I get the feeling it just kills Bill O’Reilly to admit he supports a limited form of gun control. Or maybe he’s just worried it will kill his fans. In any event, we’ve seen it coming on since at least the Aurora, Colorado shooting. And it also explains his recent buddying up to Bob Costas. In any event, while O’Reilly made a point of pretending his Talking Points commentary was about “What do we do about violent evil?” It soon became clear he meant, “What do we do about guns?”
First, O’Reilly established his “expert” bona fides. And I have to tell you, I was underwhelmed. They were: having done “extensive research” into Lee Harvey Oswald (for O’Reilly’s new Kennedy book), having seen violent evil “first hand” in El Salvador and in the Middle East and having “sat across from it” when he interviewed a guard who worked at the Dachau concentration camp.
“So when I first heard that 20 year-old Adam Lanza had murdered 27 people… I pretty much knew a few things about Lanza,” O’Reilly boasted.
Number one, that he was deeply angry;
Number two, that he was alienated from most other human beings;
Number three, most likely he was deeply involved with the internet.
All of those things have now been established.
I don’t know about you but I have more than a sneaking suspicion that neither Lee Harvey Oswald nor that concentration camp guard was involved – deeply or not – in any way whatsoever with the internet. Given that O’Reilly was in El Salvador in the 1980’s, I doubt any villains he saw there were online either. As for the Middle East – well, maybe.
But rather than dwell on O'Reilly's certitude about deep involvement with the internet as a factor in homicidal mania, we'll move along with him to the subject of guns.
What can be done about people like (Lanza)? The answer is, very little.
So attention turns to the guns Lanza took from his mother, whom he killed before the school rampage. And there is no question that America does have a gun culture.
…Children ages 5-14 are 13 times as likely to be murdered with guns here as children in other industrialized nations. Last year, more than 18,000 people committed suicide with a firearm in this country and more than 8,000 were murdered with guns.
Simply passing laws against gun possession will not stop mass murder… But we can now expect President Obama to get behind legislation that would limit what kind of firearms the public can buy.
…(President Obama) did not specifically say he would call for stricter controls on heavy weapons like the AR-15, the rifle Lanza used, but it’s clear he’s heading in that direction.
O’Reilly doubled back on himself. He said that most guns are banned in Eastern Europe and Russia yet they have higher murder rates than the US. He said that the “gun murder rate here in America has almost been cut in half in the past 20 years.”
But then O’Reilly closed with this:
Talking Points wants a sane country with smart public safety measures. Do we need semi-automatic rifles to be easily available? That’s a worthy debate. And there are strong points on each side. But clearly, we the people have to take a tough look at our violent society and find some effective solutions without violating Constitutional rights. A very difficult situation but we have to try.