Bill O’Reilly neatly ignored the overwhelming evidence showing that the country has an epidemic of gun violence way beyond the epidemic of mass shootings in order to suggest that lack of religion is the real problem.
Vox responded to President Obama’s request that news organizations tally and compare the number of Americans killed by terrorism with the number killed by gun violence (can you guess which has been deadlier?) and went the extra mile with an in-depth articled called, “Gun violence in America, in 17 maps and charts.” The reporting noted that in states with more guns, there are more gun deaths, including deaths of police officers; that in developed countries with more guns there are more gun homicides and that states with tighter gun control laws have fewer gun-related deaths.
But O’Reilly conveniently ignored statistics in order to suggest that lack of religiosity is to blame.
O’Reilly began a Talking Points commentary on the subject by saying that the shooter at Oregon’s Umpqua Communnity College “fits the same patterns as so many others.”
That profile, according to O’Reilly, is a Mama’s boy, a loner who likes guns and Nazi memorabilia, is an admirer of previous killers, has no criminal record, attended a school for special needs children and he was “obviously disturbed.” Also on O’Reilly’s list: “he despised organized religion.”
O’REILLY: These maladjusted people want to kill themselves but instead of doing that, they take innocent people with them because they have no respect for human life and no feelings for anyone but themselves.
…All the guns control laws in the world will not stop maniacs from committing murder.
No, but it might save some lives. When O’Reilly was talking up his anti-immigrant “Kate’s Law” to the mother of murdered Kate Steinle, he said, “If it saves one American, one American family that does not have to go through, Miss Sullivan, what you are going through right now, then Kate’s law is worth it.” Or does O’Reilly think that being murdered by an immigrant is worse than being killed by an American maniac?
In reality, O’Reilly supports some form of gun control. But he never advocates for it in the same way he does Kate’s law. He’ll toss out his ideas under camouflage of attacking liberal positions on guns or let a guest hold forth on the subject without interruption or just hint, e.g.
But O’Reilly will openly advocate religion as a solution.
O’REILLY: As the world becomes more secular, civilized restraints to bad behavior drop. Anything goes if you believe in nothing. Anything goes. It seems the Oregon killer was targeting Christians. That doesn’t surprise me. There is an intense battle between good and evil on this earth right now and good people are becoming targets.
This is not the only time O’Reilly has made such a suggestion. In the wake of the horrible on-air shooting deaths of two WDBJ journalists recently, O’Reilly sneered, "The liberal press reacted in a predictable way, calling for stricter gun laws and more mental health monitoring.” He later said, “Only a society that insists all human life is valuable and a mass media that promotes the message of that will begin to see it turn away from violence. It’s all about the philosophy of loving your neighbor, not the myth that a centralized government can prevent barbaric behavior.”
But the point, as the Vox article makes clear and as O’Reilly is surely smart enough to know, is not to “prevent barbaric behavior.” The point is to prevent untoward harm from such behavior.
Watch O’Reilly do his thing below, from the October 2 The O’Reilly Factor.