CNN’s O’Brien Urges Obama to “Track” People and Firearms

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

The Washington Post story, “Media figures on left and right call for new gun-control laws,” hailed Soledad O’Brien of CNN for taking a stand in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings. Pretending to be an intellectual heavyweight on the subject, she declared on the channel that the problem in society is “access to semiautomatic weapons.”

O’Brien’s embarrassing outburst, which continued for several minutes during an interview with Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), is another indication of why CNN fails to attract many viewers. I turned on CNN the morning after the tragedy occurred to get some basic facts and instead was forced to endure a liberal rant from Soledad O’Brien about what she thought should be done in light of what happened in Newtown, Connecticut.

In its story about the influence of these “prominent media figures,” the Post failed to note there is nothing sinister about “semiautomatic weapons.” These are weapons protected under the Second Amendment which a person fires one shot at a time. They are used for various purposes, including self-defense.

It appears that O’Brien may have been confusing “semiautomatic weapons” with automatic weapons.

If she did make this mistake, it would not be unusual for media coverage of a tragedy like this. The liberal media frequently jump to conclusions. In this case, they got basic facts wrong early in the story, including the name of the shooter.

We have learned over the period of many years that the media don’t care about the facts because they are pushing a liberal agenda of “gun control.” O’Brien has an agenda and doesn’t want to hear anything to the contrary. It is a mental state that does not serve the public interest and should not be featured on a channel that claims to provide news to its audience.

It is important for people to actually watch or read the exchange O’Brien had with Rep. Mack to understand the liberal fixation on guns rather than on other problems, such as mental illness, or other possible solutions, such as additional security for those at risk of being shot or killed.

O’Brien quickly labeled Mack a Republican and tried to put her on the defensive: “You support gun rights in this country. You’re a Republican, and I think that’s a position very consistent with most Republicans. What does meaningful action, that actually stops these kinds of shootings, look like to you?”

With this kind of introduction, O’Brien was making it clear that, in her view, Republicans were partly responsible for the tragedy. She was exploiting the tragedy for political gain, in order to bolster President Obama’s call for “meaningful action,” whatever that means.

Mack, a rather moderate Republican, replied, in part, that “the question for me is not just gun rights but mental health…And I think if we’re going to debate as a country, gun control, we need to debate what we can do better on mental, the mental health system.”

That the shooter was mentally deranged seems fairly obvious. Mack’s point was that society should address these mental problems. It was not something O’Brien wanted to dwell on. She granted the point but then quickly said, “But let’s go back to gun control. What do you think could be done to make people safe? I mean, there are people who have said, and I think honestly horribly have said that if people were armed inside the school, they would have been able to shoot the shooter. Do you agree with that?”

Notice the reference to self-defense being something “horrible.” Why was it horrible to consider arming people in the school who could have stopped the carnage? Why would it have been horrible to save some of those young lives?

Mack replied, “Well, yes. I mean, that is one portion of it I guess. You know, I think those of us who fly often know that we feel some sort of consolation or safety knowing that there might be air marshals on board. You want to know sometimes if there’s somebody there who can defend you in a situation.”

It was a perfectly reasonable point. The fact is that airplane hijackings and terrorism have been met with more, not less, arms. Additional firearms in the hands of the right people constitute a deterrent.

For example, what about armed security guards in schools?

O’Brien quickly moved on, saying, “But isn’t part of the issue…easy access? We do know that his mother had five legally obtained guns. She was licensed for five guns. At least one of them is this Bush .223—Bushmaster rifle, right? A semiautomatic weapon. He had easy access to that. So I find it hard when people say, well, you know, if you didn’t have a gun, you could do something else. Is the answer then arming more people? That doesn’t make any sense to me honestly.”

It didn’t make sense to O’Brien because she refuses to consider anything other than liberal legislation to control access to weapons by the law-abiding public. Her fumbling over the name of the weapon probably reflects ignorance about firearms. Perhaps she doesn’t like guns. Perhaps she has never fired them. Perhaps she has never been to a shooting range. Whatever the case, she has no sympathy for those who possess guns for these purposes, or for self-defense.

Eventually, O’Brien came out with her own dubious “solution.” She said, “…I think this conversation at some point has to go to what is the normal amount of guns that people can own and how they’re registered and tracked.”

What is “normal?” O’Brien didn’t say. Who would register and track people with guns? By chance, would it be the Obama Administration?

This is obviously a poorly thought-out “solution” to the violence, but it is typical of a liberal in the media who doesn’t think straight and prefers emotionally-charged rants to a rational treatment of a serious matter.

CNN suffers in the ratings and doesn’t serve the interests of an informed public when it puts a blockhead like Soledad O’Brien on the air to spout nonsense.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at


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8 thoughts on “CNN’s O’Brien Urges Obama to “Track” People and Firearms

  1. Karl my man,

    Why not go the whole hog and arm the kids?

    Take your rationale to it’s conclusion and make it compulsory for everyone in America to pack a piece from the moment they can walk?

    Tourists could be given lessons on how to kill (American for ‘self defence’) on arriving at LAX, JFK etc.

    Let’s face it everyone will need a gun when the Zombie Apocalypse hits an American neighbourhood near you.

    Seriously you Americans have deep-seated issues with paranoia.

    Attn Trevor (the bloke that runs this site): tell these good people it is possible to live in a society where even the police aren’t armed in their normal course of duties.

  2. Paul,
    Lanza’s “instant access” to guns required him KILLING his mother. He tried to buy a gun but was DENIED.
    What do ALL of the mass killings in recent times, (Aurora, Ft. Hood, Norway, Newtown, etc, etc) have in common?
    They were in “Gun Free” zones(yes, the army made its soldiers disarm, brilliant). So the cowards knew they could do whatever they wanted and enjoyed the rush of knowing they were in control. Meanwhile all law abiding citizens willingly disarmed themselves and were sitting ducks. In a situation like that, law enforcement works very cautiously so the evil one has PLENTY of time to do whatever.
    You never see these bastards attack a police station, do you?

    You need to read John Lott’s well informed book, “More Guns, Less Crime”. It is not the law abiding cit

  3. It was Adam Lanza’s god-given right (your words not mine) as a citizen of the U.S to live in a household with an arsenal of weapons.

    It was this strange loners god-given right to have instant access to guns whose sole purpose is to kill other humans efficiently.

    It was his ‘prepper’ mothers god-given right to arm the household to the teeth awaiting her chosen apocalypse.

    It was Mrs Lanza’s god-given right as a U.S citizen to give her son, who she knew was mentally ill, three of her most lethal weapons.

    You people here are part of the gun-kulture (sic) problem in the U.S

    Luckily you have a president who is part of the solution.

    I am sure the New Zealanders who runs this web-site would far rather live with the gun regulations we have down here than the ‘free for all’ situation in the U.S.

    Eh Trev?

  4. In every democratic country I am aware of Gun Control is done in a bipartisan way. Parties of the left, right and centre mostly work together to orchestrate a policy that works best for the better good. This has happened here in N.Z and in Australia, U.K etc etc. Clearly it is impossible in the U.S to get bipartisan agreement on something like gun legislation. I was so happy to see your President say your country has a serious problem and doing nothing isn’t a solution. Kincaid is clearly in the ‘nothing’ camp and no-where in his article does he offer a solution, instead he just tries to score political points, sniping about trivial inaccuracies, the politics of CNN whilst I somewhere in Oklahoma another loser has literally been arming himself to perform a copy-cat child killing spree. You guys need to take a deep look at your priorities in life.

    1. First, Gun Control only controls access to guns for the law abiding citizen, it does nothing to control criminals access to guns they shouldn’t have. Nonetheless those on the EXTREME left continue to throw out this “Red Herring” while emotions are high and before common sense have a chance to set in.

      Like most Left Wing Extremist agenda items, gun control is just cover for controlling the populace and leaving them defenseless against tyranny.

      As the saying goes, “An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.”

      People willing to give up their God given right to self-defense I suppose deserve to be enslaved as they have chosen that path in the misguided belief they’ll be safer. There is no safety in choosing to be a victim, which the whole gun control canard is about; creating victims who cannot fight back.

      Our 2nd Amendment was brilliant in its confirmation of our God given right to self-defense against those who would harm us and tyrannical Government. The 2nd Amendment mentions nothing about hunting, it is clearly about protection. A gun like anything that can be used to inflict harm comes down to intent.

      There are so many ways those with evil in their hearts can harm another human being. Guns are but a tool, an inanimate object. It cannot take aim on its own or pull its own trigger no more than a knife cannot plunge itself into anyone…a human being makes that choice to use these tools for evil. By the same token, these tools are used every day to stop evil doers.

      Bet most of the public is unaware that in Oregon’s Clackamas Town Center Mall shooting there was an individual who had a concealed handgun likely shortened the killers shooting spree. Yes this individual had taken a position behind a pillar, took aim at the shooters head, the shooter saw him and retreated down a hallway where he killed himself. The brave individual with the concealed handgun chose not to take the shot due to the movement of other people too close to the shooter.

      Guns in the right hands save lives. But for you hand wringers out there, when seconds count the police are minutes away.

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