After President Obama made some impassioned remarks about the shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College and the need for better gun laws, Megyn Kelly turned to National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch as the sole guest for “analysis.”
In his statement, President Obama called for stricter gun laws as the way to prevent mass shootings:
We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths. So the notion that gun laws don’t work, or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens and criminals will still get their guns is not borne out by the evidence.
We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours—Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it.
… I would ask news organizations—because I won’t put these facts forward—have news organizations tally up the number of Americans who’ve been killed through terrorist attacks over the last decade and the number of Americans who’ve been killed by gun violence, and post those side-by-side on your news reports. This won’t be information coming from me; it will be coming from you. We spend over a trillion dollars, and pass countless laws, and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so. And yet, we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths. How can that be?
Yesterday, Vox published a must-read article with maps and charts about gun violence that specifically addressed these points. The data is both chilling and unmistakable: states and countries with more guns have more gun deaths. States with tighter gun control laws have fewer gun-related deaths.
In three hours of prime time last night (O’Reilly, Kelly, Hannity), I saw not one show put forth the tally President Obama called for, though there were plenty of attacks on his comments. Kelly relied on gun nut Loesch, who recently made a television ad for the NRA.
In this discussion, Kelly played a few brief clips of President Obama’s 12½ minute fiery speech. Apparently, Fox News felt his statements were so powerful, the network needed almost all of the six minute segment to counter them.
Kelly immediately cast doubt on Obama. “That was President Obama in the White House briefing room, just hours after a gunman opened fire at an Oregon community college. The president conceding that we do not yet know the gunman’s motives or how he got his hands on those weapons. But Mr. Obama insisting that this is yet another tragic reason for new gun control laws.”
Kelly’s first comments to Loesch were, “We have no idea how he [the shooter] got those guns. None. No idea. He could have stolen them from a law enforcement officer for all we know, who had the guns legally, or somebody else who had them legally. And yet the president already out there saying this is about tightening the restrictions, Dana.”
But President Obama was not talking about how the shooter got his guns; he was talking about the availability of guns in general.
More to the point, Obama’s message was the prevalence of mass shootings in the U.S. that can and should be prevented via gun laws. He was not speaking to the details of this particular incident.
“We know nothing about this individual, we don’t know the motivation,” Loesch said accusingly, though she did think it worthy to mention that the shooter had asked people’s religion before shooting them. “It was incredibly disappointing to see the president, at a time when he should have been holding the country together, make such statements when there’s no basis for this.”
Even worse, Kelly made a pretense of fact checking by outsourcing what should have been her own job (she’s the one who claims to be a “straight news anchor”) to Loesch. For example:
KELLY: Let’s get specific. Because one of the claims he made was about how when you have more gun control laws, you have fewer shootings.
…Now, you’re a Second Amendment supporter. But you’ve literally written a book on this. Is that true?
Notice that Loesch did not say it wasn’t during her attack:
LOESCH: He comes from Chicago so I find that a little hard to believe that he’s stating that. I mean, Illinois has some of the strictest gun control laws in the United States and you can’t even basically drive through Illinois without having your ammunition and your firearms stored in a certain way. …There are a lot of Roseburgs (where the UCC shooting occurred) that happen every single weekend in Chicago and they have quite a few gun laws as do Washington, D.C., New York, New Jersey. The list goes on.
Instead of noting that Loesch had cherry picked statistics which, even if they were true, do not reflect their states’ statistics, Kelly aided the deflection and distortion. “Criminals are not obeying the gun laws,” she added.
“What is the bottom line?” Kelly later asked. “Because people look at this and they say we’ve gotta get rid of the guns, the guns are the problem.” Again, it’s supposed to be Kelly’s job to provide facts and context. Yet she allowed Loesch to use the question as an opening to spout off more pro-gun talking points.
LOESCH: Gun-free zones are criminal protection areas and that’s what we usually see. The evidence and the statistics, it’s all right there. I mean, you can’t refute numbers. You cannot refute the statistics. Look at the cities here in the United States.
Statistics? What statistics? There were almost none in this entire discussion. But Loesch went on to claim that it’s untrue there have been 45 mass shootings this year because “the majority of them” were “gang violence.”
That doesn’t disprove a single thing about the effectiveness of gun laws. But Kelly murmured her appreciation and said with hammy gratitude, “Dana, thank you for being here.”
Recently, Kelly said about Fox News, “I think we try to tell both sides. The difference with Fox is, unlike many television networks, it’s not dismissive of the conservative point of view.” This perfectly sums up the disingenuousness of both Kelly and Fox News. Because while it’s technically true both sides get “told” and that the conservative point of view is not treated “dismissively,” the larger truth is that only one side is given credence and that almost any non-conservative point of view is not just treated dismissively but disparaged.
Watch this perfect example of Fox News propaganda below, from the October 1 The Kelly File.
I realize Loesch is a paid spokesperson for a murder machine but she’s so wrong about Illinois gun laws. CHICAGO has strict gun laws but, as a report from a few years back pointed out, the overwhelming majority of guns IN Chicago actually originate in the Chicago SUBURBS. Of course, you and I both know this mouthpiece for the murder lobby group called the “NRA” is well aware of the state of gun laws in both the city of Chicago and the State of Illinois (especially as her group were largely responsible for bringing suit against Chicago for its law prohibiting the sales of handguns in the city and getting that law overturned.
Say there’s no problem? You are a damn idiot.
It’s a prescient movie that has completely come true —…