"The View" co-hosts weighed in on the country's gun legislation and the right to bear arms on Tuesday in the wake of this summer's spree of mass shootings.
During the season 23 premiere of "The View," co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Abby Huntsman, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain jumped into America's continuing conversation on firearms after mass shootings in El Paso and Odessa, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that killed at least 53 people.
Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott said the Odessa gunman not only had a criminal record but he also failed a background check to purchase a gun in the state. Abbott also said that he didn't go through a proper background check for the firearm he used to kill seven people and injure more than 20 on Saturday. Investigators are still trying to determine how the gunman obtained the AR-type weapon used in the massacre.
Not only did the Odessa gunman have a criminal history...— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 2, 2019
...he also previously failed a gun purchase background check in Texas...
...& he didn’t go thru a background check for the gun he used in Odessa.
We must keep guns out of criminals’ hands. https://t.co/vgrqcHtBtF
Goldberg expressed her frustration with existing gun laws and loopholes. "People always say that there are laws in place," she said, "but if you don't employ the laws that they have, what good are they?"
"You can't keep saying to people that there are laws in effect if you don't make them take effect," Goldberg later added.
Hostin said the Odessa gunman likely "took advantage of some of these loopholes that people are refusing to close," and took issue with the argument that "more guns will make us safer."
"We have more guns in the United States than any other place in the [world]. So if it were true, that more guns would make us safer, we would be the safest country in the world," Hostin continued. "We are not the safest country in the world, and that's the bottom line."
Behar placed blame on the National Rifle Association (NRA) for the ongoing standstill of stricter gun laws.
"They're not going to do anything because there's too much money from the NRA; too much lobbying from the NRA," she said. "Eighty-nine percent of Americans favor background checks...and they still won't do anything."
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate is ready to vote on gun legislation as long as he gets support from Trump.
McCain concurred with Behar on the controversy surrounding how the NRA spends its money. "As someone who's been a proud NRA member and has given a lot of money, I have a lot of problems with the way the money is being allocated at the moment, having nothing to do with the second amendment rights," she said.
"This is a ground level issue for me," McCain added. "If you're going to be a gun grabber, you don't get my vote. Period. We got to have a different kind of conversation."
Huntsman, who just returned from maternity leave after having twins, showed concern about country's violence and the anxieties citizens face because of it.
"It seemed like every weekend I'd wake up and look at my phone and I would take a deep breath if I didn't see a news alert saying there was a mass shooting somewhere," she said. "This has become the normal. How about we live in a place where we can actually walk in a mall and not look around and be nervous that someone's going to pull out a shot gun?"
Clarifying her intentions on gun legislation, Goldberg closed the conversation, saying, "We're not trying to take all your guns, we're trying to pare them down because everybody has way too many guns."
"When you see that week after week after week, everybody needs to sit down at the table and have this conversation," Goldberg said referring to the number of mass shootings in August.
Shortly after "The View" aired on Tuesday, Walmart's CEO Doug McMillon announced that the company will discontinue sales of some types of rifle ammunition and handgun ammunition, as well as sales of handguns in Alaska, which it said would mark "our complete exit from handguns."
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