Ari Melber Compares GOP’s ‘Ritual Grief’ Over Mass Shootings with Votes Against Background Checks


MSNBC host Ari Melber tore into Republican lawmakers for offering their sympathy after major mass shootings, but voting no on additional background check measures and resisting votes for limited gun control.

Melber, who was discussing the issue due to an increased background check bill that recently passed in the House, began the segment by discussing the GOP reaction to the 2014 Dylann Roof shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.

“Americans soon learned how Dylann Roof, a convicted felon, got his gun in the first place. The answer is as illogical as it is maddening. Roof’s background check would have barred that gun store from selling him one,” he said of the shooting at a southern black church. “But under a very lax loophole, when the FBI results do not come back within three business days on the background check, felons who could not buy guns under law are automatically cleared to buy a gun.”

The host continued by raising sincerity questions about the “ritual grief and compassion” displayed by lawmakers like Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Tim Scott (R-SC).

“[The GOP senators] were speaking in dual roles… they were speaking as representatives — who, sure grieve with their communities — but also as lawmakers,” Melber added. “Public safety is never limited to expressions of love or thoughts or prayers.”

While referencing the background check loophole that Roof utilized to obtain his firearm, Melber said, “GOP leaders blocked a floor vote on that issue.”

“So, I want us to all as we learn from what’s happened to keep that contrast in mind as you recall these senators denouncing the murderer while knowing they then went onto block the very vote that would have prevented that murderer, that felon, from getting his hands on an instrument of murder,” the pundit said.

MSNBC then aired several clips of Republicans grieving over the mass shooting, juxtaposed with their votes on the Senate floor against a bill to increase background checks, which could have stopped Roof. Melber chalked up the differences in voting and public comments to the Republican desire for an “A rating” from the powerful National Rifle Association.

“If you hear these cynical pronouncements that say gun reform is impossible or it’s not supported in this Congress, stop and think about it, maybe that’s what the NRA wants you to think, or maybe that’s because some of the narrators have normalized obstruction,” Melber opined.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s (R-KY) confirmed to MSNBC today that they have no plan to bring the House background check vote to a vote.

Melber concluded the segment with another series of clips directly comparing lawmakers’ sympathetic public comments on mass shootings to their votes against measures that would curb the epidemic.

Watch above, via MSNBC.

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Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma