Piers Morgan is gone from CNN, but new host John Walsh plans to continue his campaign for gun control.
Besides hosting “America’s Most Wanted” and advocating for victims’ rights, Walsh has been a longtime advocate of background checks and other safety measures. He said he would continue that fight now that he is joining CNN as the host of “The Hunt,” a new show about catching fugitives.
“I am the guy that has seen both sides of the issue,” Walsh told reporters Monday. “I own guns. I’m the father of a murdered child. I’ve done nothing but track violence in America since my son was murdered. We have a serious problem with guns in this country. And we refuse to address it. And the NRA solution to arm every grammar-school 80-year-old teacher with a gun is absolutely ludicrous,” he said.
Walsh said the NRA is so deeply in the pocket of the gun industry that “they’re not a lobbyist on Capitol Hill, they’re a gun manufacturer rep.” He also said Vice President Joe Biden recently agreed with him that politicians are “scared s—less” of the NRA.
“I said to Joe Biden, ’90 percent of Americans are for a responsible background check for a gun, and you know what this Congress has done? Not voted on it, not brought it to the floor, not introduced a bill,’” Walsh said. “I said, ‘They’re all scared shitless of the NRA, aren’t they?’”
Walsh said the vice president replied, “John, every one of them. Because the NRA will run a tea bagger against you. … They’ll put 5 million bucks against you.”
Walsh added: “I could name 15 first-world countries that check your mental state before you get a gun.”
Walsh said he has suggested that gun manufacturers put GPS tracking devices in every gun so stolen weapons could be easily recovered.
“Every one of us have a GPS chip in our cell phones. It’s not Big Brother,” he said.
CNN President Jeff Zucker noted that Walsh has spoken in favor of gun control “many, many, many times on CNN.” But Walsh said he didn’t know how much his gun-control efforts would be a part of his new show “The Hunt,” premiering July 13.
“I think ‘The Hunt’ is going to evolve as we do it,” he said.
Like “America’s Most Wanted,” the new show focuses on catching fugitives. Walsh has dedicated his life to protecting people from crime since the murder of his 6-year-old son, Adam, in 1981.
He said that he has “testified in every state capital multiple times” about guns.
“I’m a gun owner, I’ve hunted all my life. I hunt quail on my ranch,” he said. “And I am the biggest advocate for background checks out of any gun owner in America.”