A new video released by conservative activist Jason Mattera will surely have gun rights advocates up in arms. In an exchange with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) that was caught on camera last month but only released Monday, the Democratic politician spoke openly about her gun control views, noting that current proposals are only the beginning.
Perhaps the most contentious portion of the dialogue, which purportedly took place at a women’s rights rally, is the section in which she seems to indicate that a much larger push against firearms could inevitably take aim at handguns.
At the beginning of the exchange, Mattera identifies himself but tells Schakowsky that he “appreciated her remarks” (he does not indicate his conservative worldview and she appears not to recognize him). Considering these tactics, his introduction potentially gained her trust, leading the congresswoman to candidly share her views. He also repeatedly addressed her using “we” and it appears as though Schakowsky doesn’t realize she’s being recorded.
“I was wondering, is it time we have a serious conversation not just about assault rifles, but about handguns as well?,” Mattera asked.
“Well, that’s why if we have universal background checks, that will effect every single kind of weapon,” she replied. “The Brady Campaign thinks that of all the things that have been suggested, this may actually be the thing that does the most to prevent gun violence.”
The congressional leader went on to say that there is a “moment of opportunity” and that political leaders are “going to push as hard as we can and as far as we can.” When Mattera then noted that most gun deaths are the result of handguns and questioned why addressing those type of firearms isn’t currently on the table, Schakowsky was candid, later adding that she’s personally opposed to handguns.
“We’re not going to be able to win that — not now,” she said. “But background checks I think are going to, you know, address any kind of weapon.”
Mattera, again, pushed handguns as a point of conversation, noting that a full-throttle ban could never be secured, considering the Second Amendment’s current wording.
“I don’t know. I don’t know that we can’t,” Schakowsky said, going on to note that some municipalities in her district have banned handguns, seemingly driving home the point that there is support among select cohorts for more restrictive measures in this arena. “I don’t think it’s precluded.”
Watch the video, below:
It should be noted that Mattera used a number of misleading tactics in speaking with Schakowsky. In addition to telling her that he appreciated her words, he also used “we” when discussing the chances of achieving a handgun ban (i.e. “We’ll never get a handgun ban with the Second Amendment as stated”). These measures were seemingly used to gain her trust and to make a foray into the conversation. We should also note the video is edited.
Since its inception, TheBlaze has maintained that reporters — especially conservative ones — should not rely upon these mechanisms for retrieving information, as they are misleading tools that do not allow for an ethical and robust pursuit for truth. That said, we do feel a responsibility to report on controversial comments made by public figures.
Editor’s note — We discussed this story and the ethics of using deception in interviews during Tuesday’s BlazeCast:
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