Anderson Cooper takes down Florida’s Attorney General a second time

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After an emotional statement on Monday’s Anderson Copper 360 about the tragedy in Orlando, on Tuesday Cooper grilled Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi over her anti-gay record. Mainly, he questioned her championing herself as a voice for the LGBTQ community by establishing a hotline for spouses when Bondi had actively worked to limit gay rights. Bondi’s administration had used anti-gay rhetoric to fight same sex marriage in court, and Anderson brought it up to her. Bondi grew flustered and the interview, which you can watch here, ended professionally but tersely.

After the segment aired, Bondi called in to WOR 710 radio and blamed Cooper for misleading her about the interview’s objective and editing her in a bad light. One problem, Cooper had his receipts and showed them on air that night.

Fighting words. Anderson Cooper responded on Wednesday, June 15, to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s claims that their interview in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting, which aired live on CNN the previous day, was edited to portray her in a bad light.

“She’s either mistaken or she’s not telling the truth,” the CNN host said on his show, Anderson Cooper 360. “Let’s be real here. Ms. Bondi’s big complaint seems to be that I asked in the wake of a massacre of gay and lesbian citizens about her new statements about the gay community and about her old ones.”

Bondi claimed during a radio interview with WOR 710 in New York on Wednesday that she was led to believe that the interview with Cooper would focus on donation scams affecting the victims and their families.

Instead, “when he posted the clip [online], he cut out the entire first portion that discussed people donating to legitimate funds,” she said, and insisted that all the interview did was “encourage anger and hate.” (CNN.com later posted the interview online in its entirety.)

“There’s a time and place for everything, but yesterday wasn’t the time nor the place in front of a hospital when we could have been helping victims,” Bondi added.

“For the record, my interview was not filled with any anger,” Cooper responded on air on Wednesday. “My job is to hold people accountable, and if on Sunday a politician is talking about love and about embracing ‘our LGBT community,’ I don’t think it’s unfair to look at their record and see if they have ever actually spoken that way publicly before, which I’ve never heard her say.”

“The fact is Attorney General Bondi signed off on a 2014 federal court brief that claimed married gay people would ‘impose significant public harm.’ Harm. She spent hundreds of thousands in taxpayer money, gay and straight taxpayers’ money, trying to keep gays and lesbians from getting the right to marry,” he continued.

“Good people can and do disagree on that issue — everyone has the right to their own opinion, thank goodness — but Miss Bondi is championing right now her efforts to help survivors. With the very right which allows gay spouses to bury their dead loved ones — that’s a right that would not exist if Miss Bondi had her way. I think it’s fair to ask her about that. There is an irony in that.”

[From Us Magazine]

I am so tired of the “time and place” argument to waylay discussions about gun and LGBTQ rights. I think when you can point to the result of these antiquated views and say, “that, right there,” it is the perfect time to hold a dialogue. Bondi did much more damage with her radio response than she did in the initial interview. Even without Cooper countering her every claim, she acted against her own argument that it wasn’t the time or place. She asserted Cooper stirred up anger and hate but she missed the point, Cooper’s questions were borne of the anger from the LGBTQ community. She could have admitted that her stance has changed and discussed what her office would do going forward but instead decided to call in for a proper pout to a radio station.

Cooper said he does not like to make himself the story but he felt strongly about addressing her claims. I’m very glad he did. Just like Connecticut’s Rep Chris Murphy’s filibuster to get gun legislation on the floor, we need to keep up the pressure to have a real discourse that brings about a solution to mass shootings.

Here’s is Copper’s full response to Bondi’s claims:

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Photo credit: fame/Flynet Photos and Getty Images

 

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114 Responses to “Anderson Cooper takes down Florida’s Attorney General a second time”

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  1. Sixer says:

    Being a Britisher, I obviously can’t speak to the general ways of US political TV – but a journo’s job *is* to hold interviewees to account, especially if they are politicians. They are not there like TV and film actors: to give fluff and puff to a project. They are there to be accountable. Don’t want to look hypocritical? Don’t *be* hypocritical.

    So good for Anderson Cooper.

    • LAK says:

      Or do what British politicians do and avoid Paxo and do Good Morning TV instead. That will be good and fluffy and no *hard questions.

      *i’m in shock someone wandered into non-fluff questions when Cameron went on Good Morning TV recently. Yet the question was still very easy and Cameron responded as if he were in a Paxo interview.

      Speaking of Paxo, this will always be hilarious.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pyqnu6ywhR4

    • lilacflowers says:

      And as the Attorney General of Florida, whose job includes holding people to account for violating discrimination laws and hate crimes, she should have gotten his point. And as a woman who has divorced twice, both marriages failing before marriage equality occurred in any state, she really needs to re-evaluate the whole stance on marriage being between one man and one woman and anything else is an attack on marriage. The people of Florida should vote her out on her bigoted butt.

      • Jayna says:

        Good luck with that thought. It won’t happen in Florida. Crappy, inept Republican Governor Scott won a second term here. His record is horrible also.

      • H says:

        @lilacflowers Not all of us in FL voted for Bondi, I know I didn’t. She’s vile and Cooper was right to call her out on her past actions. Now if we could only vote her and Scott out.

      • Snowflake says:

        I hate rick scott with a passion!

      • Brittney B. says:

        I tried, lilacflowers. I tried keeping Rick Scott out of office too. Before Cooper grilled her, I had to turn off the press conference for victims because I couldn’t stand their empty words and hypocritical, evil faces. That man was practically grinning. I was pissed that they were still deflecting, and irate that they’d inevitably use this spotlight on FL to make themselves look good.

        I’m so grateful that didn’t happen. And grateful to Anderson for doing exactly what I would have done… but to be honest, this should be the norm, not an isolated pleasant surprise. I think the media is finally recognizing their enormous social responsibility, finally connecting the dots that holding politicians accountable can really be a life-or-death issue. Maybe they let Drumpf get too far and that’s part of it too.

        But I’m sure I’ll be sorely disappointed as the world forgets about us and moves onto the next preventable tragedy.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        @H and Brittney B, I know. My boyfriend’s parents are in Florida and his mom feels like her ballots are being shredded without being counted.

    • Dangles says:

      “Empire occupying militarily and clandestinely in hundreds of locations all over the world. Our country has been messing up other people and countries for decades. The “War on Terror” is the pinnacle.”

      So along with all the talk about threats to American lives from: Radical Islam, homophobia and lax gun laws, how come addressing the threat of blowback in response to American inteference all over the world isn’t an election issue?

      • olcranky says:

        @Dangles because there’s a McCarthyistic attitude from the right that you are unpatriotic and unAmerican when you admit that we, as a country, do wrong. That our interference and wars in the middle east for the past 20 years have smacked of some sort of new age Christian Crusade against Arab infidels

        of course the rest of the western world isn’t so hot to point out our imperialism and how our deciding that our form of “democracy” is what the world needs when it isn’t even working for us. I keep waiting for some European countries to boycott the US but they don’t

      • Dangles says:

        True. The lack of concern for the people in the Middle East from Democrat and Republican voters is clearly racist.

  2. detritus says:

    Ooof. That man. He’s the whole package.

    She deserved every bit of it and I agree with everything he had to say. Everything except, ‘good people can and do disagree on that issue’.
    No.
    Good people do not deny others rights and respect. I’m not willing to call everyone a ‘good person’.

    • Esmom says:

      detrius, he is a gentleman and was being very generous with his use of the word “good.” Similar to Obama, who “goes high when other go low.” Class acts, Chris Murphy, too.

      Kitten, he’s lost some of his hot for me but I still want to be his BFF, ever since I read his book.

      Lastly, I loathe the “time and place” deflection. During the Sandy Hook afternoon, I was so beside myself with rage that I broke my FB silence and posted something about gun control. A former classmate pulled the “time and place” crap and berated me for being disrespectful. As if the grieving families gave a rat’s ass about what a middle aged lady in Chicago was posting, as if they were checking their social media as their kids lay dead in their beloved school.

      • Kitten says:

        I hope you deleted his/her ass. Or whatever you call it when you make someone go away on Facebook. I stopped posting anything on FB beyond cat pics about a year or so ago. Before that, I would very VERY occasionally post something that could be taken as slightly political…but I have some relatives that are Fox News idiots and I don’t want to get into it with them.

        Did you see this? http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/14/482031478/watch-following-moment-of-silent-democrats-shout-down-speaker-ryan

        It’s good to see some politicians finally getting angry about this. It’s also UNBELIEVABLE to me that the Right can’t have one conversation about banning assault weapons without invoking the second amendment. I mean, it’s just unreal. I called my bf last night after watching a segment on the nightly news that featured a montage of clips from the GOP morons talking about guns. I was so upset and angry, like “how are we made up of the same stuff as these people? How can we be the same species?” It’s like these people aren’t human. They’re just selfish, ignorant robots with no compassion for anyone. They’re disgusting.

      • Esmom says:

        I haven’t seen this, thanks. My whole body involuntarily seizes up whenever I hear Ryan speak. The thing that kills me now is that the measures now being considered barely scratch the surface on the work that needs to be done yet the GOPs STILL bicker over it. Disgusting is right.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        Kitten, I was so proud of my congressional representative Katherine Clark for walking out on Ryan and his moment of silence. And Seth Moulton. I love everything Seth Moulton is doing on this issue. And Warren and Markey participating in Murphy’s filibuster. Proud of our congressional delegation

      • lucy2 says:

        I’m glad at least some of Congress is finally mad and trying to do something. It’s ridiculous that it’s come to this point, and that the people who CAN actually do something are sitting there and only offering empty gestures.

      • detritus says:

        @ Esmom
        I’m having a bit of a moral dillema.
        I firmly believe that professionally everyone is entitled to respect and kindness. Even if they are stupid little twits.

        I’m just getting annoyed in my personal life with the inability to yell at assholes for being assholes without being tone policed.

        I do realize its the Silver Fox’s professional life and I admire him for taking a professional tone with a subject that is near and dear to him. It’s much more effective that way.

        To your situation: I’m sorry. I hate facebook for that reason. You find out your loose circle of acquaintances includes the aforementioned twits and assholes. I hope it didn’t effect you too much and you dismissed the idiot. Grieving families are probably also feeling the need for gun control. Talking about a solution to a horrible tragedy is not disrespecting the victims. It is the utmost of respect. You are calling for their lives to matter beyond the immediate grief of family and friends. For their tragic deaths to matter nationally.

      • Kitten says:

        @lilacflowers-YES! We need to see more of that. I want to have hope that our politicians be better, that our country can be better.

  3. t.fanty says:

    Did anyone see the Utah senator’s speech, acknowledging his prior homophobia and recognizing his changed perspective? That is how a politician owns their past.

  4. Kimma says:

    I love the Silver Fox. He is just amazing!

  5. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    She has some nerve. SHE’S the one trying to politicize this moment to her own benefit, and I’m glad he exposed her.

    • Jayna says:

      This. One of our liberal radio talk hosts, even before the Anderson interview, had been railing on about her and her prominence during this tragedy.

      When President Obama and Vice-President Biden came yesterday, I was glad to see she wasn’t around and that Mayor Buddy Dyer handled most of it and others. Although, Governor Scott did greet him at his arrival, which is understandable. But I can’t stand Governor Scott either.

  6. Lynnie says:

    😪. I live in Florida, two hours from Orlando actually, and it feels so surreal. Like this attack didn’t happen, yet it did, and ugh. I don’t know how Rick Scott and the others keep on getting voted for when nobody likes them, but Florida is weird.

    You can definitely tell this is out of the comfort zone for Scott and his ilk, and I hope that at the very least it makes them think and ponder about their rhetoric, if not do a whole reversal like the lieutenant governor in Utah.

  7. DeeDee says:

    Go Anderson Cooper! Journalists should be holding officials accountable. Pam Bondi is also being scrutinized for seeking a donation from Donald Trump, after which her office dropped its inquiry into Trump U.

    • holly hobby says:

      At one point the press really looks out for the interest of the every person (man/woman). A great example is the movie Spotlight about the Boston Globe’s inquiry on the Catholic priest abuse. I don’t know when the press started kowtowing to politicians – how far DT got in the election without the press hammering what a #hit head he is is mind boggling. Even the Trump U scandal has not been talked about enough.

      DT just pissed off the WA Post, who’s editor was the editor at the Globe during the investigation detailed in Spotlight. I hope WA Post publishes the truth. It would be glorious!

  8. Izzy says:

    Bondi is a lying POS, and now the whole world knows it. During tnat interview she claimed her website had some sort of pro-LGBTQ rainbow symbol posted on it in solidarity. Well guess what? A bazillion screencaps of her site immediately after the interview proved that to be a load of BS.

    I don’t understand how that useless shill got elected. I don’t understand how Rick Scott keeps getting elected. He looks lime a cross between an alien and a serial killer. It sould be enough to scare any voter. But nope, not the idiots voting here in Florida.

    Okay, rant over. Sorry, I’m vety cranky this morning. MUST get my morning tea.

  9. Kitten says:

    I’m also sick and tired of conservatives legislating religious-based hate and then trying to avoid accountability for it.
    If you want to control my uterus, keep assault weapons available to all, and prevent equal rights for the LGBTQ community, then just own it FFS. Don’t backtrack, don’t try to hide it, stick to your guns and be front-and-center. Stop hiding behind your religion or that “traditional values” bullsh*t. Just own your hateful, bigoted, misogyny. We need to know who you are because your archaic views don’t belong in modern-day society and we need to know who to vote out of office.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Yay! Preach it!

    • I Choose Me says:

      But owning it would require guts and some kind of personal integrity which a lot of politicians including this hypocrite Bondi just plain do not have.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      And if you’re going to claim “religion,” well, you’re going to need to show me where any religion says anything about a transgender person using a lady’s room because I can’t find it. So stop lying.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Better yet even try shifting the blame onto other people like McCain just tried to do with Obama! Cause you know it’s all his fault, not the GOP that has repeatedly and fervently blocked gun rights.

      • Kitten says:

        Oh my god I almost threw something at the tv last night. I actually typed up an FB post about McCain then deleted it. Man, what a huge turd that guy turned out to be. I cannot believe I actually respected him during the Bush era. That garbage he was spewing was the “thanks, Obama” to trump all “thanks, Obamas”.

        I just cannot with these morons. POTUS has been pure grace and his usual eloquent thoughtful self throughout everything that’s transpired since last Sunday morning. McCain is more irrelevant than ever. Ugh just go away old man and take your ridiculous accusations with you. Fool.

      • holly hobby says:

        Isnt’ he running for reelection? Pandering to the conservative vote much, John? I’ve been disappointed in him since he foisted that piece of $hit Sarah Palin on us.

      • Kitten says:

        Holly-yeah me too. Since Palin, he’s been dead to me. Too bad because during Bush’s reign, he was one of the few outspoken critics of the administration, at least as far as the Right is concerned. But I lost all respect for hm after Palin, and he continues to go downhill.

    • hogtowngooner says:

      Exactly! Those people love to grandstand and hyperbolize about how “pro-life” and “pro-gun” they are, then hide behind “thoughts and prayers” and “not politicizing” when some whackjob acts on those words. I’d almost have respect for them if they just owned up to the fact that horrible tragedies like these are an acceptable cost for their behaviour and subsequent NRA donations to their campaigns.

  10. CFY says:

    As an Orlandoan I can say that for many if not most of us, her presence here is incidental and no one takes her seriously or sees that she brings any value to the table. Same for Rick Palpatine Scott, and most other politicians of their ilk who are either denying this was an attack on LGBTQIA (Palpatine) or using it for their own gain (basically everyone else). The Orlando and OC Mayors have been wonderful.

    You can’t deny gay people the right to lead normal lives like anyone else and then get all sad and try to claim this tragedy as your own. I hope if nothing else, people who hedged in any way about gay people having full rights will have their hearts changed by this. Like RuPaul said the American people as a whole have a lot of soul searching to do.

    Been mired in this murky sadness all week but having many more flashes of anger. What helps is seeing the community pull together and seeing what can be done to help. The funerals have started and Westboro is planning on protesting tomorrow so there are several counter protests/human chains being planned and already been carried out, and more vigils happening this weekend.

    Thank you to those who have expressed solidarity and sympathy in comments. I appreciate it more than most of you can ever know. And some know because your community has also endured and survived a tragedy.

    PS love the Silver Fox but especially this week.

  11. Mia4s says:

    Pathetic. I hate when pathetic women reach positions of power, it is bad for all of us. You’re the attorney general, suck it up!

    I’m not American but I must express my admiration for Rep. Chris Murphy. Finally a bit of courage and conviction! He’d have my vote

  12. Denise says:

    She really blew the opportunity to admit a previous, regrettable mistake, claim that she is happy it went through despite her counter efforts and confirm her commitment to the LGBT community in the wake of a horrific tragedy for the nation as whole. Dumbass.

  13. Amelie says:

    I have a couple of thoughts….firstly, the role of the Florida Attorney General is to issue a legal opinion, not to hold persons accountable–that would be the role of the State’s Attorney:

    “The responsibility of the Attorney General to provide legal opinions is specified in section 16.01(3), Florida Statutes, which provides:
    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, shall, on the written requisition of the Governor, a member of the Cabinet, the head of a department in the executive branch of state government, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, or the Minority Leader of the Senate, and may, upon the written requisition of a member of the Legislature, other state officer, or officer of a county, municipality, other unit of local government, or political subdivision, give an official opinion and legal advice in writing on any question of law relating to the official duties of the requesting officer.”

    Secondly, the Attorney General is an elected office. Constituents elect people who reflect their values and priorities.

    Thirdly,Florida, like many southern states, has a history of opposition to same sex marriage.

    Lastly, the role of the “fourth estate” or news media is to report news facts. News folks are to strive for objectivity; their role is not to advocate for a particular issue or to hold anyone accountable. They should be aware of their personal biases and be aware of whether their bias is impacting their work. From what I have seen of Mr. Cooper’s reporting on this issue, it has been mixed with a high degree of emotion…to paraphrase, he said something like,”that could have been me in there.” Note: Anderson Cooper is gay.

    There is another newsman, Pete Williams, also gay, who covered this issue. He ferreted out accurate information and reported the facts. His reportage is consistently excellent.

    I think the role of news is to present facts to the public and to let the public make their own decisions. I suspect there is a lot more going on here for BOTH parties (Cooper & Biondi).

    • Amelie says:

      Even the NY Times thinks that Anderson Cooper crossed the line into advocacy and was overcome by emotion in his coverage of the Orlando Mass Shooting:

      “Mr. Cooper, who is gay, has seemed to embrace an advocacy role rarely seen among top network anchors, blending on-the-ground reporting with a distinctly personal and empathetic touch.”

      ““As gay people, we share strands of a common bond,” he said during the final moments of his prime-time broadcast. “If this killer hoped to set us backwards, to make us live in fear, I think he’s made a sickening mistake.”

      ‘It is hard to ignore, however, Mr. Cooper’s deeply felt connections with the gay community that was targeted in Orlando’

      The full article is from NY Times, “Anderson Cooper Covering Orlando Shooting With Touch of Empathy,” By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM JUNE 15, 2016

      • Kitten says:

        Oh well if the New York Times says so…

        Anderson Cooper is at this stage a television personality as much as he is a seasoned, professional journalist. It’s natural that the two would overlap now and then. I have zero issues with him injecting a bit of emotion into his reporting of the Orlando tragedy. I don’t need the sanitized version of everything all the time and it’s easy enough to find basic, bullet-point reporting from other sources if I need to.

        Personally, I think he stayed calm, cool, and collected. He didn’t overreact or let his emotions conduct the interview, he asked the pointed questions that many of us wanted him to and I for one, am very thankful for that. This world needs more Anderson Coopers and fewer talking heads.

      • Bee says:

        “A touch of empathy” is crossing the line?
        I would refer you to the famous clip of Walter Cronkite being overcome with emotion while announcing that JFK had died. Reporters are human. The point of Cronkite’s emotion is at 5 minutes to the end. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B_jJEV25g4

    • lilacflowers says:

      “Even the NY Times thinks that Anderson Cooper crossed the line into advocacy and was overcome by emotion in his coverage of the Orlando Mass Shooting:”

      Amelie, did you even read that article? It does not say he crossed the line into advocacy.

    • Lucrezia says:

      IMO, you’re starting from a flawed position. The role of the media is not to objectively report facts. It never has been, it never will be. The job of the media is sell news. In fact, if you’re really cynical, news is just a by-product of their real job: to sell space to advertisers. That’s how they make their money.

      We could have a discussion about whether media objectivity should be held up as an ideal, but not if:
      1) you’re going to call them the “fourth estate”. If they were impartial reporters of basic facts they’d have no political/societal power, and wouldn’t merit the title “fourth estate”.

      2) You’re going to complain about the fourth estate being biased while implying it’s perfectly fine for the members of the second estate to be biased because they are elected and should reflect the values (even homophobic) of their constituents. What’s the difference? Bondi is biased because her constituents are anti gay-marriage, Cooper is biased because he’s personally invested in the issue. And you’re calling Cooper out for it, but implying it’s good/expected when it comes from Bondi?

      What about holding the second estate up to a (mythical?) ideal and saying their role is to NOT to reflect their constituents, but to make society better for everyone?

      • Amelie says:

        “IMO, you’re starting from a flawed position. The role of the media is not to objectively report facts. It never has been, it never will be. The job of the media is sell news.”

        “Journalistic objectivity is a significant principle of journalistic professionalism. Journalistic objectivity can refer to fairness, disinterestedness, factuality, and nonpartisanship, but most often encompasses all of these qualities.”

        As the saying goes, if one’s premise is incorrect, so will the conclusions that follow

  14. Tiffany says:

    He specifically said that he spoke with citizens of Florida and had receipts about her going to the State Supreme Court to have gay rights null and void. Woman, take a whole row of seats.

  15. joanne says:

    i love Anderson Cooper. he remains so calm at a time when i’m sure he was very emotional and he doesn’t give her an inch.
    anyone who is twice divorced cannot talk about the sanctity of marriage. that includes kim davis.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes, he nailed it. He is truly an amazing guy.

    • Jwoolman says:

      I can see why Bondi felt unfairly trapped when she actually was trying in her own way to do something decent. But someone had to say what Anderson Cooper said when he said it. The issues are not unconnected. Her statements and actions helped provide the atmosphere in which a mass murderer felt he was acting with community support.

      Cooper may have an emotional stake in this, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s okay to be emotional when dozens of people were murdered simply because they were LGBT or friends of same. He still was calm but persistent. He’s one of my favorite people — the underlying niceness of the guy always comes through. But he needed to be tough on this one, uncomfortable though she felt about it. He didn’t call her names, he didn’t grandstand. He simply pushed to make the connections between policy and real-world consequences.

  16. ZombieRick says:

    Omg. Anderson Cooper is amazing. What a great interview.

  17. QQ says:

    Anderson Cooper: NOT THE ONE NOR THE THIRD

    Pam Bondi: Where are your edges? why wont you shut up, have you not been snatched up enough??!! we don’t like you, I can confidently say this as a County resident WE DO NOT LIKE YOUR BIMBO BIGOT BARBIE *SS

  18. neocleo says:

    I’m really glad Cooper pursued this as he did. Not enough journalists actually do their job anymore and hold public office holders accountable for their BS.

  19. nicegirl says:

    I am happy that we have at least one journalist in America who is tough enough to ask the questions that need answers. Hold their feet to the fire, Anderson!

  20. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    It feels so good when someone shuts down bullshit with all the receipts, that’s how it’s done.

  21. HK9 says:

    After watching the clips Anderson Cooper was not only a professional but a gentleman during that interview. The fact that Bondi decided to complain as she did says much more about her than it does about him.

  22. Ali says:

    That interview was truly epic.

  23. holly hobby says:

    Ok Pammy, let’s talk about how you cancelled the investigation into Trump University as soon as you got a donation from DT. Ugh this woman. Ever heard of no comment? As an atty I’m surprised she’s going full on tit for tat here!

  24. Bean says:

    Do you really think passing gun laws will stop any criminal from getting one? The only ones who would not have one, are people who follow the law. None of these shooters follow the law. At least if if regular folks have a gun, they may stop a criminal.

    • Kitten says:

      Yes of course the answer is always MOAR GUNS! Of course.

    • HK9 says:

      Yes, I do believe a ban on assault rifles will make us safer. I have yet to see a random citizen stop a shooting with their own assault rifle/gun. Typically, ordinary citizens who are not trained in police tactics, call the police in an emergency.

    • Amelie says:

      @bean:
      I agree with you that passing more laws will not stop gun violence. Even if guns were banned,folks (and terrorists) would find contraband guns or use other means to commit violence. To me, there is something fundamentally wrong in society..people are fearful, angry, intolerant…it’s seen in road rage, social media, in politics, bullying behavior in kids etc. It’s a lot more than guns.

    • Jwoolman says:

      More likely those armed ordinary citizens will just accidentally kill more people. Just ask a few police officers what they think. Not only are such gun owners notorious for hitting the wrong targets, they also provide a steady stream of weapons to criminals, who steal the guns routinely. I do not feel safer with the idea of bunches of unknown people having concealed weapons on them where I might be. Very few people with such guns have the kind of training and skill to take out such a mass murderer safely. Even the police bring in specialists when this is needed.

      We really need to work on ways to safely disable such people nonlethally, to minimize damage to other people in a crowded situation. Maybe bulletproof tables would help… (Not kidding. At least Kevlar tablecloths?!?) But the nature of the weapon was such that most likely it would be all over before the first ordinary citizen got out their gun. Which is why shutting down the supply of such guns is so crucial. There is simply no earthly reason for any civilian to have access to such a weapon except to quickly kill a lot of people he doesn’t like.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Actually, if you look at the history of mass shootings, these terrorists are exactly what would be described as “law abiding, responsible gun owners and citizens.” Adam Lanza was law abiding until he murdered 20 first graders with a legally purchased weapon. Additionally, if a two week waiting period for purchase had been in place, nobody would have died at Pulse last weekend.

      Furthermore, the damage to the body done by a handgun or the average hunting rifle is not comparable to the damage caused by an assault rifle, which is a combat weapon. If people at Pulse had had guns, more people would be dead with all the random firing in the dark and panicking people getting caught in the crossfire.

      I want stricter gun laws. I want them enforced. I want the politians who are blocking sensible gun regulation fired.

    • Amelie says:

      The Boston Bombers accomplished a lot with bombs. And, if I remember correctly they shot & killed one person. What they did was build pressure cooker bombs (improvised IED’s). They found the information to make the bombs on the internet and were easily able to buy the bomb components (pressure cookers and metal ball bearings). They caused tremendous damage with these devices. Many people died and were maimed. Should we ban pressure cookers and ball bearings?

      • Esmom says:

        Stop. Please. How many mass pressure cooker deaths do we have in the US annually vs gun deaths?

      • Amelie says:

        Please read both of my posts to understand my point…

        I live in a state with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country. We also have the highest murder rate. Bad guys will always find the means ( guns, pressure cookers etc) to do bad things. Bad guys are not phased by laws. Illegal drugs like heroin get into the country every day. There is a heroin epidemic in the U.S. People who want illegal heroin get it.

        The issue is to look at the underlying problems and causal factors. One thing that I would put on this list is video games about killing. Children & adolescents are exposed to this garbage constantly….they click and kill an animated person. Kids play these games constantly. IMO, this leads to desensitization. The movies are loaded with gratuitous violence. Something happens to people when they are exposed to this stuff continually. My point is to look at factors in the society and culture that contribute to violence.

      • Odesa says:

        Canadian here. Let me offer you some perspective. It’s the f-ing guns that are killing people.

      • lilacflowers says:

        Three people died as a result of the two pressure cooker bombs at Boston Marathon bombings: Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, and Lu Lingzi. Yes, hundreds were injured but three died. Yes, they shot one person, Officer Sean Collier, three days later, not during the bombing. The Tsarnaevs planned their attack; they did not just decide to take an assault rifle and shoot a bunch of people.

        I am unaware of any pressure cooker bomb murders since.

        State with the highest murder rate? Does it also have the highest population? What is the ratio of people to murders? The way the numbers are actually calculated makes a huge difference. For example, if you just use highest number of murders, well, then it is California, but if you adjust it according to the methods used by the CDC, you get very different pictures. The states with the highest adjusted death by firearms are: Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas, while the states with the lowest are: Hawaii; Massachusetts; New York; Connecticut; and Rhode Island. California. which has the highest murder numbers, actually makes the top 10 LOWEST death by firearms. The top homicide by firearms states are: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas. I’m staying out of Louisiana. In fact, it might be wise to avoid the south. Those five states also have the weakest gun laws, according to the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence.

        I agree with Odesa.

      • Bee says:

        By your logic, we should get rid of all laws, because they are never 100% effective.

    • Lucrezia says:

      As an Aussie, I firmly believe it limits spree-killing. After implementing strict gun laws in1996, we’ve had ZERO mass-shootings (defined as 4 or more deaths) in TWENTY years

      While I do admit it seems logical that killers would just turn to other means, that argument simply doesn’t hold up when you look at our data! While there have been a few mass-casualty incidents they haven’t been spree-killings in the sense that they haven’t had that “kill as many random people as possible” motivation. To be specific: we have had 4 domestic incidents, where the killer targeted their own family; 1 arson incident where the guy’s motivation was to cover up evidence of his drug theft; and 1 fire-bug arson incident where the guy was a volunteer fireman caught intentionally lighting a bush-fire.

      So the evidence is clear – it works. Limit access to guns and the rate of spree-killing drops dramatically. Trying to use logic (criminals can still get guns) to argue that it couldn’t possibly work is totally illogical!

  25. joanne says:

    has anyone in the NRA read about the results of the gun ban in Australia? how many gun deaths do they have now? gun control does work.

    • Lucrezia says:

      Oh, the NRA know about Australia alright … they actually spend a fair amount of their cash on propaganda against it.

      Of course, they have to use scare-tactics and outright lies. Every time the NRA mentions Australia, we get half a dozen Australian headlines pointing out why the NRA is wrong. That helps keep Australian support for gun-control laws high, but unfortunately rarely gets read by non-Australians.

      For example, the NRA have a scare-video with the ominous warning that “when they’re talking about AUSTRALIA, they’re talking about BANS and CONFISCATIONS.” (Emphasis theirs.) To which my response is: ” Yep. Duh! But people who have a valid reason for a gun can still get one.” I get a little frustrated with anti-gun lobbyists who try the softly-softly approach, claiming “we’re not gun-grabbers”. Denying it gives the NRA something to call you out on. To make a difference, you’re going to have to deny guns to some people and make others jump through some hoops. That’s the whole point. Just own it.

      The NRA also love to cherry pick data. They published an article saying “In the inner west [of Sydney], robberies committed with firearms skyrocketed more than 70% over the previous year”. They focused on one part, of one city, in one state and looked at two years of data. If you look at Australia-wide data over a decent period of time, robberies using firearms have declined from over 1500 per year in the 1990s to 1100 per year.

      They try to change the conversation. They’ll say “oh, the rate of homicide went down, but the rate of sexual assault went up”. While they never say it directly, linking them is supposed to imply that one caused the other. Problem is, guns aren’t commonly used in committing or defending against sexual assault in Australia, either before or after the ban. It makes as much sense as saying the rate of homicide went down, but the number of traffic offenses went up. One doesn’t cause the other. (Probable cause of the increased number of sexual assaults is the increased number of women standing up and making police reports.)

      Sometimes they even outright lie. They released an infomercial saying the rate of Australian gun-murders increased by 19%. Which is just plain wrong. You can’t get that stat even if you cherry pick your data or use misleading stats. One of our Attorney Generals wrote to the NRA, asking them to fix the blatant lies, but they refused. In the end, he just let it go … it would be far too expensive to take them on legally.

  26. Veronica says:

    No, what she’s really upset about is that she’s not used to a journalist actually doing their job – holding public officials responsible for their words and actions.

  27. Deeana says:

    Did Pam Bondi not think that her past behaviors and attitudes might not be brought up when she made the decision to put herself into the position of being interviewed? Obviously she had to make the decision whether or not to be interviewed. She could have just kept her trap shut and stayed out of the limelight on this. She chose not to.

    And she’s so stupid that she lied on camera trying to make herself look better and then went on to whine in public.

    It’s all good though. Because she now stands revealed on a national stage.