CNN anchor Deborah Feyerick was called out by an expert on Saturday after the host tried to shut down all discussion of gun control in connection to a weekend mass shooting in California.
During coverage of the breaking news that seven people had died when 22-year-old Elliot Rodger went on a shooting spree near UC Santa Barbara’s campus, Feyerick hosted segments pointing to mental health problems and video games as possible triggers for the mass murders.
Criminal defense attorney Holly Hughes noted that the availability of guns should also be part of the discussion.
“I think it’s time to have a discussion about legislating some of the gun issues,” she explained. “Now, I’m not against having guns, it’s a constitutional right. I own a firearm, that’s great.”
“But the disconnect is, if there is somebody with legitimate mental health issues who’s been institutionalized, who has been diagnosed, who is or should be on medication, is there a way that when you apply for a gun permit, we can give that gun shop owner access to those records?” Hughes continued. “Because they’re not going to tell the truth. And the laws that exist right now says you can’t put it out there.”
Feyerick immediately let her panel know that gun laws were not going including in the debate.
“This is an ongoing conversation, and it’s one that’s never going to be resolved,” the CNN host opined. “It’s got to be about mental health, and not firearms.”
Former New York Police Detective Lou Palumbo interrupted to agree that potential gun owners should be required to pass the same type of background checks and firearms training as law enforcement.
“These are not unreasonable expectations before you give people firearms,” Palumbo insisted.
“They’re not unreasonable expectations, but they’re expectations that have to start by lawmakers passing laws,” Feyerick noted, cutting off the panelist. “Unfortunately, this is not going to happen. We’ve seen this over and over again.”
In a segment a few hours later, Hughes took on Feyerick for refusing to allow panelists to talk about gunss.
“I know you keep saying, and you keep echoing it throughout the night, I don’t want to blame anybody,” Hughes observed. “We don’t want to blame law enforcement. But we need to do something, Deborah! We need to blame something!”
“And something is a breakdown in our system. It’s about time we do start pointing fingers, and not at individual people. But what is the problem in our system? Where is the breakdown? This young man had never been hospitalized so he never popped when they ran federal background [checks] for him to get a gun.”
Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast May 24, 2014.