Politics

Bill Kristol: Newtown parents never made public policy argument for gun bill [VIDEO]

Photo of Jeff Poor
Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

On this weekend’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday,” Bill Kristol contended that last week’s failure by President Barack Obama to push through firearm background check legislation failed in part because its proponents never made an argument for how it would prevent another Newtown, Tucson or Aurora tragedy.

“It’s a big defeat for President Obama. He went all around the country, and then on Wednesday night he had a meltdown in the Rose Garden because the senators actually voted with the way they felt was the right way to vote,” Kristol said, referring to the legislation crafted by Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey and Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin. “And we see he [Obama] never made the argument — is there a serious public policy argument for background checks, affecting what happened in Newtown or in Tucson or in Aurora, Colo., or the crime rates?

Kristol’s “Fox News Sunday” co-panelist Juan Williams disagreed, noting the lobbying efforts by parents of the victims of Newtown. But Kristol maintained that those parents never showed how the legislation might have prevented a similar attack.

WILLIAMS: Why don’t you ask the parents of Newtown?
KRISTOL: Once you started, the parents of Newtown.
WILLIAMS: They want something done.
KRISTOL: I have the greatest sympathy with the parents of Newtown, but they never made a public policy argument for the Manchin-Toomey bill. That is just a fact.
WILLIAMS: I think that the public policy argument is so clear here that we should not have such easy access to guns, that people who are mentally incompetent or people who have criminal records or people with any kind of record that would indicate they should not be trusted with a weapon are allowed to get it. And what we see, not only in Newtown, but daily Bill, in the streets of Washington D.C., Chicago, New York, is a slaughter, because we won’t do anything.
KRISTOL: Places with the tightest gun control legislation.
WILLIAMS: Where are the guns coming from? They come from places with lax gun control regulation.

Follow Jeff on Twitter