It didn’t prove to be a successful formula for CNN’s Piers Morgan – attacking the NRA and gun rights in America – but a well-known and respected crime-victim’s advocate is saying he plans to give it another try, again on CNN.
Praising Morgan for being one of the rare journalists with “the balls” to confront the issue of guns, John Walsh, best known as former host of “America’s Most Wanted,” has signaled he intends to continue Morgan’s crusade in his position as host of the new CNN show, “The Hunt.”
Like the iconic “America’s Most Wanted,” “The Hunt” will focus on finding and capturing fugitives.
“I am the guy that has seen both sides of the issue,” Walsh told reporters Monday. “I own guns. I’m the father of a murdered child. I’ve done nothing but track violence in America since my son was murdered. We have a serious problem with guns in this country. And we refuse to address it. And the NRA solution to arm every grammar-school 80-year-old teacher with a gun is absolutely ludicrous,” he said.
Continuing his criticism of the National Rifle Association, Walsh accused the group of being so closely tied to the gun industry, “they’re not a lobbyist on Capitol Hill, they’re a gun-manufacturer rep.”
In reality, the NRA has five million dues-paying members, a number far in excess of the small number of gun manufacturers in the U.S.
“I said to Joe Biden, ’90 percent of Americans are for a responsible background check for a gun, and you know what this Congress has done? Not voted on it, not brought it to the floor, not introduced a bill,'” Walsh said. “I said, ‘They’re all scared sh*tless of the NRA, aren’t they?'”
Walsh said Biden replied, “John, every one of them. Because the NRA will run a tea bagger against you. … They’ll put 5 million bucks against you.”
Walsh is a proponent of having gun manufacturers put GPS-tracking devices in every gun to facilitate recovery of stolen weapons.
“Every one of us have a GPS chip in our cell phones. It’s not Big Brother,” he said.
Combining criticism of the NRA and advocating NSA-snooping technology would not be expected to be a winning combination.
Morgan’s much-hyped debut-week audiences were in the neighborhood of 2 million viewers. But, according to Nielson ratings from last February, on the eve of cancellation of “Piers Morgan Live,” the show was seen by just 270,000 viewers nationwide and only 50,000 people in the key advertising demographic of Americans ages 25 to 54. Rival Megyn Kelly on Fox News Channel had an audience of more than two million.