Some Conservatives Favor Assault Weapons Ban
Michael Savage and William Kristol are among prominent conservatives who have come out favoring a ban on assault weapons, in light of the tragic mass shooting in a Colorado movie theater last Thursday night.
“Common sense would dictate that there should not be drum magazines for sale to the public,” conservative talk radio host Michael Savage said on Friday, in commenting on the weaponry James Holmes used to go on his murder spree. “Where in the world is it written that an average citizen should be able to buy a drum magazine that holds 100 rounds of ammunition? That’s a military drum, that’s for military use only.”
Noting that he is a gun owner, Savage went on to say that “the country has no right to allow any single individual, [who is] not a member of a police force, to buy a drum magazine.”
Savage also blamed prescription drugs, violent Hollywood films and the National Rifle Association (NRA)’s “demanding no control whatsoever on any weaponry” for the shooting that left at least 12 dead and dozens wounded. Using an anti-White racial slur, he also harshly dismissed rationale for maintaining stocks of weapons as “cracker stuff.”
The following Monday after blaming the 2nd Amendment for the Batman shooter’s armor and guns, Savage was mysteriously absent from his talk radio duties. Instead, fill-in host Jeffrey Kuhner claimed personal responsibility ultimately rests with the shooter, but Hollywood entertainment contributed to the melee.
Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol took it up a notch on Sunday, when he broke with fellow conservatives and backed restrictions the sales of “assault weapons” like the AR-15, which was allegedly used in the Batman shooting.
“People have a right to handguns and hunting rifles,” Kristol told Fox News host Chris Wallace. “I don’t think they have a right to semi-automatic, quasi-machine guns that can be used to shoot a hundred bullets at a time.”
“And I actually think the Democrats are being foolish as they’re being cowardly,” he added. “I think there is more support for some moderate forms of gun control if they separated clearly from a desire to take away everyone’s handguns or rifles.”
“And you could put more pressure on moderate Republicans than people think. It’s not as if Republicans from New York and Illinois and California couldn’t — that President Obama couldn’t do what President Clinton did and put pressure on them [to pass an assault weapons ban]. President Obama on this one is just unwilling to take a strong stance.”
Arizona Senator John McCain then said on CNN’s State of the Nation that although he does not believe banning assault weapons and drum magazines would not prevent mass shootings from happening, he was open to a discussion on the subject.
Noting that Anders Behring Breivik was able to kill 77 people using assault weapons in Norway, a country with some of the strictest gun control laws in the world, McCain said, “everything should be looked at” in preventing another mass shooting from happening.
“But to think that gun control, or increased gun control, is the answer, that would have to be proved,” McCain said.
Another conservative pundit, Charles Krauthammer, wrote an op-ed piece for the Chicago Tribune back in 1996 that was critical of the now-abolished Assault Weapons Ban – not because it was bad legislation, but because it did not go far enough.
It is simply crazy for a country as modern, industrial, advanced and now crowded as the United States to carry on its frontier infatuation with guns,” Krauthammer wrote. “Ultimately, a civilized society must disarm its citizenry if it is to have a modicum of domestic tranquility of the kind enjoyed in sister democracies like Canada and Britain.”
Krauthammer side-stepped the issue of banning assault weapons in his current role as FOX News commentator. Focusing instead on the questionable sanity of accused killer James Holmes, the conservative opinion-maker said society should do better in looking after the mentally ill. Krauthammer also said the threshold for instituting people has gotten higher in the name of civil liberties, increasing the chances that incidents like the Batman shooting will occur.
In another segment on FOX News, Krauthammer explained that gun control legislation cannot pass in today’s House and Senate because the American people are against it.
“The President of the United States, who had this tremendous opening if he wanted to push the issue of guns after a tragedy of this magnitude, could have easily done it,” Krauthammer said. “And he has assiduously stayed away from it, because he knows it’s a losing political proposition.”