IRONY: Disgraced Dan Rather Decries U.S.’s Bad ‘Reputation’ (on Guns)

On Wednesday’s CNN Tonight, Don Lemon featured disgraced former CBS News anchor and frequent guest Dan Rather to rant about the new gun laws that he’d like to see passed, claiming that the U.S. is getting a bad “reputation” all over the world for not dealing with its problems. Rather would certainly know about bad reputations, given his fake news attempt at taking down George W. Bush in 2004. The journalist eventually seemed to hint at going further and confiscating guns later after enacting more gun control in “one sweet step at a time.”

Lemon began the segment by incorrectly claiming that mass shootings are a “uniquely American” problem, even though the media simply ignore the many shootings that happen in other countries, and then lauded Rather as “legendary” in spite of his being forced from the CBS Evening News for engaging in dishonest journalism.

Rather began his analysis by accusing Republicans of having selfish reasons for not supporting more gun control:

 

 

Any number of politicians are playing a divisive game. They want to keep the country divided on certain issues. For example, the federal national Republican leadership with its NRA allies has continually and continues to stoke animosities and grievances as a way of holding on to and wielding power.

He then added:

And let us note that a lot of Democrats fall in line right behind them. And everybody knows it’s no secret that a lot of this has to do with sheer money. There’s a lot of money being made in the sale of guns and ammunition. A lot of money is paid to lobbyists to make — have politicians vote the way they vote.

In spite of the evidence that the American public does not support expanded gun control as much as polls have alleged in recent years, Rather pushed for a waiting period to purchase a gun as part of background checks, ignoring the fact that Americans sometimes need to purchase guns quickly when they suddenly discover they are in danger.

Lemon and Rather both talked up requiring burdens like gun training, licensing and insurance requirements without any concerns about making guns more expensive and putting off some law-abiding citizens from buying them. The two then began trashing America as incompetent in solving its problems:

DAN RATHER: And, you know, we’re getting the reputation, Don, in this country, overseas, even among our friends in places like Australia and New Zealand — never mind in China and Russia — we’re getting a reputation for the country of people that can’t do anything. We have a terrible gun violence situation which we can’t do — we won’t do anything about it. We have a terrible pandemic, and we have trouble getting people even to wear a mask. This is dangerous for the country far beyond just any one issue such as gun control itself.

DON LEMON: I agree — I agree.

His reference to the pandemic did not mention that the U.S. has had great success in distributing vaccines to its population compared to other countries.

Toward the end of the discussion, as Rather likened the push for more gun control to Southern states resisting the Civil Rights Movement, he seemed to hint that guns might be confiscated eventually after starting new gun regulations in “baby steps” as he concluded:

 

 

And you’ve touched on something very important, and that is you don’t start with the extremes. The people who own guns — many of them have to be assured that nobody is coming after their guns. If, you know, if they have a squirrel gun or a hunting gun or a practice gun, nobody is coming after their gun, We’re talking about, “How about a few days’ delay in letting people pick up guns they bought so you can have a background check?” Just start with one sweet step at a time.

This episode of CNN Tonight was sponsored in part by Mercedes-Benz. Their contact information is linked. Let them know how you feel about such one-sided and misleading liberal political advocacy.

Transcript follows. Click “expand” to read more. 

CNN Tonight

March 24, 2021

11:08 p.m. Eastern

DAN RATHER: We have to understand that what’s happening right now with the gun violence crisis is similar to what’s happening in some of the other crises, including the pandemic. And that is that any number of politicians are playing a divisive game. They want to keep the country divided on certain issues. For example, the federal national Republican leadership with its NRA allies has continually and continues to stoke animosities and grievances as a way of holding on to and wielding power.

And let us note that a lot of Democrats fall in line right behind them. And everybody knows it’s no secret that a lot of this has to do with sheer money. There’s a lot of money being made in the sale of guns and ammunition. A lot of money is paid to lobbyists to make — have politicians vote the way they vote.

This is in contrast to the country as a whole — that poll after poll shows a majority of people — a rather sizeable majority of people — of Americans are in favor of having, say, a delay in when you can buy a gun — a three-day delay or a two-day delay. You buy the gun today — you pick it up two or three days later — and together with background checks.

This is very popular. But the years — decade after decade — it doesn’t get put into law. What’s needed, of course, is just what I call a common sense approach. If you could get — if you could get the politicians out of this, I’m convinced that Americans of goodwill on various sides of this issue will get together with some common sense things. Look, you have to have a driver’s license to drive a car — you have to be trained in driving an automobile.

DON LEMON: You have to have insurance.

RATHER: You have to have insurance.

LEMON: Right.

RATHER: I mean, all of these things we have. And, you know, we’re getting the reputation, Don, in this country, overseas, even among our friends in places like Australia and New Zealand — never mind in China and Russia — we’re getting a reputation for the country of people that can’t do anything. We have a terrible gun violence situation which we can’t do — we won’t do anything about it. We have a terrible pandemic, and we have trouble getting people even to wear a mask. This is dangerous for the country far beyond just any one issue such as gun control itself.

LEMON: I agree — I agree.

RATHER: Can we do anything?

LEMON: Yeah, you’re right about that. And, then, listen, I just a couple of years ago — I had to get my driver’s license re-upped, right? And you, periodically, you’ve got to get your driver’s license — you’ve got to go back in, you’ve got to do the test, you got to do whatever it takes to get that driver’s license renewed, and, you know, so we do need to look at some sensible gun legislation. But, again, we have to stop looking at it through the extremes that if someone — that it can’t even be looked at — that just by saying you want to look at how it could possibly be improved, that that means you’re taking — you want to take someone’s — all of the guns away. That’s the extremes that people go to, and we have to stop doing that because it is not productive or helpful to anyone.

Dan, I want to move along because I need to talk about something that’s very important — that you draw lots of comparisons between the historic fight for civil rights and the path forward to curb gun deaths. What does that path look like? What do you mean by that?

(…)

RATHER: And you’ve touched on something very important, and that is you don’t start with the extremes. The people who own guns — many of them have to be assured that nobody is coming after their guns. If, you know, if they have a squirrel gun or a hunting gun or a practice gun, nobody is coming after their gun, We’re talking about, “How about a few days’ delay in letting people pick up guns they bought so you can have a background check?” Just start with one sweet step at a time.

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