Sunday show round-up: North Korea, the gun debate

McCain fears "accidental" war in NKorea, gun legislation debate goes on

Published April 7, 2013 5:30PM (EDT)

North Korea:

Appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation: Sunday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., expressed concerns about the U.S. escalating tensions with North Korea into an unwanted war. "More than once wars have started by accident and this is a very serious situation,” said McCain. The senator commented that were a full blown conflict to take place, the U.S. is well-positioned to defeat North Korean attacks, but that the collateral damage in South Korea would be catastrophic. "South Korea would win, we would win, if there was an all-out conflict, but the fact is North Korea could set Seoul on fire and that would obviously be a catastrophe of enormous proportions," he said.

During an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," senior Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer said that "the onus is on North Korea to take the step back."

Meanwhile Former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman called Kim Jong Un "a crazy man." Hunstman did stress, however, that the heightened tensions with North Korea provided a rare opening for the U.S. to work with China toward a common goal: "This is a huge opening, believe me, with China, because our interests, for the first time in a long while, are aligned. We both want to get something done and bring the level of tension down on the Korean peninsula," he said.

Watch McCain's comments below, via CBS:


Gun control:

With gun control high on the Senate agenda as Congress returns from recess Monday, the debate again occupied Sunday's talking heads. Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy appeared on CNN's "State Of The Union"and offered some strong words for NRA President Wayne LaPierre. In response to LaPierre's condemnation of Connecticut's new gun control law, Malloy said:

Wayne reminds me of the clowns at the circus. They get the most attention and that's what he's paid to do... This guy is so out of whack, it’s unbelievable. 92 percent of the American people want universal background checks. I can’t get on a plane as the governor of the state of Connecticut without somebody running a background check on me. Why should you be able to buy a gun?

Also on "State of the Union," Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) vowed to introduce an amendment to ban the sale of high-capacity gun magazines, when the Senate considers a gun bill next month.

Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (R-Ariz.), on "Fox News Sunday" warned GOP lawmakers not to filibuster efforts to pass gun control in the Senate. "They should listen to their constituents and certainly shouldn't be getting in the way of the process, which is to debate the bill and to vote on the bill," Kelly said.
Watch Malloy's CNN appearance below:
Dan Malloy Compare Wayne Lapierre to 'Clowns At The Circus'
Reps. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., and Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., appearing on "State of the Union," hinted at the comprehensive immigration reform package they and a handful of other lawmakers are working on. The proposal will not include amnesty for unauthorized immigrants already in the U.S., they said. The lawmakers said they said they hoped to unveil a proposal by year’s end. "It's gotta be done this year, but our concern is to get it done well, not quickly," Diaz-Balart said.

Appearing on NBC’s "Meet the Press," Sen. Lindsey Graham said, R-S.C., said that if Democrats and Republicans could come to agreement on immigration reform, it would open the way to a deal on entitlements and taxes. NBC News noted:
The major impediment to reaching a final immigration accord is now the design of a guest worker program, Graham said on Meet the Press. If Republican negotiators are willing to allow a path to citizenship for those foreigners now illegally living in the United States, Graham said, “then the Democratic Party has to give us a guest worker program to help our economy. That’s what we’re arguing over.”

By 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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