CNN Anchor: ‘It Might Help Gun Control Advocates If They Seemed More Familiar With What Exactly They're Trying to Ban’

By Jon Street | April 8, 2013 | 2:13pm EDT

CNN Host Jake Tapper (Photo: ABC News)

( - CNN Anchor Jake Tapper had some advice for gun control advocates: They might do better if they "seemed more familiar with what exactly they're trying to ban.”

“The gun debate is worth having. We will have that conversation on the show. We have had it. We will continue to,” Tapper said on Friday's episode of “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” said.

“But it might help the advocates of gun control if, in their advocacy for stricter measures, they seemed more familiar with what exactly they're trying to ban,” he suggested.

Tapper comments came in a piece on efforts by President Obama to push for gun control, in which he criticized the president for misstating the facts surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary school shootings in Newtown, Conn.

“At a no-cameras-allowed Democratic fundraiser in San Francisco [on Thursday] President Obama misstated the kind of weapon used in the Sandy Hook shooting,” Tapper said.

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“Advocating for stricter gun control, the president said, ‘It is possible for us to create common-sense gun safety measures that respect the traditions of gun ownership in this country and hunters and sportsmen, but also make sure that we don’t have another 20 children in a classroom gunned down by a semiautomatic weapon-- by a fully automatic weapon in that case, sadly.’"

Tapper underscored what he clearly identified as Obama’s misstatement, saying: "That is not correct. It was a semi-automatic weapon, not a fully-automatic weapon. Most fully-automatic weapons -- machine guns -- are essentially banned for the public. When asked for an explanation the White House said the president misspoke."

Tapper, the former chief White House correspondent for ABC News, said the president was not alone in making inaccurate statements on gun control.

“This is not the first time a leading advocate for gun control has stumbled on the facts,” Tapper said, citing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whom ABC Nightline anchor Cynthia McFadden corrected during an interview that aired on Dec. 20 -- six days after the tragedy at Sandy Hook.

McFadden explained to Bloomberg that semi-automatic weapons do not fire multiple bullets by only pulling the trigger one time -- as Bloomberg had maintained.

Bloomberg has long advocated for gun-control measures to be taken at the federal level but has become even more outspoken since the shooting at Sandy Hook left 20 children and six others dead.

Obama began advocating for stricter measures in the weeks following the Newtown massacre. He tasked Vice President Joe Biden in leading a task force to outline stricter gun-control legislation, which was later stalled by both Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate.

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