Ummm…everyone? I have to admit I’m a little scared. This week in the wake of the horrific shooting in Orlando, I was made privy to what two Fox News hosts — Gretchen Carlson and Bill O’Reilly had to say about banning certain assault rifles…and you know what?
I fucking agree with them. Eww.
It sounds gross, I know, but both Gretchen and Bill actually seemed to break from the right-wing script and address frankly the issue that’s obvious to a lot of us. Guns might be completely okay for a lot of people to own, but clearly terrorists have figured out how to exploit our lax gun laws in general, and are killing us with guns they have no business owning in the first place. All because we have some really warped views on the Second Amendment in this country.
Usually, I’d expect to hear both of these people say all kinds of things about guns and gun violence that make my teeth itch. But surprisingly, both showed support for renewing the 1994 assault weapons ban. Yes, you read that right, both of them — Fox News hosts if ever there were Fox News hosts — came out in support of renewing the ban. For the record, the kind of gun that bastard used in Orlando? Would have been on the prohibited sale list.
This week, Bill took to the air and flat-out said that “There is too much gun crime in the USA, and high powered weaponry is too easy to get.”
And this would be shocking enough, if Carlson hadn’t advocated for reinstating the assault weapons ban not once, but twice this week as well. First she called for a ban on AR-15 sales.

And then, after being berated by gun night right-wingers for her very reasonable position that we can respect the Second Amendment and have “common sense,” Gretchen didn’t actually back down. I hate to give her any credit for anything ever, of course, but you know what? We liberals need to know when to be gracious and accept a victory. Carlson not backing down from pressure coming from gun loving morons is a victory for sanity, which is a victory for all of us.

It’s of course kind of a sad statement of affairs in this country when it’s headline news that a conservative agrees we shouldn’t just give access to every gun ever to every person ever. Then again the National Rifle Association really did used to believe in gun safety first, and Republicans used to actually try to register more minorities to vote, instead of of doing everything to stop them. Times change, I get that, but I like to think that deep down, most Americans are still repulsed by the idea of some psychotic asshole getting his hands on a gun simply because we gave way too much respect and deference to 240 year old legal prose.
Gretchen, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, is right. She’s dead-on-balls right if you ask me. Because she’s not in any way saying we don’t have a right to defend ourselves. She’s just also introducing a word to the gun control debate that conservatives like her usually do everything to avoid — responsibility.
We’re responsible to each other, both in terms of our government, but also the larger picture of humanity itself. That responsibility sometimes means we have to sacrifice a bit of freedom for security. The hope is that it’s not too much, and call me crazy, but I think holding up a gun sale to someone who is on the FBI watch list for terrorism — even as flawed a system as that may be — for a few days is totally valid. If they have a dire need for a firearm for protection until then, they can hang out near a police station. Seriously, I know people get put in the no fly list all the time, but unless we’re willing to say let’s just let everyone on that list on the plane no matter what, let’s be real here — taking a few days to a couple weeks to screen someone who wants to buy a gun that really is only designed to kill as many humans as quickly as possible is the right thing to do.
Hopefully, liberals will see O’Reilly and Carlson coming around and give them some leeway. Yes, they both are capable of some baffling views, but then again there are liberals who genuinely think not vaccinating your children is good for us all somehow. So bat-shit crazy views aside, let’s all just focus on the one, shining speck of a moment where Bill O’Reilly and Gretchen Carlson unflinchingly told the truth to their conservative audiences about semi-automatic rifles. It’s not going to happen every day, and we should always encourage common sense to make a rebound in this country; we desperately need it.


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