Again, liberal Bill Maher isn’t right on everything. He’s no friend to conservatism, though he isn’t afraid to slam his own side for their own idiocy. Whether that is the deafening silence from liberals when it comes to defending liberal values (free speech, freedom of religion etc.) against the tide of radical Islam, or—in this instance, gun control. Maher is a gun owner. He hasn’t made that a secret, nor does he present himself as an expert, unlike his progressive brethren. But he notices that a lot of liberals who have been talking about firearms, don’t know “s**t” about guns. In his typical fashion, Maher equated liberals talking about guns to the “Pope talking about vaginas.”
Friday’s episode of his program Real Time on HBO featured former RNC chairman Michael Steele, The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff, Democratic operative Paul Begala, and comedian Larry Wilmore on the panel. While the segment that led into the Second Amendment started off with Maher bashing our system of government, saying that our Constitution needs a rewrite, Begala noted how the current Democratic gun control push, specifically the “no-fly, no-buy” bill (which Gawker found odious) is common sense. Wilmore and Woodruff noted the problems with using secretive government lists that a) tells people what they can and cannot do; b) have an appalling lack of due process; and c) disproportionally impacts those from the Middle East and southeast Asia. Woodruff added how it might sound like a sensible bill if your name sounds like a character from the Brady Bunch. Wilmore also said that Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who is leading House Democrats in pressuring Speaker Ryan to hold a vote on gun control, was on the no-fly list. [Warning: some strong language and adult content]
Maher then went on to slam his fellow liberals for butchering the facts about firearms, adding that many think that the “AR” in AR-15 stands for “assault rifle.” It doesn’t. Maher said he’s not proficient in gun terminology, but he did pretty well for himself, noting that the AR-15 rifle isn’t an assault rifle. And that it’s not an automatic weapon; those are already heavily regulated under the National Firearms Act. He then showed a slide of handguns, most of them 9mm, which are just as deadly as the AR-15. The only difference is that the AR-15 looks scary to the anti-gun Left. He also said there’s this false narrative that only one class of firearm does more damage than any other. Woodruff added that the Virginia Tech shooter had committed the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history with two handguns up until the Orlando attack. She also noted that long guns are used very rarely in gun crimes. Why wasn’t there a call for a handgun ban post-Virginia Tech? It’s probably because it would've been near impossible, if not outright political suicide.
Maher also cited The Washington Post’s analysis on mass shootings that mentioned fatalities from such tragic incidents are only a small fraction of all gun deaths, less than half of one percent. In 2015, only 39 people were killed in mass shootings. The publication analyzed these shootings going back to Charles Whitman’s sniper attack at the University of Texas in 1966 to 2015. Only 869 people have been killed in mass shootings. Is one too many? Of course, but the Left is painting this grossly inaccurate picture that America is a shooting gallery, and that we have a gun violence epidemic. We don’t.
The liberal host also noted that there may also be a racial and an elitist element to all of this mass shooting talk because (and this especially applies to anti-gun liberals) we only seem to only get horrified about these appalling, though infrequent events, when white people get shot and killed in nice places. Steele nodded in agreement.
Yet, even with Maher pretty much slamming his side for being outrageously ignorant on firearms. The honeymoon wasn’t to last. He said that he supported a bill that would expand background checks. I'll take those brief windows where liberals call out their own side for peddling nonsense about guns. In Maher's case, he pretty much undercut the Left’s narrative about our phantom gun violence epidemic.