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CNN’s Acosta tells NRA to ‘look into its soul’ to protect kids

CNN’s Jim Acosta got into a heated exchange with a National Rifle Association (NRA) board member on Sunday afternoon over actions to counter gun violence following last week’s mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

“I’m 51 years old,” Acosta said. “This has been going on for decades, and it just seems to me that the NRA just has to look into its soul.”

“I’m sorry to say it that way, sir, but you and your other board members need to look into your souls and see what can be done for these kids. These kids who keep dying over and over again, over and over again,” he continued before ending the interview.

Earlier in the interview, Acosta asked the NRA board member, Judge Phillip Journey, about the group’s opposition to gun control measures.

“Over and over and over, judge, we have these mass shootings,” Acosta said. “Isn’t it finally time to say that your way doesn’t work?”

Journey responded by saying current background check systems do not “work effectively” because states will “not do their share of the job.” 

“The federal government and [the National Crime Information Center] over in West Virginia do a great job compiling the records, doing the background checks and making sure individuals are barred from purchasing firearms,” Journey said. 

“But then of course, they’re not prosecuted for their attempt. Now, maybe we should start prosecuting convicted felons who are trying to buy guns, because we get thousands of them every month who are denied,” he said.

Journey joined CNN from Houston, where the NRA is hosting its annual convention this weekend. Multiple scheduled speakers canceled their in-person appearances following the Uvalde shooting, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R).

Democrats in Congress are eyeing votes on measures including a federal red-flag law that would allow authorities to seize guns from individuals deemed a threat, along with expanded federal background checks for gun sales.

Although some Democrats sounded an optimistic note about the tone of gun control negotiations, significant gun legislation remains unlikely to pass given Republican opposition.

Democratic governors in California, New York and New Jersey are pushing ahead with state actions in the wake the latest mass shootings.

During Sunday’s interview, Acosta at times held up the cover of The New York Times’ Sunday review section, a page printed in black with a single repeated statement — “Authorities said the gunman was able to obtain the weapon legally” — in white text, for each of 15 mass shootings between 2012 and last week’s incident in Uvalde.

Tags CNN gun control legislation Jim Acosta Jim Acosta National Rifle Association Phillip Journey Uvalde school shooting
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