CNN senior political analyst Kirsten Powers grilled reporter Stephen Gutowski on guns during a heated discussion of the mass shootings on Wednesday. (Watch the video below).
The swap between the two came after two high-profile mass shootings last week, including the Club Q shooting that killed five in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Saturday and another shooting that killed seven, including the shooter. , at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Va., on Tuesday.
Both shootings involved a handgun, authorities said, while the Colorado Springs shooting involved a gunman with an AR-15-style rifle — the type of weapon used in the Buffalo and Uvalde shootings. early this year.
Kasie Hunt, who moderated CNN’s panel on Gun Violence in America, asked Gutowski whether access to assault weapons or “a cultural thing” has driven the number of mass shootings in America.
Gutowski, founder of pro-guns site The Reload, noted that the Colorado Springs shooting suspect – who was arrested over an alleged bomb threat last year – could have been banned from buying guns on the basis of his criminal history.
He later had a testy back-and-forth with Powers, who pointed to the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban in 2004, after saying the two recent shootings “show that he it’s not just AR-15s.”
“I mean, it’s like a game you play,” Powers quickly said.
There have been more than 600 mass shootings in the United States this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a website that tracks shootings that have claimed at least four victims.
The amount is on track to make 2022 the year with the second highest number of mass shootings, CNN noted.