Via TPM, skip to around 0:45 below for what’s likely to be tomorrow’s manufactured outrage du jour. The thought process on this for gun-control fans will run this way, I think: By refusing to accede to the wishes of a sympathetic victim of gun violence, McCain’s being per se inappropriate and offensive, but for this to really be useful in stirring up anger at gun-rights supporters there needs to be some more visceral element of insult contrived. Some “news” outlets aren’t above bowdlerizing a video to that end; the clip here is a little dodgy too. Here’s how the exchange was reported by KTVX:
“My 24-year-old son Alex was murdered in a movie theater in Colorado,” Caren Teves said. “These assault rifles allow the shooter to fire many rounds without having to re-load. These weapons do not belong on our streets.”.
McCain responded by sympathizing with Teves, then addressing her call for a ban on assault rifles.
“I can tell you right now you need some straight talk. That assault weapons ban will not pass the Congress of the United States,” said Sen. McCain.
McCain said his plan to deal with mass shootings would protect Second Amendment rights.
“We are working together to try to come up with a package that would prevent guns from falling into the hands of criminals while at the same time preserving our Second Amendment rights,” he said.
You don’t see him sympathize with her in the clip. She asks her question and then there’s a jump cut to him offering “straight talk.” I can’t imagine what he was supposed to say that he didn’t say, except maybe to remind her that if the AWB fails in the Senate, it’ll fail with multiple Democrats voting no. But if you still haven’t detected the hook for outrageous outrage, here’s TPM’s headline for the post: “Crowd Cheers After McCain Tells Aurora Victim’s Mother She Needs ‘Straight Talk’.” That’s untrue — they don’t applaud after he says “straight talk,” they applaud after he says the assault-weapons ban won’t pass. Phrasing it that way suggests that he was somehow rude or dismissive and that they were egging him on. In fact, they cheered because they oppose the AWB. Go figure.
But if we’re going to lend victims extra authority on the subject, set aside some time to read this.