CNN Fails to Disclose Former Handgun Control, Inc. Spokesman Role of Jake Tapper, Host of CNN Parkland School Shooting Town Hall

CNN’s Jake Tapper, host of the town hall held Wednesday night in Sunrise, Florida on the February 14 Parkland school massacre worked in 1997 as a spokesman for Handgun Control, Inc., the precursor to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. CNN and Tapper have failed to disclose Tapper’s anti-gun activism in advance of the town hall.

Anti-gun activist Jake Tapper hosting gun control debate Feb. 21, 2018, screen image.

Tapper was quoted by the Chicago Tribune on September 12, 1997, attacking then NRA first vice president Charlton Heston.

…Heston decreed that the Constitution’s 2nd Amendment — which refers to the “right of the people to keep and bear arms”–was the “most vital” of all the amendments and was “more essential” than the 1st Amendment, which guarantees freedom of religion and of the press, among other freedoms.

“It is America’s first freedom, the one that protects all the others,” Heston said of the 2nd Amendment in a speech at the National Press Club.

“Among freedom of speech, of the press, of religion, of assembly, of redress of grievances, it is the first among equals. It alone offers the absolute capacity to live without fear. The right to keep and bear arms is the one right that allows rights to exist at all.”

Heston, who is 72 and first vice president of the NRA, spoke to an audience of mostly journalists.

Gun-control organizations labeled the speech as that of an extremist and said it would hurt the gun lobby’s cause.

“His interpretation of the 2nd Amendment is unique to him and his organization and has never been upheld in court,” said Jake Tapper, a spokesman for Handgun Control Inc

The New York Times quoted Tapper on November 6, 1997 attacking the NRA after a gun control initiative failed in Washington State.

Gun-control advocates readily acknowledged that they had been outspent by the N.R.A., saying that was almost always the case in an initiative fight. But they were far from ready to write off their new legislative strategy.

”We always get outspent by the N.R.A. because there just isn’t any money to be made by passing gun controls,” said Jake Tapper, a spokesman for Handgun Control Inc., the nation’s leading advocate of tougher firearms laws.

”But Washington State was by no means a harbinger of things to come for our cause,” Mr. Tapper said. ”We’ve got big plans next for control efforts in states like California, Massachusetts, Florida, Ohio, Illinois.”

A news search shows no results from articles about Wednesday’s CNN town hall that mention Tapper’s background as an anti-gun extremist.

Tapper’s bio page at CNN makes no mention of his work with Handgun Control, Inc.

…Prior to joining ABC News, Tapper served as Washington correspondent, then national correspondent, for Salon.com. He began his journalism career at the Washington City Paper and his reporting has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Weekly Standard, among others. He has drawn caricatures and illustrations for the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, and his comic strip, “Capitol Hell,” appeared in Roll Call from 1994 to 2003. In 2001, he hosted the CNN show Take 5, a weekend program that featured young journalists talking about politics and pop culture”…

CNN’s announcement of the town hall on Monday did not mention Tapper’s work with Handgun Control, Inc.


“A CNN spokeswoman said CNN anchor Jake Tapper will moderate the event and noted that additional details would be released in the coming days.”

When CNN announced earlier Wednesday that the NRA would participate in the town hall, it made no mention of Tapper being a past anti-NRA activist.

Judging from reports on the town hall, Tapper himself did not mention his past with Handgun Control, Inc. when he introduced the town hall.

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