Not sure how he manages to pull this off, but Eugene Robinson comes across as churlish, naive and inane at the same time.
During one of his annoyingly frequent and unfailingly predictable appearances on MSNBC, when he was among the guests on "Andrea Mitchell Reports" on Friday, the Washington Post columnist weighed in with his thoughts on the differences between France and the US in fighting jihadists. He didn't actually say the word "jihadists," of course, since doing so would result in immediate banishment from MSNBC.
Robinson's remarks came during a specific moment on a tense and dramatic day in France -- it was after police had killed both gunmen suspected of involvement in the Charlie Hebdo massacre, and an accomplice who had taken hostages at a kosher deli in eastern Paris, but before it was reported that four hostages at the deli perished.
At that point, here's what Robinson had to say --
Just to keep it in perspective, I don't think we should imagine that the conditions and the threat are exactly the same in the United States as they are in France, they are different.
And here's to you, Mr. Robinson, for challenging a claim that no one is making. The best was yet to come --
In fact, one thing that's different here is weapons are universally available and so, I mean, it is actually a very good thing that the tensions are not exactly the same because we would expect to have a lot more of that sort of carnage here.
Specifically implied here is it's a good thing indeed that guns aren't "universally available" in France, the way they are in Amerika (as anyone who's tried to get a gun permit in NYC, Washington or Chicago will affirm).
So ... how's that whole strict gun control regime working out in France ...? Exactly how its critics have predicted -- the French have managed to disarm their citizenry -- along with many of their police -- while leaving their citizens -- and many of their police -- helpless before the fickle mercies of soul-dead mass murderers.
The French policewoman slain on Friday? Unarmed. The French police who initially responded to the Hebdo bloodbath -- on their bicycles -- also unarmed. When guns are outlawed ...
Perhaps Robinson would share his thoughts on the apparently inexplicable paradox of the number of firearms in the US rising steeply in recent decades ... while crime has plummeted.
By Robinson's illogic, the best target for jihadists in the United States would be gun shows. Oddly, they never seem to attack them.
His comments are a variation of a similar claim heard in the United States after the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., in July 2012. Twelve people were killed in the rampage, though it would have been far worse, liberals quickly asserted, had people inside the theater also been armed because of the crossfire that would have ensued.
Two questions for those making this claim -- if you were in a theater, or a newspaper office, or a deli, that was attacked by armed homicidal maniacs, would you wish at that moment, fervently even, that you were armed? Assuming that are at least a few liberals are rational enough to answer yes, the follow-up question -- would you want that right to self-defense limited to you?