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Huh? After Pensacola Shooting, MSNBC Praises British Gun Laws

MSNBC seems to operate under the belief that one should never let a tragedy go unexploited. After Friday morning’s shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, the hosts and guests on the cable network turned the discussion to gun laws and how the U.S. contrasts to regulations in Britain. Host Stephanie Ruhle highlighted the terror attack in London last week as a comparison.  

Ruhle was joined by national security analyst Clint Watts and began by recapping the terrorist attack that occurred in London, “One week ago you were here talking about a terror attack that took place on a London Bridge and while it was devastating that two people were killed, he didn’t have access to guns.”

Because he did not have access to guns, she argued, it made it easier to subdue him, “They went after him with fire extinguishers, a narwhal tusk, he had knives duct taped to his hands, had he had the kind of access to long guns he would have here if he was in the United States, how much more devastating could an attack like that have been? London Bridge is a crowded place.” The “they” Ruhle referred to were two civilians and it was their bravery, not Britain’s gun laws, that limited the bloodshed.

 

 

Watts responded by saying that the fact that this occurred at a military base complicates Ruhle’s argument because, “the weapons are tightly controlled. When I lived on a military base I was not allowed to have a weapon, they usually be stored at the arms room.” This shocked Ruhle, “Hold on, I think that would be a surprise, at least to me, so walk me through this again.”

Watts reiterated his point: “you had to actually register and check your weapons in. You were not allowed to keep those in your private house or work space, so you couldn’t actually just walk around with. It was more controlled at the time then it would be in the civilian public.”

Since the segment aired, further reporting has revealed that the shooter was a Saudi Air Force officer who was training at the base and authorities are investigating whether the shooting was terrorist-related.

Here is a transcript for the December 6 show:

MSNBC
MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle

9:44

STEPHANIE RUHLE: One week ago you were here talking about a terror attack that took place on a London Bridge and while it was devastating that two people were killed, he didn’t have access to guns. They went after him with fire extinguishers, a narwhal tusk, he had knives duct taped to his hands, had he had the kind of access to long guns he would have here if he was in the United States, how much more devastating could an attack like that have been. London Bridge is a crowded place.

CLINT WATTS: Yeah, Stephanie it is two parts, right? The frequency of the attacks that we talked about ad nauseam over the last five years, right? It’s a mass shooting every week. I’m here talking to you about one of these attacks somewhere, but it’s also the impact. The impact in the United States comes from the access to weapons, even on these military bases, the weapons are tightly controlled. When I lived on a military base I was not allowed to have a weapon, they usually be stored at the arms room.

RUHLE: Hold on, I think that would be a surprise, at least to me, so walk me through this again.

WATTS: Yeah, on the military base, I mean don’t know what it is at this military base, but you had to actually register and check your weapons in. You were not allowed to keep those in your private house or work space, so you couldn’t actually just walk around with. It was more controlled at the time then it would be in the civilian public.

RUHLE: So, that’s my question if it’s an open carry state, it would be more controlled if you were on a military base, because I think the average person, i.e. me, wouldn’t guess that

WATTS: Yeah, you can’t just go into the military base, it’s federal property, even though it might reside in some of those states. And this has been a hot issue in terms of debate with the military, particularly the U.S. Army about would the change their rules with regards to weapons and weapons access on the base and what you’ve seen for example at the Naval Yard in Washington D.C when they had, I think twelve people killed, the person actually broke down a shotgun, brought it in through the gate through a bag. He had authorized access to the base, but not authorization to bring in weapons, reassembled that weapon, essentially put to conduct the attack. So in this case, one of the quick things that we’ll start to look at is did this person reside on the base, or did they have access and work there, or did they come on even like as a visitor and the next question will be where did that weapon come from. Did they bring it through the gate, did they bring it in an authorized way or was it a weapon that’s maybe on the base. It’s a very different dimension than we would typically talk about here when we’re talking about a mass shooting that’s in a normal civilian area.

 

 

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