Sunday show roundup: Gun defenders mum

Following the Newtown massacre, gun control advocates, including Michael Bloomberg, spoke with few opponents

By Natasha Lennard

Published December 16, 2012 6:40PM (EST)

David Gregory, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," told viewers Sunday morning that not a single pro-gun rights senator accepted an invitation to appear on the show following the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school on Friday.

"A note here this morning: We reached out to all 31 pro-gun rights senators in the new Congress to invite them on the program to share their views on the subject this morning," he said. "We had no takers."

Since Adam Lanza shot 20 children and 6 adults dead with a semiautomatic, few defenders of gun rights have spoken publicly as cries for greater gun control have amplified. On Sunday, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, was the lone pro-gun voice to grace the talk show circuit. He said on "Fox News Sunday" that Sandy Hook principal Dawn Hochsprung should have been armed:

"I wish to god she had had an m-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out ... and takes him out and takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids," Gohmert said.

Watch Gohmert's comments, via Fox News:

Meanwhile, as noted on Salon earlier, Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced on "Meet the Press" that she plans to reintroduce a bill banning assault weapons on the first day of the new Congress. Feinstein said that President Obama "is going to have a bill to lead on." She said that of her proposed legislation, "We've tried to take my bill from '94 to 2004 and perfect it. We believe we have.  We exempt over 900 specific weapons that will not fall under the bill."

Via NBC:

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Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., echoed Feinstein's call for gun control legislation during his appearance on CBS News' "Face the Nation." He noted that because Friday's massacre involved young children, "we could be at a tipping point ... where we might actually get something done."

Watch Schumer's appearance, via CBS News:

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, another guest on "Meet the Press" this morning, intimated that he would be willing to pour a substantial amount of his own money into the gun control fight, having already spent millions supporting gun-control candidates in Washington this year.

When host David Gregory asked Bloomberg how much he would be willing to spend now, the mayor responded:

Well, I don't know how to answer that, but when I care about something, I care about something. I think I have an obligation as an American and as a citizen, as a human being, to help others. Smoking is gonna kill a billion people this century. I put $600 million of my own money into trying to stop the tobacco companies from getting kids to smoke and convincing adults that it's not in their health. That's one issue. Who knows with this.

Bloomberg, founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, also urged the president to "stand up and lead" on the issue, while calling it a "myth" that the NRA can destroy political careers:

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Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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