National Rifle Association board member Judge Phillip Journey schooled CNN host Jim Acosta on Sunday during a tense conversation about gun control.
Over the course of the lengthy interview, which spanned multiple gun-related topics, Acosta repeatedly interrupted Journey, refused to allow him to finish speaking, and blamed shooting massacres on the NRA.
'Blood on NRA's hands'
Acosta began the interview by asking Journey whether the NRA is culpable for mass shootings, claiming the NRA works to block gun safety laws.
"Isn't some of this blood on the NRA's hands?" Acosta asked.
When Journey responded that the NRA and other pro-gun organizations have, in fact, worked to support commonsense, bipartisan legislation on firearms, Acosta accused Journey of saying "things that just aren't true." Acosta did not explain how Journey's remarks were false, but asked again, "Isn't this blood on your hands?"
"I'm not the one that pulled the trigger and neither are the members of the National Rifle Association," Journey fired back.
"I think Buffalo is a great example where the alarms were going off in New York and all the officials did was hit the snooze button. He could have easily been processed through care and treatment action. He was a danger to himself or others. He'd already threatened mass shooting prior and nobody did anything until that," Journey explained.
It's all about AR-15s
After playing video of children from Uvalde, Texas, saying they're scared to return to school, Acosta asked Journey if people are allowed to bring AR-15s into his courtroom.
Journey is a judge in Kansas, but it's not clear how the question was related to the discussion. Most, if not all, courthouses in America prohibit people from entering with firearms.
"Can people bring in AR-15 into your courtroom?" Acosta asked four times as he talked over Journey.
When Journey finally answered, "Well, of course not," Acosta followed up, "Why not?" But before Journey could respond, Acosta moved the discussion along without allowing Journey to speak.
"Why do people need an AR-15 anyway?" Acosta then asked.
That is when Journey took Acosta to school, pointing out that gun control advocates target the AR-15 because it is a scary-looking firearm. Journey also exposed the inconsistencies with the assault weapons ban of 1994, which focused on cosmetic features of firearms. An AR-15, after all, by function is no different from any other semi-automatic firearm.
"You know, it's just a semi-automatic rifle," Journey told Acosta.
"You know, if you want to be prejudiced about the way it looks, but I was aware of what happened in the '94 semi-automatic firearms ban, and there were rifles of similar function that just didn't look as ugly, they weren't black guns like a Mini 14, a Ruger Mini 14, and of course the Ruger Mini 14 was appropriate and the AR-15 was not," he continued.
After repeatedly stressing the Uvade killer legally purchased the firearms used in the crime, Journey attempted to introduce nuance into the discussion. But Acosta was having none of it.
Acosta ended the interview by telling Journey his "way" — focusing on mental health, ensuring the system catches potential mass killers before they act, and passing commonsense laws — "doesn't work," claimed AR-15s are "used to hunt people," and told Journey he needs to investigate his soul.
"I'm sorry to say it that way, sir, but you and your other board members need to look into your souls and see what can be done for these kids," Acosta said. "These kids who keep dying over and over again. Over and over again."
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