MSNBC Attacks Tennessee's Gun Laws for Illinois's Failure

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

Gun laws in Tennessee aren't what most gun control advocates want, to say the least. Tennessee is a pro-gun state and has remained so, even in the wake of the massacre at The Covenant School in Nashville.

So, it's no surprise that the mainstream media wants to attack the state. They're always up for an attack on a pro-gun state, blaming them for literally everything that happens, no matter how many already existing gun laws were broken in the process.

And MSNBC may technically be mainstream media, but they're like the anti-Fox News. They've got a progressive lean so extreme it threatens to topple them over. That's fine, really, because they're entitled to run their network however they want.

They're just not entitled to ignore reality without being called on it, and it seems the did precisely that recently when they blamed Tennessee for something that was the result of an Illinois gun law failing.

On this past weekend's The Saturday Show, MSNBC host Jonathan Capehart teamed up with anti-gun activist Dr. Jonathan Metzl to spread misinformation about the effects of gun laws as the two discussed his book on the 25th anniversary of the Columbine school shootings.

As the discussion turned to the 2018 attack on a Nashville Waffle House by 29-year-old [name redacted], Dr. Metzl reflexively blamed Tennessee's "pathologically loose gun laws" without divulging that the gunman had only somewhat recently moved into Tennessee from the blue state of Illinois. He soon complained about Tennessee expanding gun rights since the shooting:

And so, instead, what we've seen is a dramatic expansion in every kind of law that led to the shooting. People can carry guns without permits now. We're arming teachers, long guns to people with 18 and older, so we have this total disconnect between what people know we need as a society to keep our country safe and what the political process in its gerrymandered state right now is delivering which is, unfortunately, more of these horrific mass shootings.

Hey, he may have moved from Illinois, but that doesn't mean their gun laws failed. Not in and of itself, anyway.

However, there's one important fact that was completely omitted from the MSNBC piece. That was how the killer only had those guns because of how the state of Illinois botched things.

It was not mentioned that Illinois police had confiscated several guns from [the killer] after he showed signs of schizophrenia, but then gave them to his father who then returned them to his son later. One of those firearms was used in the Nashville attack after the gunman moved to the state. [The killer's] father was also convicted in connection with giving his son's firearms back to him.

That was all due to how things were handled in Illinois.

Tennessee gun control laws had absolutely no bearing on this incident. Tennessee gun laws couldn't have any bearing on this incident.

But the truth is that anti-gunners favor Illinois-style gun control over Tennessee's lack of restrictions, so it makes sense for them to blame Tennessee. In their mind, if Tennessee had the right words on a page, the killer here would have just given up all of his guns the moment he crossed the state line.

Because that happens all the time when people from into an anti-gun state, particularly if they're the kind who might shoot up a Waffle House.

No, all the laws in place in Illinois failed to keep someone known to be dangerous from getting guns. He then took those guns to Tennessee and shot up a restaurant where innocent people were enjoying their waffles.

This isn't on Tennessee. It's never been on Tennessee.

It's not even on Illinois. 

No, it's on the person who pulled the trigger and, arguably, it's on his father for giving the killer's guns back to him knowing his son was dangerous.

Stop pretending otherwise.