After the massacre in Virginia Beach last week, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) completely overhauled his speech at the California Democratic Party convention on Saturday, using the day-old tragedy to push his plan for comprehensive gun control.
By Sunday, Booker deflected questions from CNN host Jake Tapper, who hammered the Democratic presidential hopeful over the plan’s nuances and questioned how it would have prevented Friday’s tragedy.
Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Booker dodged numerous questions over how gun control — which typically advocate for restrictions on semi-automatic rifles, like the AR-15 — would have prevented Friday’s tragedy given it was carried out with two legally purchased handguns.
“How would your plan have stopped this tragedy, if at all?” Tapper asked.
Booker, however, completely ignored Tapper’s question, instead focusing on generalized gun violence in America.
“Well, Jake, again, this is a tragedy today, but you know that every single day in the United States of America, in the aggregate, we have mass shootings that go on in neighborhoods like mine,” Booker said. “We are not helpless to stop this. This is a uniquely American problem.”
“We have carnage in our country at levels that no other nation sees, more people dying in my lifetime due to gun violence than all the Americans that died due to gun violence in every single war from the Revolutionary now — war until now,” he continued.
As Booker continued to advocate for his vision of gun control in America, Tapper did not relent.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, but … what would have prevented this tragedy?” Tapper asked. “What steps specifically would have stopped the massacre in Virginia Beach?”
The New Jersey senator never answered Tapper’s question, instead only talking about his gun control plan.
Finally, Tapper had enough.
“I hear you not talking about this specific massacre, but talking about gun violence in general,” he said, shifting the interview to a different gun control question.
Tapper questions Booker about combatting gun violence