Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Soledad O’Brien vs. John Lott
National Review Online ^ | December 18, 2012 | Patrick Brennan

Posted on 12/19/2012 1:46:57 PM PST by neverdem

Yesterday morning, Soledad O’Brien had on her CNN show economist John Lott, of More Guns, Less Crime fame (also an NRO contributor). As I’ve discussed before on NRO, O’Brien has a habit of bringing on conservative guests and then spitting out Democratic talking points under the glib guise of a non-partisan moderator calling them to account on the facts.

But her encounter with Lott, the video of which you can view below, is a new low: Rather than parroting liberal arguments (which typically involve at least a few facts) in order to confront Lott’s arguments, she merely relates her bewildered sentiments on the issue. She begins the segment by explaining to Lott that, in her understanding, “the takeaway for you from this massacre at an elementary school is it’s time to get rid of gun laws” (more specifically, eliminate gun-free zones). Now would be, typically, when O’Brien says something like, “Wait, sir, I’m going to stop you there — I’m looking at a report right now, proving that when Australia tightened its gun laws . . .”

Instead, she just sputters, “how does that possibly make sense to you?” Instead of presenting the legitimate arguments in favor of some forms of gun control, and fact-based criticisms of Lott’s thesis, O’Brien is too busy telling him she’s “boggled.”

In case you don’t have the time to listen to all of the rest of the discussion, filled with her confused emotions and complete misconceptions and Lott’s facts, O’Brien ends it just the way she began it: “Your position just completely boggles me. Honestly, I just do not understand it.” O’Brien refuses to confront Lott’s argument (that in a country with a great deal of guns, killers seek out the rare gun-free zones and commit almost all mass murders there, so perhaps we should allow more guns for self-defense), and just continually says she cannot wrap her head around it:

This might be in large part to the utter ignorance of gun issues O’Brien demonstrates throughout the interview: She suggests, for instance, that mass murders share something in common besides occurring in gun-free zones: “they’re armed often to the hilt with weapons, often with automatic or semiautomatic weapons.” Not exactly, no: Legally owned automatic weapons have been used in two homicides out of tens of thousands that have occurred since 1934. No mass shooting since then has involved an automatic weapon. Less than a quarter of the weapons used in U.S. mass shootings since 1982 have involved “assault weapons,” the rifle category the Newtown shooter used. She’s right that the shooters usually use semi-automatic weapons, but it isn’t like these are a close facsimile of full automatics or the weapon used in Friday’s tragedy, as she seems to suggest.

O’Brien asserts that “in [the Newtown] case . . . the security was useless. Why? Because he had a high-velocity, multi-shot, many rounds with him, to be able to access the school.” For one, existing law was supposed to prevent him from accessing the school, since it was a gun-free zone, and as if to prove Lott’s point, the “security was useless” because they were unarmed. And somehow his “high velocity” rifle made him particularly effective? The AR-15, while a deadly weapon, has no particularly high muzzle velocity (3,200 ft/s) and is not a very powerful rifle. In fact, as Robert VerBruggen has pointed out, the AR-15 actually uses smaller bullets and is less powerful than single-shot hunting rifles, because it is based off an automatic military rifle that fires smaller rounds in order to reduce recoil.

She tells him, quite pointedly, “sir, if you are trying to kill a large number of people in a massacre, that kind of gun is what you grab.” Well, no, it isn’t — only 35 out of 142 weapons used in mass shootings since 1982 in America have been assault weapons.

O’Brien’s further ignorance of this topic is revealed when, after dismissing Lott’s citation of Germany, which has essentially banned semi-automatic weapons but has a terrible record of school shootings, she again claims that “a rational person could say that having access to a high-powered, semi-automatic rifle is inappropriate, that there’s no reason to go deer-hunting with that.” The “assault weapon” used in Newtown, however, as in Colorado, was actually not a legal deer rifle because it is actually not “high powered,” it’s too weak to safely kill a deer.

If O’Brien were even equipped with the partisan talking points on the issue, she’d have explained that semi-automatic weapons are unnecessary for hunting, but are, as Lott explains, important for self defense. Instead, she just cannot imagine that a “rational person” would believe in access to the high-powered weapons she doesn’t understand.

Best of all, though, is Soledad’s last baseless argument pulled out of ether: “If you were to come here and talk to the people of this town, they’d be stunned.” As Lott had pointed out at the beginning of the program, and does at the end, he has actually spoken to plenty of people involved in the shootings about his views, and found that they often sympathized because of how defenseless they’d felt. O’Brien’s liberal views allow her to assume she can simply assert the contrary without argument.

A few more of the issues demonstrating O’Brien’s misunderstandings and sentiment-based casuistry: When discussing Lott’s contention that it appears the Aurora, Colo., shooter chose his target because he knew the theater banned guns, O’Brien’s response is as follows: “Let me stop you there . . . another case where someone had a semi-automatic rifle . . . How do you know that [he chose the gun-free-zone theater]? Have you talked to him?” O’Brien here errs twice: She seems to imply that the Aurora shooter was particularly deadly because he had a semi-automatic rifle, when in fact he used a shotgun first (which is pump-action, not semi-automatic), then his semi-automatic M&P15 jammed, and he resorted to a Glock pistol, not a rifle. Further, she only points to the absence of sure evidence (when there is no better explanation) for Lott’s assertion that the Aurora shooter intentionally picked the only gun-free theater in his area, not the nearest, not the largest — to which Lott responds by citing the statistical evidence that mass murderers clearly do pick gun-free zones.

Lott then explains some highly disturbing facts (which I’d never heard before) about the Columbine tragedy: One of the shooters actually lobbied Colorado politicians to prevent concealed-carry laws from going into effect, writing letters and more — and the attack occurred on the day a concealed-handgun law went into effect. To this, O’Brien merely expresses more befuddlement that someone has a reaction other than to take guns away from people, which I now might refer to as Columbine-style gun control — that is, precisely what mass killers want.

Lott’s thesis is actually contested, for a few reasons — for one, it’s not necessarily clear that in a mass-shooting situation, a civilian would be able to effectively stop it with a gun, though it’s been done (his larger assertions about gun prevalence and crime rates have also been subjected to legitimate questions — it’s very hard to prove such a question one way or the other). But O’Brien, in a telling way, is literally incapable of putting forth these arguments. The media’s ignorance about guns and inability to comprehend that gun control may be ineffective has been on vivid display in recent days; it wasn’t long until O’Brien joined the fray.



TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: awb; banglist; cnn; facts; guncontrol; johnlott; lott; secondamendment; soledad
Here's the video.
1 posted on 12/19/2012 1:46:59 PM PST by neverdem
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Typical Lib "I for the life of me cant understand your point" or "It boggles the mind your idea" or something absurd like that is what libs use to argue their point when they have no facts - which is normally the case.

Mr. Lott should have countered with something like -"I stated the facts plainly and you refuse to accept them or have some sort of comprehension problem. Its as plain as the smug on your face."

2 posted on 12/19/2012 1:51:10 PM PST by frogjerk (Obama Claus is coming to town!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
But O’Brien, in a telling way, is literally incapable of putting forth these arguments. The media’s ignorance about guns and inability to comprehend that gun control may be ineffective has been on vivid display in recent days; it wasn’t long until O’Brien joined the fray.

Unfortunately, this doesn't matter. The uninformed 15% swing voter watching DWS and American Idol will OK anything that Obamaclaus does because they like him.

They aren't paying attention to anything that remotely affects them except for Honey Boo Boo's crass show and the Kardasian/Jenner divorce.

3 posted on 12/19/2012 1:58:37 PM PST by frogjerk (Obama Claus is coming to town!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

She is right to a degree -

A 5.56 semi auto rifle with a large magazine is nearly ideal for such a massacre because it is more likely to hit more targets with a single magazine. Automatic weapons would waste much more ammo to hit the same number of targets and require more ammo and more frequent magazine changes.

Its better than a pistol for that purpose as it would be more accurate, and also because of greater magazine capacity.

And a 5.56 rifle with light recoil will permit faster aimed fire than a more powerful rifle, as well as having higher capacity magazines, and lower overall weight and bulk.

On the other hand, the same qualities make it an excellent individual guerrilla weapon and nearly ideal with respect to the true political purpose of the Second Amendment, which is to facilitate a revolt.


4 posted on 12/19/2012 2:10:35 PM PST by buwaya
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Hey SoO’Dumb,

I think there’s a reason it’s called the “Bill of Rights” and not the “Bill of Want/Needs”

Kinda ironic since our government funds ‘rebels’ in far away islamic countries with the same weapons (and some even scarier) than the ones they’re trying to take from legal owners here. And don’t get me started on Holder and “Fast & Furious” gun-running to mexican drug gangs. How many kids has that killed? (not to mention 2 of our Border Patrol agents)
Are we going to ban the feds from evil black rifles?

Why does anyone need a 4th Amendment or right to privacy? IF you’re not doing anything wrong, why should anyone have a problem with the feds reading all your emails and listening to your cell calls?

How about we limit letters or call to Congress? or letters to the editor? Why do you NEED to call ,write, or post here? It could offend someone or drive a crazy person ‘over the edge’ .

A few ‘reasonable’ restrictions may be in order on the 1st Amendment. I think one quill pen per person is plenty.


5 posted on 12/19/2012 2:11:03 PM PST by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

O’Brien’s emotional outburst revealed something: her line of reasoning only makes sense if she wants a full ban. Confiscation, “buy back”, with severe penalties for non-compliance. Like Australia did.

Even Obama doesn’t go that far. He knows that would lead to an open revolt; he just wants to use this as an opportunity to make incremental “progress”, with hopes that in 20 years, semiautomatic rifles will be as rare then as automatics are now.

I prefer O’Brien’s timeline. I’m still young enough to participate in the fight if we decide to have it now. In twenty years, probably not so much.


6 posted on 12/19/2012 2:23:56 PM PST by absalom01 (You should do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, and you should never wish to do less.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

O’Brien’s emotional outburst revealed something: her line of reasoning only makes sense if she wants a full ban. Confiscation, “buy back”, with severe penalties for non-compliance. Like Australia did.

Even Obama doesn’t go that far. He knows that would lead to an open revolt; he just wants to use this as an opportunity to make incremental “progress”, with hopes that in 20 years, semiautomatic rifles will be as rare then as automatics are now.

I prefer O’Brien’s timeline. I’m still young enough to participate in the fight if we decide to have it now. In twenty years, probably not so much.


7 posted on 12/19/2012 2:24:08 PM PST by absalom01 (You should do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, and you should never wish to do less.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

I say, dat gurl is about as sharp as a bowling ball.

8 posted on 12/19/2012 2:52:38 PM PST by TigersEye (Who is John Galt?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: absalom01

Only to point this out....but she sits in a studio...that you have to show some sort of ID to get past an armed guard at the front. I don’t think there’s a single network studio that doesn’t operate like this presently. She might grin at the camera and say she’s ‘clean’, but she’s got armed protection.


9 posted on 12/19/2012 3:21:08 PM PST by pepsionice
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
the AR-15 actually uses smaller bullets and is less powerful than single-shot hunting rifles, because it is based off an automatic military rifle that fires smaller rounds in order to reduce recoil

Military rifles are designed to wound - a wounded soldier will normally be aided by one or more compatriots, taking at least two enemies out of action rather than just one.

That is the original point of the smaller caliber, the lower power, and the steel jacket on the round.

10 posted on 12/19/2012 3:23:44 PM PST by wideawake
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: frogjerk
Mr. Lott should have countered with something like -"I stated the facts plainly and you refuse to accept them or have some sort of comprehension problem. Its as plain as the smug on your face."

I would go with the old Ed Koch classic:

"I can explain the facts to you. I can't comprehend them for you."

11 posted on 12/19/2012 3:27:46 PM PST by wideawake
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: TigersEye
Where are the daily news stories telling us about people SAVED/protected by owning and possessing Guns?
12 posted on 12/19/2012 3:46:54 PM PST by 4Liberty (Some on our "Roads & Bridges" head to the beach. Others head to their offices, farms, libraries....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: sauropod

read


13 posted on 12/19/2012 3:48:06 PM PST by sauropod (I will not comply)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 4Liberty
The only thing we will ever get from the MSM is propaganda and lies.

Pat Caddell called it. Do you believe it yet?

Pat Caddell slams the media: They have become an “enemy of the people” Sept. 29, 2012(video 26:00)

Emotional Pat Caddell on the MSM ignoring Benghazi: “These people have no honor!” Oct. 27, 2012 (video at link 4:06)

The Media are enemies of the people!

14 posted on 12/19/2012 3:49:33 PM PST by TigersEye (Who is John Galt?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Soledad O’Brien is as dumb as a bag of dog crap.

The proverbial box of rocks has some nominal value as aggregate in concrete, or as weapons.

There is zero use for dog crap. It doesn’t even make good fertilizer.


15 posted on 12/19/2012 5:14:26 PM PST by Ouderkirk (Obama has turned America into an aristocracy of the unaccomplished.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pepsionice

“She’s got armed protection”
What a great point! Why didn’t he say that to her - the OBriens and Rosie ODonnells all have armed guards - it’s us, the little people who are supposed to be barenaked and helpless.


16 posted on 12/19/2012 5:48:12 PM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: frogjerk

Soledad Racist O’Brien lost her show to someone not quite so disgusting, under new CNN management.

Diversity racists, like the white ones they modeled themselves after, always burn their own houses down sooner or later.


17 posted on 12/19/2012 7:23:53 PM PST by SaraJohnson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
[Article] The “assault weapon” used in Newtown, however, as in Colorado, was actually not a legal deer rifle because it is actually not “high powered,” it’s too weak to safely kill a deer.

News to me. And news, I think, to many thousands of Southern hunters who've gone for whitetails with .223-cal. Mini-14's and CAR-15's for the last 30 years.

18 posted on 12/20/2012 12:09:46 AM PST by lentulusgracchus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sickoflibs; GOPsterinMA; NFHale

Soledad belongs in the kitchen.


19 posted on 12/20/2012 12:11:11 AM PST by Impy (All in favor of Harry Reid meeting Mr. Mayhem?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: frogjerk
Mr. Lott should have countered with something like -"I stated the facts plainly and you refuse to accept them or have some sort of comprehension problem. Its as plain as the smug on your face."

May I disagree? As disagreeable as it is to me, because you're right, actually.

But Soledad was using that weepy b.s. as a weapon. Dr. Lott could sit there all day taking her to school on the facts and still lose a crooked fight like that which Soledad was offering him.

He'd offer arguments A&B, and Soledad at every turn just did her "But ... it's so SAAAAD .... WHY are you fighting me? WHY don't you want to do the Right Thing? WHYYYYYYYYYYY are you so MEEEEAAAAANNNNN ah-ha-ha-bwaaaa-hooo-boo-hoo weepy weepy cry sob snuffle kvetch."

Which is called the "Tears of a Woman" ploy. It jerks the chain of every female in the room (except the most experienced and least tolerant of honeys pulling b.s. and wasting their time), and all the younger women, and even some misguided or clueless men will jump to her assistance AAAAAaaaaahhhh bwaaaaa bwaaaaa he's so MEEEAAANNNN a-haa-hooo-boo-hoooooo! and yeah, right, it's dirty fighting, and women have been winning dirty fights like that for 3,000,000 years.

His better bet, before she gets all the sirens wound up to full scream, is to smother her in phony solicitude, inquire after her emotional health and equilibrium, and suggest with understated urgency that she seek emotional support and help as soon as possible so she can overcome her deep, disequilibrating sorrow. After all, people in that state are in no shape to do their federal income taxes and wouldn't even try, and so they really ought to concentrate on the tragedy and adjourn the political "stuff" until some better day.

No, seriously. The other way lies Cannae, and Waterloo. Sounds like she took him to Cannae, and took all his eagles.

20 posted on 12/20/2012 12:27:13 AM PST by lentulusgracchus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: kabumpo
....the OBriens and Rosie ODonnells all have armed guards - it’s us, the little people who are supposed to be barenaked and helpless.

Yeah, little people like all those first-graders.

Soledad, how come you and Rosie and Oprah and Diane Sawyer and Katie and Gayle soak up all the armed-bodyguard talent and leave those poor kids to fend for themselves, and their principals and teachers to go up against the madman alone and defenseless?

21 posted on 12/20/2012 12:36:49 AM PST by lentulusgracchus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Ouderkirk
Soledad O’Brien is as dumb as a bag of dog crap. The proverbial box of rocks has some nominal value .....

So I guess the bag of hammers is priced out of the mix, too.

22 posted on 12/20/2012 12:48:58 AM PST by lentulusgracchus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: frogjerk

Pretty much the way it is but I would up your 15% to 25% and these idiots do show up to vote! And we pay for their indolent lifestyle...Not all of them but at least half


23 posted on 12/20/2012 12:59:43 AM PST by dennisw (The first principle is to find out who you are then you can achieve anything)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
....she just sputters, “how does that possibly make sense to you?” Instead of presenting the legitimate arguments in favor of some forms of gun control, and fact-based criticisms of Lott’s thesis, O’Brien is too busy telling him she’s “boggled.”

It doesn't take much to boggle O'Brien. The shootings in Newtown seem to have driven CNN personalities 'round the bend. See this Morgan fit here:

Piers Morgan

24 posted on 12/20/2012 4:16:15 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: frogjerk

I would be delighted to see a serious IQ test done on Soledad....and I would like to see the results published.

She has to be the ‘affirmative action Hispanic hire’ at her network. There are drug addled (street drugs) kids in East Los Angeles who are brighter than she is.


25 posted on 12/20/2012 9:21:05 AM PST by ridesthemiles
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: kabumpo

IIRC, there are a total of 7 CCW permits in San Francisco. Diane Feinstein, her husband and their bodyguards have at least 3—possible 4 of those permits.

A freat example of the elite VS the little people.


26 posted on 12/20/2012 9:28:29 AM PST by ridesthemiles
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: lentulusgracchus

We have thousands of military people coming back from the Middle East.

They face poor employment prospects right now.

Perhaps this is an employment opportunity for them? They are already trained.


27 posted on 12/20/2012 9:31:32 AM PST by ridesthemiles
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Rummyfan

Morgan was raised in England, where no one is allowed to have guns.

I think he came here just before the huge influx of Muslims, and has no idea how much his homeland has changed.

He is entitled to his own opinion.

He is NOT entitled to his own facts.


28 posted on 12/20/2012 9:33:57 AM PST by ridesthemiles
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Impy; sickoflibs; NFHale

Soledad belongs in a bondage outfit, hooked up to a car battery.


29 posted on 12/20/2012 9:40:05 AM PST by GOPsterinMA (Time to musk up.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: lentulusgracchus
News to me. And news, I think, to many thousands of Southern hunters who've gone for whitetails with .223-cal. Mini-14's and CAR-15's for the last 30 years.

It's considered a medium powered cartridge, not a high powered one like say a .30-06 or 7.62 mm NATO.

What states can you use a 223 for deer?

Some state by state answers, it's not comprehensive.

30 posted on 12/20/2012 8:06:16 PM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Rummyfan

Morgan is a twitt.


31 posted on 12/20/2012 8:20:15 PM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: GOPsterinMA; ridesthemiles

I’ve thinking a vat of oil and she should have to wrestle Sarah Silverman and Katey Sagal.


32 posted on 12/20/2012 10:17:44 PM PST by Impy (All in favor of Harry Reid meeting Mr. Mayhem?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Impy; All

I can go for that.


33 posted on 12/21/2012 6:40:03 AM PST by GOPsterinMA (Time to musk up.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

They call it an AR 15 not 16 because it is almost, but not quite, an assault rifle.


34 posted on 12/21/2012 6:54:02 AM PST by csmusaret (I will give Obama credit for one thing- he is living proof that familiarity breeds contempt.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson