From the transcript:
"QUESTION: President Obama, during the Democratic National
Convention in 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the
hands of criminals. What has your administration done or planned to
do to limit the availability of assault weapons?
OBAMA: We're a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, and
I believe in the Second Amendment. We've got a long tradition of
hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can
But there have been too many instances during the course of my
presidency, where I've had to comfort families who have lost somebody.
Most recently out in Aurora. You know, just a couple of weeks ago,
actually, probably about a month, I saw a mother, who I had met at the
bedside of her son, who had been shot in that theater.
And her son had been shot through the head. And we spent some
time, and we said a prayer and, remarkably, about two months later,
this young man and his mom showed up, and he looked unbelievable, good
But there were a lot of families who didn't have that good
fortune and whose sons or daughters or husbands didn't survive.
So my belief is that, (A), we have to enforce the laws we've
already got, make sure that we're keeping guns out of the hands of
criminals, those who are mentally ill. We've done a much better job
in terms of background checks, but we've got more to do when it comes
But I also share your belief that weapons that were designed for
soldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets. And so what I'm
trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce
the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault
weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other
sources of the violence. Because frankly, in my home town of Chicago,
there's an awful lot of violence and they're not using AK-47s.
They're using cheap hand guns.
And so what can we do to intervene, to make sure that young
people have opportunity; that our schools are working; that if there's
violence on the streets, that working with faith groups and law
enforcement, we can catch it before it gets out of control.
And so what I want is a - is a comprehensive strategy. Part of
it is seeing if we can get automatic weapons that kill folks in
amazing numbers out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.
But part of it is also going deeper and seeing if we can get into
these communities and making sure we catch violent impulses before
CROWLEY: Governor Romney, the question is about assault weapons,
ROMNEY: Yeah, I'm not in favor of new pieces of legislation on
– on guns and taking guns away or making certain guns illegal. We,
of course, don't want to have automatic weapons, and that's already
illegal in this country to have automatic weapons. What I believe is
we have to do, as the president mentioned towards the end of his
remarks there, which is to make enormous efforts to enforce the gun
laws that we have, and to change the culture of violence that we have.
And you ask how - how are we going to do that? And there are a
number of things. He mentioned good schools. I totally agree. We
were able to drive our schools to be number one in the nation in my
state. And I believe if we do a better job in education, we'll –
we'll give people the - the hope and opportunity they deserve and
perhaps less violence from that. But let me mention another thing.
And that is parents. We need moms and dads, helping to raise kids.
Wherever possible the - the benefit of having two parents in the
home, and that's not always possible. A lot of great single moms,
single dads. But gosh to tell our kids that before they have babies,
they ought to think about getting married to someone, that's a great
Because if there's a two parent family, the prospect of living in
poverty goes down dramatically. The opportunities that the child will
– will be able to achieve increase dramatically. So we can make
changes in the way our culture works to help bring people away from
violence and give them opportunity, and bring them in the American
The - the greatest failure we've had with regards to - to
gun violence in some respects is what - what is known as Fast and
Furious. Which was a program under this administration, and how it
worked exactly I think we don't know precisely, where thousands of
automatic, and AK-47 type weapons were - were given to people that
ultimately gave them to - to drug lords.
They used those weapons against - against their own citizens and
killed Americans with them. And this was a - this was a program of
the government. For what purpose it was put in place, I can't
imagine. But it's one of the great tragedies related to violence in
our society which has occurred during this administration. Which I
think the American people would like to understand fully, it's been
investigated to a degree, but - but the administration has carried
out executive privilege to prevent all of the information from coming
I'd like to understand who it was that did this, what the idea
was behind it, why it led to the violence, thousands of guns going to
Mexican drug lords.
CROWLEY: Governor, Governor, if I could, the question was about
these assault weapons that once were once banned and are no longer
I know that you signed an assault weapons ban when you were in
Massachusetts, obviously, with this question, you no longer do support
that. Why is that, given the kind of violence that we see sometimes
with these mass killings? Why is it that you have changed your mind?
ROMNEY: Well, Candy, actually, in my state, the pro-gun folks
and the anti-gun folks came together and put together a piece of
legislation. And it's referred to as an assault weapon ban, but it
had, at the signing of the bill, both the pro-gun and the anti-gun
people came together, because it provided opportunities for both that
There were hunting opportunities, for instance, that haven't
previously been available and so forth, so it was a mutually agreed-
upon piece of legislation. That's what we need more of, Candy. What
we have right now in Washington is a place that's gridlocked."
I didn't see this part of it --from the transcript, it seems as if Romney goes into Fast and Furious, then at Obama's request the moderator cuts him off. If so, that underscores both a bias and what Prof. Brian Patrick describes as the media's self-image in which they are high priests of information. There will be a "town hall," but the moderator has reviewed, and presumably screened, all questions. There will be a debate, but the moderator will decide what can be argued. You're not to hear about Fast and Furious, because it is outside the moderator's decision about what you may hear.