Pro-gun voices were scarce on Sunday’s political talk shows, where the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. was virtually the only subject of conversation. It wasn’t for lack of trying.
NBC’s “Meet the Press” featured an appearance by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of the most outspoken gun control advocates in the country, who reiterated his call for action on the issue from President Obama. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein also stopped by the show and vowed to introduce an assault weapons ban on the first day of the new Congress.
Host David Gregory took a moment to explain the relative lack of pro-gun voices on Sunday's broadcast. “We reached out to all 31 pro-gun-rights senators in the new Congress to invite them on the program to share their views on the subject this morning," he said. "We had no takers.” “Meet the Press” executive producer Betsy Fischer also shared this stat via her Twitter account, and clarified via email that the pro-gun-rights senators were those who had received an “A” rating from various gun-rights groups.
The situation was virtually identical on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” where host Bob Schieffer welcomed guests including Dan Gross of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a supporter of tighter gun control laws, and Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, who said the Newtown shootings made him “question” the availability of assault weapons in this country.
Schieffer explained on air that representatives of the National Rifle Assn. had been invited to appear on “Face the Nation,” but had declined. Similarly, all eight of Schumer’s Republican colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees guns, were asked to appear; all eight declined.
On ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” the few pro-gun voices to be heard were somewhat muted. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), a gun owner with a concealed-carry permit, focused mostly on the issue of mental health rather than going for hard-line “more guns are the answer” rhetoric.
The lone, staunchly pro-gun voice to be found Sunday was Rep. Louie Gohmert. In an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," the Texas Republican had this to say about Sandy Hook Elementary principal Dawn Hochsprung, who was killed in the attack: “I wish to God she had an M4 in her office, locked up, so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out ... and takes him out and takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids.”