Skip to comments.George Will and Jennifer Rubin Demolish Time's Joe Klein on Gun Control Laws
Posted on 07/22/2012 3:31:58 PM PDT by Kaslin
Time's Joe Klein on Sunday found out what it's like to actually have to debate conservatives rather than the liberal media members he normally appears with on political talk shows.
When he uttered the typical left-wing line on ABC's This Week about the need for more gun control in the wake of Friday's movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, Klein got a much-needed education from George Will and the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin (video follows with transcript and commentary):
George Will and Jennifer Rubin Demolish Time's Joe Klein on Gun Control Laws
GEORGE WILL: The killer in Aurora, Colorado, was very intelligent and farsighted and meticulous. I defy you to write a gun control law that would prevent someone like this with a long time horizon and great planning capability from getting the arms he wants. I just think this is a mistake.
A moment ago Joe made a statement, he gave us a theory, it's an empirical theory for which there is or is not evidence, which is that the globalization and coarsening of entertainment will cause or is causing -- I don't know what your point was -- things like this to happen more and more. These are testable hypothesis. Let's test them.
JOE KLEIN, TIME: I think it's undoubtedly true that we're seeing more frequent incidents like this in this country. It's all part of a zeitgeist. I mean, you know, we're on a national sugar rush in this country. The internet is part of it. You know the entertainment industry is part of it. The irresponsibility about gun laws is part of it. I mean, it's all together.
To be fair to Klein, I agree that the excessive violence in the media is having an impact on the society. However, as Rubin smartly pointed out, that's difficult to measure:
JENNIFER RUBIN, WASHINGTON POST: Listen, we can make all of the declarative statements we want. There is no shortage of empirical data in criminology. In fact, it's one of the most researched areas of social science. When we had the gun law, the assault ban weapon, there wasn't a decrease, when we let it expire, there wasn't an increase.
We have had a gradual decline over the last 40 years in gun violence and all kinds of violence, in part, because of better policing, in part, because incarceration. So I think some of these statements that there are -- we're having more of these incidents, they simply are not true.
And I think, yes, we should look...
Was Rubin correct?
Well, just last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released a study confirming her view. As reported by NBC News:
Violent crime rates in the U.S. are reaching historic lows, according to new FBI data released Monday.
Instances of murder declined overall by 1.9 percent from 2010 figures, while rape, robbery and aggravated assault declined by 4 percent nationwide, according to records from more than 14,000 law-enforcement agencies around the country, FBI spokesman Bill Carter told msnbc.com. [...]
Although the findings, released in the FBIs Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, represent a seemingly small decline in crime overall, they arent just a blip. Rather, criminologists say, the decline is part of larger downward trend and the result of a series of changes that have contributed to a more peaceful society. [...]
According to FBI analysis, the homicide drop would mean that nearly 280 fewer Americans were murdered last year, which would be the lowest homicide death toll since the mid-1950s.
That bears repeating: "[N]early 280 fewer Americans were murdered last year, which would be the lowest homicide death toll since the mid-1950s."
The lowest since the mid-1950s when America's population was almost half what it is today.
But as readers know, liberal media members don't care about actual facts and statistics when there's an agenda to be driven:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST: But when we have them, they're more deadly, aren't they?
KLEIN: Somehow I don't remember these happening every month when I was a kid.
RUBIN: They are not happening every month.
KLEIN: They are happening every couple of months.
ED RENDELL, FORMER DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR PENNSYLVANIA: We're having more of them. And they are more violent. And they're more violent because we arm these people with weapons that are meant for combat only, combat only.
WILL: Let me just note how comforting this argument is, because we're all going to sit around and agree that if we got to together and had legislative majorities and passed particular laws that clever people will pass, this won't happen anymore.
RENDELL: That won't happen, George, we said it is going to happen with less frequency.
ROBERTS: And with less deadliness.
RUBIN: But we don't know that. Listen, this guy's apartment was booby-trapped. This person's apartment was booby-trapped to the hilt. Do we really think that he couldn't have constructed some type of weapon of some type of grenade that would have blown us up?
Indeed, which was exactly what Colorado's Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper told CNN's Candy Crowley earlier Sunday morning. But I digress:
ROBERTS: Why didn't they go to the authorities?
RUBIN: Well, that's a very good question. And I think a lack of connectivity and the lack of neighborliness, and the reticence to intervene when someone is behaving oddly and strangely is a societal problem...
KLEIN: I'm just shocked to hear a conservative like George Will making an all or nothing argument on this issue. People died from getting the polio vaccine, that doesn't mean that we should do away with it. If this can limit the number of gun incidents -- if some laws can limit the number of gun incidents, then we should have them.
WILL: No, a conservative has, I think, a tragic view of life, which is that however clever the experts are going to assemble, and we heard a call earlier in the show for bringing in the experts, and how ever meticulously you draft whatever statute you wind up passing, the world is going to remain a broken place and things like this are going to happen.
Indeed. By contrast, liberals - especially in the media - think government can control every aspect of human behavior thereby making everyone's life better and safer.
And the beat goes on.
Thanks for posting that. Good read.
WILL: No, a conservative has, I think, a tragic view of life, which is that however clever the experts are going to assemble, and we heard a call earlier in the show for bringing in the experts, and how ever meticulously you draft whatever statute you wind up passing, the world is going to remain a broken place and things like this are going to happen.I'd have added
'The world is in fact so broken, why are you all so upset worrying about the next maniacal individual? What is a certainty is the fact that all the individual criminals and maniacs the world has ever known have not come close, could never come close, to racking up a death toll anywhere near any of the totalitarian regimes of the last century.I am happy Will was even as outspoken today as he was. Too bad he didn't read these Statist-loving media hacks the clear verdict of police states. I imagine close to half the audience at home would have stood up and cheered had he dared say anything close to what I wrote for him. And a good chuck of the others might have learned something.
They murdered, under color of authority, over 150 million of their own subjects. And countless billions were left living in fear and slavery and squalor as a consequence. How much less effective would those murdering regimes had been had their subjects been privately armed as are Americans? I give thanks every day to God for the prescience and wisdom our human-mistrusting but God-fearing founders.'
If liberals had their way half the population would be hired as minders for the other half...
Gun control laws disarm people who abide by the law. Thank you, government, for taking away a means of self-defense.
Shooter is acting out what he saw on screen.
If we are to trade rights for safety ,start with regulating Hollywood.
If people followed the ten commandments, we would not need a single gun law.
If more in that theater had been packing, the slaughter by this nut would have been cut very short. If he’d even dared to begin it. For that coward, it was like shooting the proverbial fish in a barrel.
Well some don’t. But most at least try. The only gun law needed is the 2nd amendment because there are more good (enough) guys than bad ones.
They also mentioned that support for gun control has decreased some 30% in the last 35 years. Rendell, Cokie, Klein & George seem genuinely perplexed as to why. You could tell from watching this exchange that they think they are smart enough to prevent these outrages. Yet their bewilderment as to why people won’t let them was palpable. They can’t see that their totalitarian instincts are what the 2nd Amendment was designed to protect us from.
I do think the shooter was worried about someone exercising his 2nd Amendment right to shoot back, hence his use of body armor and tear gas and shooting from the front where no one was naturally behind him. Unlike most of these monsters, he did not intend to die during the event.
Would any new laws have prevented the Holder Justice Department from murdering hundreds, if not thousands with Fast and Furious?
The equation is easy.
# of unarmed killed: 12
# of unarmed injured: over 50
# of armed perpetrators: 1
# of armed perpetrators killed: 0
# of armed perpetrators injured: 0
That’s the cost of disarming the law-abiding populace, leaving only the criminals armed.
Criminals by definition do not obey laws.
Regulate hollywood? seriously? I believe in the first amendment and not censorship.
Wiring your house for explosives is illegal, I’m pretty sure. But he did it anyway. Someone who is prepared to kill mass numbers of people doesn’t care that its illegal.
This is similar to the “worst weather ever” phenomena. We have always had bad weather and heinous crimes. What is new, is nonstop national media coverage that sensationalizes every event. And we now have the means to immediately distribute news of these events around the world with video, audio and sometimes live.
We have had mass shootings in America dating back to the 1700s - Greencastle school attack, and many heinous mass attacks like the Bath school bombings in 1927 that killed 45 and wounded another 58. We have spree killings even in countries with tougher gun laws. How soon we forget Breivik in Norway killing 77 kids. Or mass murders in the UK, Germany, Japan or France.
As I explained to one of my nutcase liberal FB friends, this could have been far worse. The dude was building explosives in his apartment! He was a graduate student in neuroscience. What if he had taken a bomb into the theater or a deadly chemical or biological agent? The number of dead and wounded could have been far worse. Whether he had access to guns or not, Holmes was intent to kill a lot of people one way or another.
And the gun law “worked” just like you would expect. Cinemark forbid law-abiding gun owners from bringing in their weapons, but strangely, that did not stop the criminal.
Yep, the odds went to only four libs to two conservatives on this show.
I guess that seems fair to ABC.
The Happy Land Social club mass killing, which was far more deadly than this killer’s guns, was perpetrated with a plastic milk jug the killer found on the ground and filled with gasoline.
Doesn’t really live up to the subject line
Gun control is a myth, what they really mean is Gun Prohibition.
We already have laws that say you can’t randomly kill people .... How’s that working?
Gun laws merely prevent moral people from a means of self defense... for only moral people obey the laws. When asked not to bring a concealed firearm into a movie theater, moral people usually abide by that request... leaving everyone in the theater vulnerable... lunacy...
Notice that too? Hardly someone being demolished.
Isn’t Joe Klein the fool who wrote that he wished we could have Red China’s totalitarian government for a day so they could just force through all the great stuff he thinks we should have? Or was that Tom Friedman? I get them confused because they’re both tyranny-loving idiots who are supposed to be smart. Kind of like their idol Obama.
So libs want to ban handguns. As if a lunatic wouldn’t use a deer rifle or a shotgun. Of course, libs would like to ban them as well.
Obama has been a big gun control freak since his first political loss.
Some may recall a post on this site regarding Chicago had records of everyone in this country who owned a firearm some years back. Make no mistake that Obama still has access to that list even if old.
KLEIN: I’m just shocked to hear a conservative like George Will making an all or nothing argument on this issue. People died from getting the polio vaccine, that doesn’t mean that we should do away with it.
will should have said this dolt makes our argument... just because people died from guns doesn’t mean that we should do away with them.