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CNN’s Wild Town Hall Represents Everything that is Wrong with the Gun Control Debate

Following the horrific school shooting that took place in Parkland, FL, CNN hosted a town hall in which survivors of the shooting and friends and relatives of the victims were invited to ask questions of Florida senators Marco Rubio and Ted Deutch, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch.

What followed was a microcosm of everything that is currently wrong with the gun control debate in this country. Outlined below are just a few of the takeaways from CNN’s wild town hall and how they shine a light on the problematic way gun control advocates approach the problems we are facing.

Emotions over Logic

It’s only natural for emotions to be running high at events such as CNN’s town hall. After all, most all of those invited either witnessed the shooting themselves or knew people who were victims. However, when emotions become the focal point of any debate, the results are rarely beneficial.

CNN’s town hall was far too short of actual questions and proposals and far too heavy on emotional pleas and even outright rage towards Sen. Rubio and Dana Loesch. It’s one thing to feel for the victims of these shootings and the tragedy they have suffered. It’s another thing entirely to suggest that these emotions should dictate policy rather than the facts. However, gun control advocates love nothing more than to use these emotions as an attempt to guilt-trip anyone who supports the Second Amendment.

Only One Side of the Story is Told

One of the most controversial things about the CNN town hall is the allegation that it was scripted from start to finish. CNN supposedly supplied questions that they wanted those in attendance to ask and weeded out any questions that they did not agree with. One student survivor reported he dropped out of CNN’s Town Hall when he wasn’t allowed to ask one of his own questions and refused to use CNN’s scripted words. CNN has, of course, denied these allegations, however, regardless of whether or not the event was indeed completely scripted it was certainly set up in a way as to only show one side of the story.

There are numerous solutions to school shootings that could have been discussed, such improvements to mental health, armed guards in the schools, allowing teachers to carry concealed, and more. There were also numerous issues with how law enforcement at both the local and federal level botched their handling of the shooter, Nikolas Cruz. These issues, however, saw little to no attention at CNN’s town hall. Instead, gun control was the entire focus of the event, and those in attendance spent two hours raking Sen. Rubio and Dana Loesch over the coals for their refusal to support new gun control measures.

Anytime there is a shooting such as the one that took place in Parkland, the media devotes next to zero attention to any proposal that does not have to do with stripping away Second Amendment rights. To them, either you agree with gun control or you are okay with dead children, and the people who are coming up with solutions that could actually help are shouted down and painted as cruel and uncaring. This was the case at CNN’s town hall and it is the case throughout the entirety of the gun control debate.

Pointing Blame in all the Wrong Places

When NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch walked onto the stage at the CNN town hall, numerous people from the audience shouted at her, calling her a “murderer”, a “child killer” and screaming “burn her”. When one Parkland student addressed Marco Rubio, he said that it was hard to look at the senator without seeing the shooter Nikolas Cruz. Throughout all of this, the event’s moderator Jake Tapper remained silent, allowing the audience to continue casting insults and blame at two people who had nothing to do with the shooting.

Concerning the Parkland shooting, there is plenty of blame that could be passed down. You could blame the FBI for failing to follow through on multiple leads that Cruz was a potential threat. You could blame the school resource officer for refusing to enter the building where the shooting was taking place out of fear. You could blame the Broward County sheriff’s office for visiting Cruz a reported 39 times and taking no action against him. Or you could blame Nikolas Cruz himself – the true cause of this tragedy.

Instead, at CNN’s town hall and throughout the gun control debate, blame for the Parkland shooting is shifted to responsible gun owners and those who support Second Amendment rights. As long as we keep pointing blame in all the wrong places, nothing beneficial is ever going to get done and these shootings will continue.

~ National Gun Network

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  1. Alan says

    Did you have any reasonable expectation of, from media in general, CNN in particular, anything in the way of impartiality concerning firearms? If so, given past performances, what might have possibly created that expectation?

  2. Gerry says

    I was taught that the sign of a good leader was “to keep his/her head while all around are losing theirs.” Seems that trying to make everyone lose their heads was the goal of cnn and the liberals. In times of crisis you think with your head NOT your heart. Networks like cnn along with all the liberals/democrats and rinos have had a history of wanting to disarm the American citizens and as it has finally come out — remove our 2nd amendent from our Constitution. They use every tragedy(not really caring about the victims) just their agenda. cnn and the liberals will sink to any low to accomplish this . We have to stop them from succeeding.

  3. sandy says

    has the bump stock bin on evert gun shooting this year if its not the only gun used to commit these crime you cannot condemn it but if its the only gun used to kill all the people then ok but only if its the only one used and why didn’t the laws in place stop this shooting the gun isn’t the problem the people is criminal don’t care about laws or there would be no crime anywhere

  4. Dan Ignash says

    Ar15 is not an assult rifle!! It’s not a full auto, get off it. Keep guns out of the wrong people’s hand but don’t take away our rights!!!!!!! It’s rediculous

  5. Bruce Andrews says

    CNN Communist News Network this is a good example of everything that is WRONG WITH AMERICA!

  6. F C Hilnbrand says

    This just goes to show EVERYONE how CNN tries to use the Media to make the NRA look bad even when they were the ones who did NOTHING wrong. Maybe they should be looking at the mental health issues that these children have. A teacher even stated that they go off the deep end and they should NOT have access to weapons of any kind. They need to raise the age of people who wish to purchase any type of gun to 21. I am a NRA member for over 30 years and think this would help save lives. For these people who say that if you can join the Military at 18 then it should be OK to purchase a gun at that age. These people are NOT given a gun at that age and when they do they are TRAINED correctly on how to use one AND if they see that they have ISSUES they are NOT issued one. If raised to 21 then they would be treated as a ADULT. That makes a big difference in how things are treated.

  7. F C Hilnbrand says

    I think the school system should install metal detectors and have armed police officers at these locations. Also make it that they must use these locations to go in and out of the school. This would stop the people from getting into the school with NO problem. This would save lives.

  8. Thomas A Cormier says


  9. Bob (Robert) Roesch says

    I believe the author of this article nailed it! CNN could have had a better facilitator, one who was not SCRIPTED, and should have covered all the different areas that the author in the above article mentions so that progress on school safety could have been discussed by all, instead of honing in on those that were not the problem/not to blame.

  10. Peter Krzywicki says

    School Shooting Plot Exposed: You Won’t Believe Who Set It Up
    By Onan Coca February 24, 2018
    For the last week or so, the entire nation has been talking about gun control — or at least the media has been talking about it.
    The sudden tsunami of gun control stories, articles, op-eds, and segments is the result of the terrible mass shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in beautiful Parkland, Florida.
    Sadly, the focus on gun control has caused the media (and the people who get their news from the media) to miss the far-larger scandal revolving around Douglas High School.
    Latest: Fact Check: Broward Sheriff says ‘Only’ Received 23 Calls on Shooter
    First, let me be clear; I’m not talking about the scandal of four police officers being on scene when the shooting begins, but who chose to do NOTHING while waiting outside for backup. This is a scandal in and of itself, no doubt, and it should be investigated. The police force that allowed this to happen should be shamed for it. The shooting could, and should, have been far less bloody if only these officers had done what their community expects of them.
    Second, this isn’t about the scandal unfolding at the FBI, who knew of Nikolas Cruz and his grotesque desires for mayhem and violence. This isn’t even (entirely) about the failure of policing that took place in the months and years before the shooting – a time period that saw local police visit Nikolas Cruz 39 different times for various episodes of violence and criminality.
    And finally, it isn’t about how a troubled young man, so clearly mentally and emotionally distressed, ran afoul of the law so often, but was still somehow able to pass a background check to purchase his firearm.
    No, this piece is about how, at every level, the government failed us by not enforcing our laws or even abiding by simple, logical standards of behavior.
    Before I launch into this, let me give credit to the folks at The Last Refuge who write at the Conservative Treehouse and did much of the legwork on this story long before the shooting at Douglas High School. In fact, the Last Refuge was investigating this story years ago, in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting. I was able to independently confirmmuch of what the Last Refuge reported (see his Twitter thread on this story here) when I spoke, on condition of anonymity, with several sources, one of whom works in the central office of the Broward School District.
    The scandal that the media is ignoring, but is probably the most important part of this story, involves the Broward County School District and local police agencies colluding to lay the foundation of the Douglas High School tragedy.
    What do I mean?
    The story all began about 6 years ago in Miami-Dade County (the county just South of Broward), where the school district was struggling to succeed. All of the data painted a picture of a failing school district. The district noticed that large portions of their school populations were being arrested at a higher proportion than the rest of their community, and they realized that if they could cut down on the criminality of their students, they could quickly improve the data coming out of their schools
    With this in mind, the district entered into a relationship with their local police force and concluded a deal that would ensure the police would stop arresting so many of their students.

    Within a year or two, surrounding communities began to notice the change in Miami-Dade’s fortunes (which included a new influx of money), and Broward County decided that it was time they entered into a similar deal with their local police force.
    The Broward County School Board and District Superintendent entered into a political agreement with Broward County Law enforcement officials to stop arresting students for crimes.
    The motive was simple. The school system administrators wanted to “improve their statistics” and gain state and federal grant money for improvements therein.
    It’s important to remember that this was not an arbitrary change; this was a well-planned fundamental shift in the entire dynamic of how teenagers would be treated when they engaged in criminal conduct.
    Broward Co Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline – MOU by The Conservative Treehouse on Scribd
    I’m sure that you probably already see the problem with the police in South Florida entering into these deals with their local school districts.
    In a very real way, the new policies made public school students above the law. These policies conflicted with laws that police officers had been long-trained to follow, but now it allowed students to act as they wished, without fear of the consequences.
    At first, the police were only “excusing” misdemeanors, but soon they were also “excusing” felonies, including violent crimes like assault, armed robberies, and worse.
    You can obviously see how this would cause problems, but it’s worse than you think. Once the system seemed to be “working,” the district needed the police to continue lowering arrests year-over-year, which meant that the police were being forced to excuse ever more severe criminal acts.
    From the TheLastRefuge:
    “Over time, even the most severe of unlawful conduct was being filtered by responding police.
    We found out about it when six cops blew the whistle on severe criminal conduct they were being instructed to hide. The sheriff and police Chiefs were telling street cops and school cops to ignore ever-worsening criminal conduct.
    The police were in a bind. They were encountering evidence of criminal conduct, and yet they had to hide the conduct. There were examples of burglary and robbery where the police had to hide the recovered evidence in order to let the kids get away without reports.
    The police would take the stolen merchandise and intentionally falsify police records to record stolen merchandise *as if* they just found it on the side of the road.
    They put drugs and stolen merchandise in bags, and sent it to storage rooms in the police department. Never assigning the recovery to criminal conduct. Stolen merchandise was just sitting in storage rooms gathering dust.
    They couldn’t get the stuff back to the victim because that would mean the police would have to explain how they took custody of it. So they just hid it. To prove this was happening one of the officers told me where to look, and who the victim was…”
    According to TheLastRefuge, an internal investigation was carried out, but the results were buried, because what it found was not politically or economically expedient for the county.
    View image on Twitter

    Broward County Sheriff’s Office Did Not “Miss Warning Signs” or Make “Mistakes”…

    Twitter Ads info and privacy
    In the years following, youth crime in Miami-Dade and Broward steadily grew worse. An odd quota system developed, and once a certain number of High School students had been arrested in the county, leadership would make sure that other crimes committed would be excused.
    To make matters worse (as if this wasn’t bad enough), South Florida’s gangs quickly caught on to the scheme and began using high school students to commit more of their crimes. They also began planning their biggest, most important activities later in the month, later in the quarter, and at times when schools were collecting their data for reporting. In this way, the gangs could take advantage of committing their crimes at the time when the police would be most likely to give their high school aged members a pass.
    Now we’re getting closer to how all of this led to the Douglas High School shooting.
    With the intricate nature of the relationship between the police and the schools, it became vital that the School Resource Officers (SROs) placed at the schools understood how the symbiotic relationship between the district and the police was supposed to work. They needed SROs who were adept at ensuring the criminal activities of their students would not be reported as crimes and endanger the district’s political and financial fortunes.
    This is likely why the much-demonized SRO Scot Petersen (who infamously stood outside of the school while the massacre was in progress), likely refused to share information on the shooter with social services back in 2016.
    Scott Bixby
    The sheriff’s deputy who did “nothing” while Nikolas Cruz killed seventeen people also refused to share information on Cruz with state social services during a 2016 investigation into his home life.

    Twitter Ads info and privacy
    These problems with the SROs in South Florida are not something new. There have been other investigations that uncovered their questionable behavior, but again it wasn’t convenient to end the practice.
    In the wake of the Douglas High School shooting, these problems should be too big to hide.
    Sadly, instead of covering the ongoing corruption of the law that has been happening in Miami-Dade and Broward counties since 2012, the media has chosen to focus their fire on gun control.
    Instead of worrying about guns, the media should be asking how could local police pay 39 different visits (Broward Police claim it was “only” 23 visits) to one student without that student ever spending significant time in prison or a psychiatric ward. They should be asking why the local police wouldn’t share information about this high school kid with social services or other law enforcement agencies.
    The truth is that our laws and law enforcement procedures were enough to stop the Douglas High School shooting before it ever happened, but because of the corruption sowed by the Broward County School District and local police leaders, those laws and procedures were ignored.
    If the procedures (and laws) had been followed, Cruz would have never been allowed to purchase a gun. He would have likely already been incarcerated, and he never would have had the opportunity to kill 17 people.
    This case isn’t about guns. And the answer isn’t more gun control.
    This case is about school districts lying to their families in an effort to get more money and more political influence. It’s about local police forces being willing to ignore crime and refusing to abide by the laws that they promised they would uphold. It’s about government failures at every level and how that corruption and failure led to the death of 17 innocent people.
    Don’t let the media sell you some sob story about how we need more gun control in this country. This is all about corrupt politicians and money.

    Onan Coca
    Onan is the Editor-in-Chief at Romulus Marketing. He’s also the managing editor at, and the managing partner at Onan is a graduate of Liberty University (2003) and earned his M.Ed. at Western Governors University in 2012. Onan lives in Atlanta with his wife and their three wonderful children. You can find his writing all over the web.

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  11. Zupglick says

    The reaction of people is normal. They feel before they think. Unfortunately, most people have never been taught to think by our current educational system, so they only feel and react accordingly.

  12. June says

    As usual the Democrats are trying to penalise Responsible Gun Owners as a result of this Tragedy. It has never worked. Perhaps they should question the fact that all of these shooters are on phycotropic drugs. Also what about the lack of mental health provision in America for mentally ill people.

  13. Dominic Kolosky says

    Talk about a setup and assassination. Jack Tapper should be fired. It was his responsibility to stop the harassment of Senator Rubio and the esteemed Dana Loesch. One sided and CNN just fanned the flames. Exactly why the liberal media can not be trusted.

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