On The McLaughlin Group this morning they were discussing the shootings at Virginia Tech, and MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell seemed on the verge of violence of his own, as he made shooting motions with his hands, literally frothed at the mouth, and shouted down Pat Buchanan to say:
O'Donnell: It was a high-tech killing because the magazines he was using in his automatic weapon were illegal during the Clinton administration. He would not have been able to buy them if George Bush and the Republican Congress did not allow them to become sold to mentally ill people like this… There were kids on that campus who were brave enough and big enough to stop one person with a gun unless it was an automatic weapon that could spray the bullets, just spray them, Pat. That's why they couldn't stop him.
Buchanan: He didn't spray them. Who stopped him? Men with guns came on the campus. The good guys. If they'd been on campus there wouldn't have been that problem.
O'Donnell: If he'd had to squeeze one bullet at a time he wouldn't…
Buchanan: He did.
O'Donnell: No he didn't. You hold that trigger and it sprays. That's what he was doing. He was spraying the bullets.
Buchanan: You don't know anything about guns. That was a semi-automatic weapon.
That brief exchange told me something about the left's support of gun control that I had never realized before. They fear guns. They even hate guns. But they don't know a damned thing about them. Their crusade against guns is born primarily out of the kind of ignorance, misinformation, and unreasoning fear which Lawrence O'Donnell showed this morning.
I suppose that to make my point I have to catalog O'Donnell's factual errors.
1. The two guns Cho used in his killings did not have magazines which were banned during the Clinton administration. The Glock can take a larger magazine, but in Cho's video it is shown with the standard one which was never banned.
2. The Bush administration and the Republican Congress didn't pass any law to make selling guns to crazy people legal. The assault weapons ban expiration was built into the original bill by the Democrat congress which passed it. Plus the existing background check law precludes selling guns to people who are documented to be mentally ill.
3. Buchanan pointed out the largest error. These were not fully automatic weapons, just semi-automatic pistols. There was none of O'Donnell's "spraying" of bullets going on. Each shot had to be squeezed off and aimed individually. You can't just hold down the trigger and spray with these guns. The fact is that Cho slowly and deliberately shot each person he killed.
I suppose it is in man's nature to fear what he doesn't understand, but unless you want to live in a state of constant fear, the response to that fear should be to seek knowledge, because sometimes when we understand something it's less frightening and we can respond to it rationally rather than in a panic.
Lawrence O'Donnell and much of the left are in an irrational panic when it comes to guns. They want to ban them and control them because they don't understand them. They fear them yet they don't really know what they do or how they work. They just know that they're scary. This is not a mental condition you should make decisions or pass laws in. Good lawmaking requires an informed opinion and a rational mindset. O'Donnell has demonstrated that they have neither.
That kind of ignorance of a subject ought to disqualify you from expressing an opinion on it. Why should we take someone like O'Donnell seriously when he can't be bothered to learn how guns work, the difference between different types of guns, or even the history and content of the gun laws he's discussing?
O'Donnell is an "objective" journalist and a supposed expert commentator. If he's this ignorant and emotion-driven on this issue, imagine how completely uninformed and irrational the average gun opponent must be. It scares me to think that people like this could be making laws which impact my rights and safety as a citizen.
It's something we should all be worried about. I'm going to put my worries on hold for now, though. The gun show closes in four hours and I want to stop by and renew my NRA membership while I still can.