Anti-gun-rights New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, one of nearly two dozen Democrat presidential wannabes now running to challenge Donald Trump in 2020, is taking heat today for his verbal dodging and weaving about what policies he thinks could have prevented the mass shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal workplace May 31, according to Newsweek.
Booker appeared on CNN’s State of the Union with veteran broadcast journalist Jake Tapper, who asked what specific regulations he thinks would have thwarted the identified killer. Instead of answering, Booker tried to deflect the subject, saying, “This is a tragedy today, but you know that every single day in the United States of America, in the aggregate, we have mass shootings that go on in neighborhoods like mine. I live in an inner-city black and brown community. You were there yourself. Moments after you left, we had another shooting in my neighborhood.”
Booker went on to insist, “We are not helpless to stop this. This is a uniquely American problem. We have carnage in our country at levels that no other nation sees.”
Then the Garden State senator declared, “I have a comprehensive plan that people say is bold. But I will tell you that — I will tell you what. It’s not bold. It’s common-sense, evidence-based things that we can do to lower gun violence.”
When Tapper pressed for details, Newsweek said Booker “continued to evade the question with further general comments on gun control.”
The reality, as noted repeatedly by gun rights leaders such as Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, is that no law now on the books or that has been recommended would have prevented the Virginia Beach attack.
That’s because the killer essentially had a clean record and he legally bought to the two handguns recovered at the crime scene by investigators, according to several published reports. He bought one pistol in 2016 and the other last year, both legally, investigators said. Translation: He passed background checks.
Booker dodged Tapper’s questions either because he doesn’t really have a comprehensive plan, or because he really doesn’t want to speak the unspeakable: Gun prohibition.
That may keep guns out of the hands of honest people, but it still won’t prevent criminals from being armed, people like Gottlieb would say.
The Washington Examiner said Booker “tiptoed” around Tapper’s question. He simply did not provide Tapper with a straight answer, just a lot of rhetoric. It may sound okay to Booker’s base, but to the rest of the country, it was flash without substance.
In the wake of the Virginia Beach tragedy, anti-gunners are already trying to exploit the incident.
And in the weekend following the Virginia Beach attack, the City of Chicago had its most violent weekend of the year so far. At least 52 people were shot and 10 of them died, according to the Chicago Tribune. That newspaper keeps a running casualty count.
Booker’s proposal would look at things such as limiting handgun purchases to one per month. But even that wouldn’t have stopped the Virginia Beach killer because his handgun buys were about two years apart.
It’s all campaign rhetoric, and as Newsweek and the Washington Examiner noted, it doesn’t stand up well to scrutiny.
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