Chuck Todd Blames 'Political Paralysis' for Lack of Gun Control
On Monday's Today, NBC's Chuck Todd claimed that Congress could pass gun control legislation but is just too afraid to do it.
Todd reported that "the reality is there's political paralysis when it comes to the gun issue," even though the Senate already tried and failed to pass a background check bill in April. Todd instead blamed "recall elections that took place in Colorado just a few weeks ago" for Congress' lack of "motivation."
"[T]hose recall elections that took place in Colorado just a few weeks ago almost guarantees that politically there is just no motivation by those in Congress to do anything right now," Todd said.
Todd's piece quoted gun control advocates three times as much as gun
rights advocates. He featured three calls for gun control by President
Obama and a gun control advocate, versus just one quote from NRA CEO
And Todd touted a "growing new lobby against the NRA. Families of the victims of gun violence vowing to become a political machine."
Below is a transcript of the segment, which aired on Today on September 23 at 7:09 a.m. EDT:
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: In the meantime, President Obama travels to New York City today where he will address the U.N. General Assembly tomorrow on topics like Syria and Iran, but on Sunday his focus was gun control, with an emotional speech following the deadly shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington last week. NBC's political director Chuck Todd is here in New York with us with more. Good morning to you.
CHUCK TODD, NBC News political director: Good morning, too. It's become a familiar scene, these memorial services for victims of gun violence. This one for the folks that were killed at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. And while there was plenty of reflection, there was also pleas for politicians to do something about gun violence.
BARACK OBAMA: We cannot begin to comprehend your loss.
TODD: (voice over) For the President, speaking at a memorial service following a mass shooting is becoming a familiar scene. Sunday was his third speech in just 14 months as consoler-in-chief.
OBAMA: To the entire community of Aurora –
Here in Newtown –
And now the Washington Navy Yard. If we want to honor these 12 men and women, if we really want to be a country where we can go to work and go to school and walk our streets free from senseless violence without so many lives being stolen by a bullet from a gun, then we're going to have to change.
TODD: After failing to rally Congress on a background check bill in the wake of Sandy Hook, the President once again pushed for action.
OBAMA: But if we can prevent even one tragedy like this, save even one life, spare other families what these families are going through, surely we've got an obligation to try.
TODD: But getting Congress to do something will not be easy. The NRA has already convinced many lawmakers that more gun laws won't stop the violence.
WAYNE LAPIERRE, National Rifle Association CEO: No, the whole country, David, knows the problem is there weren't enough good guys with guns.
TODD: But there's a growing new lobby against the NRA. Families of the victims of gun violence vowing to become a political machine.
SANDY PHILLIPS, gun control advocate: It took six votes over seven years to get the initial Brady law passed, and Sarah and Jim Brady didn't give up. And those of us who are involved, and unfortunately our numbers are growing, we're not giving up.
(End Video Clip)
TODD: Guys, as you know, the reality is there's political paralysis when it comes to the gun issue, and those recall elections that took place in Colorado just a few weeks ago almost guarantees that politically there is just no motivation by those in Congress to do anything right now.
GUTHRIE: All right, Chuck, good to have you with us in New York. Thank you.
— Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matt Hadro on Twitter.