At the risk of sounding pedantic, conservatives really do need to shut up about the mass shooting in France. Still a hot topic in the news, conservative commentators have been coming out in droves to a) demand a war on all Muslims, b) blame Obama, c) argue for more guns everywhere.
On Monday, Fox DC investigative reporter Emily Miller swung by the studio to claim that the terrorist attack in Paris was not prevented because instead of packing heat, French people carry iPhones. Yes, seriously.
Said Miller to Fox News host Anna Kooiman:
I think, as far as French gun laws, it’s basically a gun-free zone…as we’ve seen in the United States, gun-free zones lure evil and crazy people like terrorists there because no one fights back…So, gun-free zones like France, which unfortunately even the poor police aren’t carrying guns, is just very attractive to somebody who is going to go in with a gun.
Other than the fact that the police in France do carry guns (hence the gun fight outside the Charlie Hebdo office…), and the inconvenient statistic that states with the weakest gun laws and highest gun ownership in America have the highest number of gun deaths, Miller is 100% correct!
When fellow guest and Democratic strategist Brian Benjamin tried to point that having easy access to guns would make ‘lone wolf’ terrorists even more dangerous, Miller laughed, calling it ridiculous and ‘the polar opposite’. She said:
Foreigners know we have guns. I’m a gun owner, I was a victim of a home invasion a few years ago and I decided to get a gun to protect myself…millions and millions, half of the country has a gun in their home…a terrorist knows that if he goes into places that are not gun free zones, people can shoot back.
Given the sheer number of mass shootings in America compared to other countries like France, this particular line of argument is, well, stupid. Also, the person who burglarized her home presumably knew that she could have had a gun, but decided to break in anyway. So her point makes even less sense.
Then came the real crazy. Miller continued:
Like the guy — the camera phone at this horrible crime, this policeman in Paris was shot in the head begging for mercy. The person who was taking that video, if they had been a concealed carry owner — or like me, a gun owner — they could have shot the man, maybe put him on defense. But instead, they just watched and took a video.
Just think about that – had Miller been in Paris and strapped with a good ol’ American Smith and Wesson, she would have saved the day! This type of fantasy world conservative gun nuts live in is one of the reasons so many people die in America. It is conceivable that roving reporters armed with concealed weapons could single handedly prevent terrorist ambushes by well trained Jihadis. Or they could make their country far more dangerous. As reported in Slate, America’s obsession with guns makes it a far, far more precarious place to live than pretty much everywhere else in the developed world. Just take a look at the statistics on children killed by firearms:
The United States accounts for nearly 75 percent of all children murdered in the developed world. Children between the ages of 5 and 14 in the United States are 17 times more likely to be murdered by firearms than children in other industrialized nations.
Taking a gun out to the supermarket might make you feel like a hero, but the odds are you are the one most likely to get shot by it. The solution? Get rid of the guns…
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.