FOX "Hannity" - Transcript - Gun Control

Interview

By:  Tom Cotton Brad Sherman
Date: Jan. 15, 2013
Location: Unknown

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: We told you about the unprecedented measures being taken in New York to limit the Second Amendment rights of citizens there, but the anti-gun movement in America is not limited to the Empire State. Not even close.

Now, tomorrow as I mentioned, President Barack Obama along with Uncle Joe Biden and his gun control task force will present what is being described as a sweeping set of gun control proposals.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I can tell you that tomorrow the president and the vice-president will hold an event here at the White House to unveil a package of concrete proposals to reduce gun violence and prevent future tragedies, tragedies like the one in Newtown, Connecticut. I will not get ahead of the president in terms of what his package of proposals will include. I will simply note that the president has made clear that he intends to take a comprehensive approach.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, although Jay Carney was hesitant to outline what exactly the president plans on proposing, Fox News has learned that an assault weapons ban, universal background checks, limits on ammunition are all among the measures that will be announced at the mid day event.

In addition to those extremely controversial moves, our imperial president will unveil up to 19 executives orders that he will take without the approval of Congress. Details of what exactly those orders may focused on, well, that remain sketchy at this hour. But Republicans are already vowing to fight back against these unilaterally and constitutionally questionable actions. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: I'm against having a king, I think having a monarch is what we fought the American revolution over and someone who wants to bypass the constitution, bypass Congress, that's someone who wants to act like a king or a monarch, I've been opposed to executive orders even with Republican president, from one that wants to infringe on the Second Amendment, we will fight tooth and nail and I promise you there will be no rock left unturned as far as trying to stop him from usurping the Constitution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, perhaps the worst part about tomorrow's gun control event is that we are being told that children are going to stand with the president. Now, these are reportedly be students who wrote to the White House in the wake of the Newtown school shooting last month. Not surprisingly the decision to use kids as props in this heated debate is drawing some very sharp criticism tonight. We'll have more on that in a moment.

But first, I'll bring in our guest, Republican Congressman Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Democratic California Congressman Brad Sherman.

Brad, Jay Carney said, this will prevent future tragedies. How is that possible when somebody can just put on their waistband eight guns, ten clips, and have 80 shots go off without missing a beat? How can you make that promise when you know and I know that's impossible to fulfill?

REP. BRAD SHERMAN, D-CALIF.: Sean, you could have had on your show one of our members of the sportsman's caucus or someone from judiciary, it's your show you decided to go for the ratings and get the best looking Democratic congressman you could get.

HANNITY: Listen. Very attractive, Congressman, I've always said that about you.

SHERMAN: The Gabby Giffords shooting, as tragic as it was, illustrates what we're talking about here.

HANNITY: That was a pistol.

SHERMAN: The shooter had 33 rounds. When the clip was exhausted and he tried to reload, that's when the crowd rushed him. If that -- if that magazine had only had ten rounds there'd be several people, including one little girl alive today.

HANNITY: You say that, but you're predicating that, I'll go to Congressman Cotton here, on an assumption that criminals, they may be evil, they may be mentally ill, but many of them are not stupid. If they're plotting and planning, and willing to do this, what would prevent them from taking four guns, sticking it in their waistband and just pulling one out after another.

I mean, this will not prevent, there's no guarantee -- as a matter of fact it's unlikely that this will prevent any future tragedy, right, Congressman Cotton?

REP. TOM COTTON, R-ARK.: Sean, I believe that's right. These gun control measures that have been reported in the news are extreme. And they're antithetical to the spirit of liberty which is what the Second Amendment is all about, as much as the First Amendment. Moreover, they'll simply be ineffective. As you mentioned, a ban on a certain kind of magazine means just more magazines, and anyone who's trained at all, as I know from my time in the Army, can change a magazine in one to two seconds.

A ban on so-called assault weapons, well, in Connecticut there are already was a ban on assault weapons. And Adam Lanza was still able to obtain one. The city of Chicago for instance has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country. They also have some of the highest murder rates in the country. So, while this kind of legislation might make some in the media or liberals feel good, it won't address the kind of horrific shootings who've signed Newtown.
So, to address those, we need to reform our mental health system, ensure families have access to health privacy laws that let them care for the adult, mentally ill children they have. And also insure there's no federal law that creates gun-free zones, we don't have those frankly in the U.S. Capitol or at the White House where the brave men and women of the Secret Service and the Capital Police guard us and guard the president. Our children don't deserve any less.

HANNITY: We guard our money that way. Good point.

Congressman Sherman, I'm sure if I asked you, if you believe in the Constitution, you'd say yes. I want you to look at this president. Many in your party are urging him to bypass article one, section seven, raise the debt ceiling, and go use the 14th Amendment; that will be unconstitutional. I just gave a whole litany of examples on immigration and a bunch of other issues where this president has in fact circumvented Congress.

Why executive order? Does he not believe in co-equal branches of government? Does he not believe that Congress has a right to weigh in on these issues? I would think that usurping your power would be something you as a liberal would be against.

SHERMAN: Sean, every president has issued hundreds of executive orders.

HANNITY: Not like this president.

SHERMAN: Not true.

HANNITY: Not like this president in this magnitude, never.

SHERMAN: Not true. You're already dreaming of what the executive order proposal would be tomorrow. The fact is, every president has issued controversial executive orders.

HANNITY: Why not go through Congress and the legislative process where they pass laws --

SHERMAN: The NRA has said, they want more effective enforcement of existing laws, that's what the executive branch is supposed to do, and where the executive order does nothing more in using authorized power --

HANNITY: Banning assault weapons would not do that.

SHERMAN: Oh, obviously, he's not going to ban assault weapons with an executive order.

HANNITY: Really? You'll come back tomorrow night if he does.

SHERMAN: I will come back tomorrow if there's an executive order that bans all the assault weapons in the manner that the Dianne Feinstein bill would.

HANNITY: All right.

SHERMAN: The situation here is that we need --

HANNITY: Last word, Congressman Cotton?

SHERMAN: Do you want Tom to speak?

HANNITY: Yes, Congressman, last word, Congressman Cotton.

COTTON: We'll see what the content of these 19 executive orders are, it's hard to imagine that some of them won't overreach his constitutional powers as he has on so many other subject matters when he can't achieve the kind of bipartisan consensus he needs in the Congress. Because frankly, there's a bipartisan consensus in the Congress to protect the Second Amendment.

HANNITY: All right, guys. Thank you both for being with us. Congressman, I have a funny feeling, I might see you back here tomorrow night. I'm going to hold you that promise.

SHERMAN: OK.

HANNITY: And by the way, the best looking guy in TV. I don't care what they say about you in D.C. Thanks for being with us.