hill brought up her guest’s efforts to regulate guns, which she framed as an attempt to reduce mass shootings:

I do want to talk to you about this new bill that you’re introducing today specifically that would address — in the hopes of obviously preventing another mass shooting like we just saw unfortunately in your state — it would limit, among other things, the number of rounds a gun’s magazine can hold. Also bans certain devices that, you know, can convert conventional weapons. You have a fair amount of Democratic support here. I’m curious, did you reach out to your fellow Senator from Maine, Senator [Susan] Collins, on this?

Senator King talked up his efforts to limit magazines so that they can hold only 10 bullets at a time:

This is a new approach to this problem of assault weapons, and what we’re really focusing on is the way it works — the way the gun actually works rather than what it looks like. And the heart of it, Erica, is that those big curved magazines that you see that hold 15, 20, 40 bullets, and our bill would essentially prohibit that. They would say that a gun that operated as these weapons do — as any rifle does — cannot have a detachable magazine, and must have an internal magazine with no more than 10 bullets. That’s it.

He continued:

And that’s — we’re focusing on the lethality of these things rather than what they look like. And the whole idea here is to save lives. And one of the problems in a mass shooting is, if the shooter doesn’t have to stop and reload, they are much more deadly. And, for example, the shooter in Maine, as I understand it, had two magazines duct-taped together so when one was empty, he could flip it over and then jam the new one in.

The CNN host could have brought up the argument that limiting the number of bullets a magazine can hold disadvantages self-defensive gun users if they are taken by surprise — possibly by multiple armed assailants who can show up prepared — forcing victims to reload while they are fighting for their lives, but Hill was true to form in showing no concerns about the potential harm gun regulations could cause.

This same show has also notably never mentioned that at least one of the locations where the recent Maine mass shooter targeted was a gun-free zone, and that there is reason to believe that cutting the number of gun-free zones would help deter high-casualty mass shootings in public spaces.

An hour later, Senator King performed the same routine — gun control, and then foreign policy — over on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Transcript follows:

CNN This Morning

November 30, 2023

6:52 a.m. Eastern

ERICA HILL: I do want to talk to you about this new bill that you’re introducing today specifically that would address — in the hopes of obviously preventing another mass shooting like we just saw unfortunately in your state — it would limit, among other things, the number of rounds a gun’s magazine can hold. Also bans certain devices that, you know, can convert conventional weapons. You have a fair amount of Democratic support here. I’m curious, did you reach out to your fellow Senator from Maine, Senator (Susan) Collins, on this?

SENATOR ANGUS KING (I-ME): Well, we’ve reached out to a number of Republican Senators, and they’re reviewing it. They’re looking at it. This is a new approach to this problem of assault weapons, and what we’re really focusing on is the way it works — the way the gun actually works rather than what it looks like. And the heart of it, Erica, is that those big curved magazines that you see that hold 15, 20, 40 bullets, and our bill would essentially prohibit that. They would say that a gun that operated as these weapons do — as any rifle does — cannot have a detachable magazine, and must have an internal magazine with no more than 10 bullets. That’s it.

And that’s — we’re focusing on the lethality of these things rather than what they look like. And the whole idea here is to save lives. And one of the problems in a mass shooting is, if the shooter doesn’t have to stop and reload, they are much more deadly. And, for example, the shooter in Maine, as I understand it, had two magazines duct-taped together so when one was empty, he could flip it over and then jam the new one in. That’s what our law would prohibit along with these devices like a bump stock that turns a gun that you have to pull the trigger each time it fires into what amounts to a machine gun. So that’s what we’re after. We are talking to Republicans about it. To me, this is purely consistent with banning machine guns 100 years ago or sawed off shotguns. These are particularly dangerous — useful for only killing people — and we want to diminish that lethality.

HILL: We will watch to see where that proposal goes. Appreciate you joining us this morning, Senator Angus King. Thank you.

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