God and Guns: CNN's Costello Pits Jesus Against Gun Ownership
Although Muller explained that only customers who pass a federal background check at a licensed firearms dealer will be able to get a gun, Costello arbitrarily drew the line of responsibility at owning a handgun:
COSTELLO: You know, some people watching this might think, you know, owning a handgun is one thing, but owning an AK-47 is something else, and maybe this is just a tad irresponsible.
As if to put icing on the proverbial cake, Costello also hit Muller by trying to pick a theological fight of sorts, wondering if Jesus would approve of carrying guns. [CNN video embedded below]
It’s a bit odd that one would resort to the eminent theologian’s argument of “WWJD” to disapprove of one’s gun choice – but nevertheless, Muller tied the accidental theologian in a logical knot:
COSTELLO: I understand evil in the world, but I'm just questioning the - like, a semi-assault weapon to protect yourself. That's all I'm saying. Your motto is God, guns, guts and American. Why did you come up with that particular motto?Oh my. Well it would seem that Costello is attempting to marginalize Muller, pointing out the ‘God and guns’ connection. The problem is not necessarily God, nor is the problem necessarily guns; it is the combination of the two which classifies Muller – at least in Costello’s judgement – as a right-wing gun nut.
MULLER: Actually it's God, guns, guts and American pickup trucks, because we sell cars.
COSTELLO: Right, but you include God in that and, you know, some might wonder why God is included in a motto that it also includes guns.
MULLER: You don't have a problem with God, do you?
COSTELLO: No, I don't. But the combination some people might between God and guns, some people might have a problem with that.
MULLER: We're a Christian nation. We're Christian people. I believe that 70 percent, 80 percent of this nation would classify themselves as Christians. I'd say 90 percent of the people in this country believe in God, whoever their God is. And to try to remove God from everything. I think is (INAUDIBLE).
COSTELLO: That's not what I'm saying.
MULLER: I think -- I don't think we need AK-47s if more people...
COSTELLO: I'm saying putting God in a motto that also includes guns might be a little upsetting to some people.
MULLER: You don't think God wants us to defend ourselves? I'm confused. You know.
COSTELLO: I don't know. I mean, I could ask you the question, you know, we could do the what would Jesus do, would he carry a gun?
MULLER: No, they didn't have guns back then, but I do believe he would carry a sword if he needed it. But he was so powerful, he didn't need any weapon.
COSTELLO: That is true. Thanks so much for joining us, Mr. Muller. We appreciate it.
And this isn’t all. Muller clearly points out at the beginning of the interview that he does not give away the weapon itself. Instead, he gives a voucher for the value of the weapon, which an individual may use to buy whatever weapon they wish – not necessarily a Russian-made assault weapon:
MULLER: You know, we're not just going to give people an AK-47 gun. You know, felons buy cars, too. What we are going to do is we're going to give them a voucher where they can go to their local gun dealer and/or we have local gun dealers we would strongly recommend where they can go buy a gun and go through the proper background checks and so that, you know, the guns end up in the right hands.Not that Costello could be expected to know, but that amount will buy a fairly nice handgun as well – well within Costello’s view of the norm.
COSTELLO: So, how much money, how much does an AK-47 cost, I'm just curious?
MULLER: It depends. You can get a good AK-47 for $450, maybe $500.
On a humorous note, for someone who grew up around guns, Costello sure has trouble with some of the terminology:
COSTELLO: I understand evil in the world, but I'm just questioning the - like, a semi-assault weapon to protect yourself.
What, pray tell, is a “semi-assault weapon?” And would the correct tactical use thereof be to partially assault one’s attacker?