NBC host Chuck Todd served as an example of how not to ask presidential candidates about their gun safety platforms during the first Democratic primary debate with sensationalized questions that raised the prospect of gun confiscation. Todd’s framing recalled false right-wing talking points that strengthening gun laws would necessitate the government taking people’s privately owned firearms.
Todd served as a moderator, along with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, for the second half of the two-hour debate, which featured 10 of the 20 Democrats running for president who qualified based on small-donation fundraising and polling numbers.
Todd’s line of questioning was ripped straight from the National Rifle Association’s playbook. For years, the pro-gun rights organization has been fearmongering that any type of gun safety legislation – from universal background checks to assault weapons bans and CDC research on gun violence – is a “slippery slope” that could lead to a national gun registry and ultimately an all-out confiscation of every firearm.