It’s no secret that Fox News caters to a conservative, right-wing audience who are all about exercising their second amendment right to bear arms.
In the wake of the Orlando, Florida mass shooting; however, it seems as though the network is beginning to realize that guns do kill people.
Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson was the first to shock viewers by calling for a ban on high-capacity firearms like AR-15 rifles and the weapon the Orlando shooter used to kill 49 people and wound 53 others Sunday morning.
She cited the ban against military-style weapons that former president Bill Clinton signed into law back in 1994 that expired in 2004 — suggesting that we reintroduce a bill of that nature to curb some of this gun violence.
“I’m in favor of people being able to carry, (but) I think some of these mass shootings would have been less deadly if that were the case,” Carlson said. “I’m also with the majority today, taking a stand. Can’t we hold true the sanctity of the Second Amendment while still having common sense?”
Following Carlson’s revelation, Bill O’Reilly — a notorious gun advocate — actually addressed the fact that conservatives hold some of the blame for the recent horrifying act of domestic terrorism.
O’Reilly suggested that the attack may have been prevented if it wasn’t so easy for the shooter to buy the weapons he used. (Yeah, ya think?!)
“There is too much gun crime in the USA, and high powered weaponry is too easy to get,” O’Reilly said. “That’s the fact. So let’s deal with it. We all have the right to bear arms, but we don’t have the right to buy and maintain mortars — even if you feel threatened by gangsters or a New World Order. No bazookas, no Sherman tanks, no hand grenades. That’s because the Second Amendment clearly states the government has a right to regulate militias, made up of individuals. They have that right in the name of public safety.”
In true conservative fashion, O’Reilly couldn’t just make a reasonable argument without dropping an insult against liberals and President Barack Obama.
He cast blame for the shooting on Obama, accusing him of refusing to declare “war against radical Islamic organizations” and opposing the Patriot Act and stricter border security, Raw Story reports.
But, let’s face it, he had to throw out some kind of criticism of Obama, otherwise his fans might have taken his gun control plea as a sign that he’s turning into a liberal — and that wouldn’t be good for the diehard rightist image he’s worked so hard to build.
One thing he said that Americans can agree with — regardless of political affiliation — is that, “New laws are definitely needed in the age of terrorism and mass murder. The FBI and other federal agencies need the power to stop suspected terrorists or other evil doers from buying weapons.”
It’s safe to say that conservatives and liberals won’t ever be 100% on the same page regarding the gun control debate, but what Carlson and O’Reilly’s on-air appeals symbolize is a shift in the conservative mentality surrounding what needs to be done about the prevalence of gun violence in our society.
It shows that compromise and consensus among the two groups is possible and more than likely to occur in the near future.