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CBS Attacks 'Permissive Gun Laws' and Gun-Toting Tea Partiers in Wake of Shooting

On Monday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric used the Tucson shooting to go after gun ownership: "As we reported, Jared Loughner purchased his gun legally....Saturday's attack is now putting the state's gun laws under a magnifying glass." In the report that followed, correspondent Dean Reynolds declared: "Arizona has among the most permissive gun laws in the nation."

Reynolds portrayed Arizona's commitment to gun rights as a danger: "The right to keep and bear arms here extends to weapons in cars, restaurants, and even bars....you can literally go on a shopping spree armed from store to store." He seemed aghast at the idea that guns may be allowed on Arizona college campuses: "And now there are proposals pending in the state legislature here that would allow college faculty and even college students, like those here at the University of Arizona, to carry concealed weapons on campus."

Reynolds spoke with former Democratic Mayor of Tucson Tom Volgy, who argued: "I think in the state of Arizona it is easier to purchase a weapon like that [a Glock semiautomatic] than it is to get a driver's license."

Continuing to attack the state's gun culture, Reynolds proclaimed: "In Arizona, firearms and politics go together." He introduced a clip of a recent campaign ad: "This was a Tea Party candidate for Congress." The clip featured congressional candidate Pamela Gorman firing a gun with an announcer declaring: "Meet Pamela Gorman, conservative Christian and a pretty fair shot." Reynolds went on to suggest something sinister about a shooting range campaign event for Gabrielle Giffords' conservative challenger during the 2010 campaign: "Giffords' Republican opponent, urging voters to 'remove her from office,' invited them to come and shoot a fully automatic M-16 with him."

Reynolds concluded his report by noting how "This all plays out amid some of the day's most explosive issues: Arizona toughest in the nation laws to impede illegal immigration or the emotional debate over health care. And while it's not yet known for sure what motivated Jared Lee Loughner, what is known is that he had no trouble getting a gun and using it."

What Reynold's failed to mention was that Giffords' herself is a strong proponent of the Second Amendment and gun owner herself. He also failed to note that one of the heros during the shooting, Joe Zamudio, who helped subdue Loughner, was armed.

In an interview with Democratic Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik prior to Reynolds' report, Couric pointed out: "There are also laws that allow you to take concealed or non-concealed weapons and carry them with you at all times. Is that correct?" Dupnik ranted: "That is absolutely correct and that's the height of insanity. I don't know what else they can do. Maybe they can pass a law that we - that would require that every child have an Uzi in their crib."

Here is a full transcript of Reynolds January 10 report:

6:44PM ET

KATIE COURIC: As we reported, Jared Loughner purchased his gun legally. He bought the Glock 9 millimeter handgun here in Tucson last November. With no prison record, he passed the instant background check. But as national correspondent Dean Reynolds reports, Saturday's attack is now putting the state's gun laws under a magnifying glass.

DEAN REYNOLDS: Arizona has among the most permissive gun laws in the nation. The right to keep and bear arms here extends to weapons in cars, restaurants, and even bars. Finding a list of gun-friendly establishments is as easy as clicking the mouse on your computer. Here you can literally go on a shopping spree armed from store to store, the argument being that carrying weapons enhances security. And now there are proposals pending in the state legislature here that would allow college faculty and even college students, like those here at the University of Arizona, to carry concealed weapons on campus.

ARACELI GARCIA [FRESHMAN, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA]: There's a lot of drinking going on, on campus, and it just wouldn't be safe.

REYNOLDS: Would you welcome students and faculty carrying concealed weapons on campus?

TOM VOLGY: Good God, no.

REYNOLDS: Tom Volgy is the former mayor of Tucson, who worries about access to weapons, like a Glock semiautomatic used in Saturday's rampage.

TOM VOLGY: I think in the state of Arizona it is easier to purchase a weapon like that than it is to get a driver's license.

REYNOLDS: In Arizona, firearms and politics go together. This was a Tea Party candidate for Congress.

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER [CAMPAIGN AD]: Meet Pamela Gorman, conservative Christian and a pretty fair shot.

[FOOTAGE OF PAMELA GORMAN FIRING GUN]

REYNOLDS: And Gabrielle Giffords' Republican opponent, urging voters to 'remove her from office,' invited them to come and shoot a fully automatic M-16 with him. This all plays out amid some of the day's most explosive issues: Arizona toughest in the nation laws to impede illegal immigration or the emotional debate over health care. And while it's not yet known for sure what motivated Jared Lee Loughner, what is known is that he had no trouble getting a gun and using it. Dean Reynolds, CBS News, Tucson.


- Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.