Well known liberal Rosie O’Donnell used the shooting at an Amish school in Pennsylvania as a springboard to promote gun control. O’Donnell, who famously sparred with Tom Selleck (video), stated on Tuesday's edition of ABC's "The View" that the event should spur tighter restrictions:
O’Donnell: "I think the horror of imagining six to thirteen-year-old girls handcuffed together and shot execution style, one by one, is perhaps enough to awaken the nation that maybe we need some stricter gun control laws."
This quickly led to an exchange with the program’s token conservative, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, in which O’Donnell asserted that there is no right to own a gun:
Hasselbeck: "So you can’t- You can't take way the right to, to bear arms."
O’Donnell: "Well, it’s not really a right. There’s debate as to what that-"
Hasselbeck: "It is a right. It’s in our Constitution. It’s the Second Amendment."
O’Donnell: "Well, let’s talk instead of yell."
Hasselbeck: "I’m not yelling."
O’Donnell quickly expanded the discussion into an attack on the NRA:
O’Donnell: "I know that the Constitution has been interpreted many, many times. In our country the president puts his hand on the Bible and swears to uphold the Constitution. In the United States there is debate over whether or not the right to bear arms includes the lobby organization of the NRA, allowing no rules and no registration and absolutely, sort of, carte blanche, to make guns available to Americans in a way they're not in the rest of the world."
Hasselbeck initially attempted to placate the comedian on the October 3 show, but quickly abandoned it in favor of a vigorous defense of the Second Amendment:
Hasselbeck: "There should be- There should be a middle ground. There should be a middle ground."
Walters: "Well, there are some gun control. I mean, without guns-"
O’Donnell: "Well, what about this? The firearm death rate among children in America 0 to 14 is 12 times higher then all 25 other industrialized nation combined. Combined."
Hasselbeck: "What about the fact that firearms- Well, firearms are used 60 times more to defend people then they are to take a life in this country, too. That’s another statistic. This is why we have the debate."
O’Donnell attempted to interrupt, but Hasselbeck quickly cut her off and delivered a second argument for the right to bear arms:
O’Donnell: "I know, but maybe-"
Hasselbeck: "These things confuse us as, as Americans, but, in, in the results of children dying kind of bring it to a front, they bring it right to a boil. And that's why we have this discussion. That should not happen. But you have to remember that people protect themselves. In the times of segregation, when there were bigoted officers out there trying to just rule over and have government tyranny, people had to defend themselves somehow and they did it with guns."
The liberal members of "The View" responded to Hasselbeck’s firm arguments by resorting to typical liberal cliches:
O’Donnell: "You can find an automobile that has a VIN number, if an automobile is stolen and you can trace it back to where the person bought the car and who bought it."
Behar: "Don’t tell them how to get it."
Hasselbeck: "You can. You can. I found out that I had a lemon that way."
O’Donnell: "You can buy a gun in America and it is not licensed. We can't trace who bought it, who owned it or who is responsible. That’s wrong."
This is a tired argument by the gun control crowd. If you have to get a licence to drive, why not to own a gun? The simple answer is that driving a car is a privilege, not a right. Whether O’Donnell likes it or not, the right to own a gun is in the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
A few minutes later, the discussion turned to what would have happened if the shooter didn’t have a gun. Once again, it was left to Hasselbeck to make the obvious point:
O’Donnell: "If the man had a knife and he walked in there and there were adult women there and the man said I would like the women to leave because I'm going to keep the girls, I guarantee you, if that man did not have a gun, the mothers who were the teachers in that school would never have left those children alone in that room. Never."
Hasselbeck: "What if they had a gun? What if- Hang on, let's just flip it. I’m saying, let’s discuss all sides. What if, What if those women had guns on them and were able to defend themselves?"
O’Donnell: So you’re saying, you think we should arm teachers?"
Hasselbeck: "I'm not saying teachers should be armed. I'm just giving you the flip side of this situation-"
O’Donnell: "But the flip side is you’re saying-"
Hasselbeck: "-that is a lot of times guns are used to protect people, so we can’t be so extreme."
Co-host Joy Behar, a short time later, brought up the second liberal cliche about guns:
Behar: "I think people want to hunt, that's a right as you’re describing with their rifles. Why do they need an AK--47? Are these deer in the Israeli army?"
Behar: "What is the purpose of a machine gun to hunt with? Now that should be outlawed. Do you agree?"
Walters: Most people do not hunt with-"
Hasselbeck: "I would agree with that. And if you're a good hunter, you don't need that type of weapon."
Walters: "They don't hunt with machine guns."
Yes, surprisingly, Barbara Walters provided the voice of reason. Hunters don’t use machine guns to kill deer. But why would anyone expect Joy Behar to know that? All she knows about hunters are the grotesque stereotypes that people like Rosie O’Donnell propagate. O’Donnell demonstrated clear ignorance about firearms with her next point:
O’Donnell: "But Barbara Walters. In America, it’s shocking that one is able to purchase an AK-47."
Walters: I’m agreeing with you."
Behar: "Why do they have them?"
O’Donnell: "Right. Because it is a $6 billion industry. And they have way too much power in a democracy, if you ask me."
In fact, it is very difficult to purchase an AK-47. But, again, why expect Rosie O’Donnell to be knowledgeable about a subject? It’s so much more fun to be emotional.
Hasselbeck’s reply, and Rosie's closing comment, hinted that viewers have not seen the last of such fierce debates on the ABC program:
Hasselbeck: "Well, the problem is statistics too. Because if you have restrictions, um, on guns, are not showing the results we’d like. You know what I mean?"
O’Donnell: "Well, you’re wrong, Elisabeth. And I’ll give you all the information at the commercial. We’re going to take a break and come back after this with more hot topics to annoy, I’m sure, a lot of people at home."