'Do You Want to Listen?': Angela Rye vs. S.E. Cupp on Gun Control

Posted: Feb 21, 2018 8:55 PM

CNN contributor Angela Rye and HLN host S.E. Cupp took part in a gun control debate Wednesday night on CNN following President Trump's roundtable discussion with mass shooting survivors. The two women tried to focus on solutions, but those solutions quickly and vastly differed and before long the two women kept interrupting one another.

Rye reiterated what many Democrats in Congress and gun control activists have proposed: ban the AR-15, the firearm used by Nikolas Cruz in his shooting spree last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

Cupp wasn't so sure that would work, citing congressional history. Lawmakers banned the category of gun for 10 years, yet one of the guns on that list still ended up in the Columbine massacre, she noted.

"I understand the desire" to want to be a part of something big and historic and impactful, Cupp told Rye. But, AR-15s are responsible for less than 2 percent of gun crime, she pointed out.

Her solution?

"If you talk to people who have researched this, the more targeted, discreet, narrow policies that address mental health" and other issues "actually have the bigger impact," Cupp said.

"There are still people dead," Rye countered when Cupp mentioned the less-than-2 percent statistic.

Cupp agreed these young deaths are horrifying, but so is the majority of gun crime in inner cities and the suicide rate. Why not work to address these issues with "passable legislation?"

Despite Cupp's insistence, Rye said she's not only trying to be "impactful." 

"If we save one life it matters," she said, adding, "We can't ignore it any longer."

An amused Cupp again noted that Congress did try to ban assault weapons, to no avail. 

When Rye suggested that the NRA was one of the biggest culprits that has prevented meaningful gun legislation and insisted that the organization needs to be "taken out," the conversation again took a turn for the worst, with Cupp accusing Rye of talking in "platitudes.

"It's so sad this is the energy in this conversation when people died," Rye said to Cupp.

"Do you want to listen, or do you still want to host?" Rye asked a few moments later.

Before Trump met with shooting survivors, on Tuesday he authorized his Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ban bump stocks, a modification that speeds the rate of fire on semi-automatic firearms. Trump has also indicated he'd be open to raising the permissible age for individuals who want to buy certain guns.