Andrea Mitchell: Gun Rights Supporters 'Should Talk to the Parents' of Girl Shot in Colorado School

Interviewing West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin during her 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Wednesday, host Andrea Mitchell praised his efforts to create a "bipartisan coalition for background checks" on guns, but fretted: "Nothing has taken place. It's a year since Newtown. Not even changes in the mental health law. None of the things that the NRA has supported in the past. What's the next step? What can you do?" [Listen to the audio]

In part, Manchin explained: "[Gun owners] just don't trust government. They just don't think the government will stop there [with background checks]. And they say, 'Joe, I like your bill and I'm sure that's fine and that doesn't bother me, but I'm not sure I want to do anything because I'm afraid they'll try to take more.'" Mitchell sneered: "They should talk to the parents and friends and family of that high school student, the young woman who is in a coma in a hospital in Colorado after what happened last week there."

So rather than address the fact that Manchin's constituents have lost faith in the federal government, Mitchell decided to simply dismiss such legitimate concerns and deride those citizens as being callous toward a young gunshot victim – someone Mitchell had no problem exploiting to push a political agenda.  

On December 5, Mitchell was eager to tout a new ad using the Newtown anniversary to push gun control.  

Here is a transcript of the December 18 exchange:

1:44PM ET

(...)

ANDREA MITCHELL: Let me ask you about guns, because you were trying to make it possible for a bipartisan coalition for background checks. And we all know that you are a gun enthusiast. We saw your commercial – you know, your campaign commercial when you were running for office. And nothing has taken place. It's a year since Newtown. Not even changes in the mental health law. None of the things that the NRA has supported in the past. What's the next step? What can you do?

SEN. JOE MANCHIN [D-WV]: Andrea, I'm hoping that basically we can all come to our senses. This is the most common-sense approach that Pat Toomey and myself had taken. And coming from gun cultures, we basically said law-abiding gun owners like myself are not going to sell to a stranger, we're not going to sell to someone who's been a criminal, or someone who has mental – unstable and mental problems, or give it to a family member that's not responsible. We're just not going to do that.

But we think it's absolutely fine that if you have a commercial transaction, you don't know the person, you go to a gun show or on the internet, you should know and I should know – that's what we do as law-abiding gun owners – who the other person is. Most people agree with that and most gun owners agree with that, Andrea.

What it's gotten down do, they just don't trust government. They just don't think the government will stop there. And they say, "Joe, I like your bill and I'm sure that's fine and that doesn't bother me, but I'm not sure I want to do anything because I'm afraid they'll try to take more." I can assure you, that's not going to happen as long as I'm here. But that's the problem. That's what we really run into. That's the roadblock that we're facing right now.

MITCHELL: They should talk to the parents and friends and family of that high school student, the young woman who is in a coma in a hospital in Colorado after what happened last week there.

(...)

— Kyle Drennen is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.