Ummm. I think Wolf Blitzer just got the NRA’s school violence point man Asa Hutchison (fmr Congressman and DEA chief) to admit that background checks are probably a good idea.

Video coming shortly.

Transcript after the jump …After a lot of agonizing cornering by Blitzer we got to this (raw transcript)…

Blitzer: Because a lot of those proposals are common sense and they make sense and all of us were horrified at what happened in newtown, connecticut. I’ll put one poll up on the screen. Cbs poll. Federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers. 90% of the American public favor that. Only 8% oppose that. What say you?

Hutchison: If congress decides we ought to expand background checks that is a decision they will make. On my task force, on my task force we had varied opinions on that issue but it was not the focus of our task force and so it’s — if you’re looking at my personal opinion on background checks I hope congress can look at a way to do better in having good records in the system that does the background checks so that we actually have information as to who has been adjudicated mentally ill, that we can have information, better information on convicted felons, and that we make sure that when someone purchases a firearm that it is going to someone qualified to own it. We’re all for that. As to how they —

Blitzer: What I hear you saying is you’re open to expanding background checks personally.

Hutchison: Yes. Absolutely. I’m open to expanding background checks. You can do it in a way that does not infringe upon an individual and make it hard for an individual to transfer to a friend or a neighbor or somebody that, here in montana, and have a casual sale. We don’t want to infringe upon those rights either. And so I’m more focused on the safety and protecting the kids in the school. I think our initiative will do that more than going down this path of passing stricter laws that somehow we pat ourselves on the back and k we’ve done something for safety when we haven’t.


Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of