Bill O’Reilly Has Totally Lost His Feeble Mind with this ‘Price of Freedom’ Rant on Guns

Being a notorious sexual predator who has paid out tens of millions of dollars to victimized women is taking its toll on Bill O’Reilly. Now that he’s sequestered to his chintzy weblog since Fox News fired him, O’Reilly is exhibiting signs of acute mental distress. Among other humiliations, he has been making guest appearances on Sean Hannity’s radio show despite having hated him when they were Fox News colleagues.

Bill Reilly

On Tuesday O’Reilly posted a mini-rant on Twitter (video below) to complain about criticism he received for his remarks on gun regulations. Following the Las Vegas massacre, O’Reilly wrote on his website that:

“This is the price of freedom. Violent nuts are allowed to roam free until they do damage, no matter how threatening they are. The Second Amendment is clear that Americans have a right to arm themselves for protection. Even the loons.”

Gee. Why would anyone criticize that? O’Reilly is just quoting from the Constitution’s “Even the Loons” clause of the Second Amendment. Never mind that he is expressing a perverse comfort with potentially violent miscreants obtaining guns at will without any public safety oversight. Even worse, he is justifying the carnage as an acceptable consequence of making sure that every American has unfettered access to assemble a personal armory. And so O’Reilly takes to Twitter to double down on his lunacy, posting this belligerent response to his critics:

“The last time the Vegas thing happened I said this is the price we pay. This is the price of freedom. And all the left – ‘Oh O’Reilly, arrgh – [blubbering sounds].’ Look you pinheads, our freedom dictates that police cannot intervene unless a crime is committed.”

So O’Reilly is cool with dozens of people being slaughtered at a country music concert so long as psychopaths can still buy AR-15s. Then he asserts that “everybody knew this guy was bad news.” He was referring to the shooters in both Las Vegas and Texas. He went on to say that the price of freedom demands that the rights of people like these to buy guns supersedes the rights of the rest of us to live. And while he notes that there is an exception for people with felonies, he apparently forgot that the Texas shooter’s criminal record had not been properly recorded. But here is where O’Reilly slipped off the rails:

“In the Reagan years there was a downgrading in getting people institutionalized. So it used to be a lot easier, in this country, to put people who are misbehaving, or behaving in an aberrant way, under observation and to take them off the street. But then the ACLU stepped in, the civil liberties people, and ‘Ah, no no no.’ So now you’ve got people walking all over the place and the authorities can’t do anything. [Raising his voice} The Price of Freedom!”

First of all, there was no “downgrading” of criteria to institutionalize someone in the Reagan years. What Reagan did was to close institutions in order to cut his budget as governor of California. That meant that thousands of people who were previously being treated for mental illness – voluntarily in many cases – were put on the streets. It was a budgetary decision, not a medical one.

Secondly, WTF is he talking about? He starts off reminiscing about the good old days when it was easier to lock up people for psychological reasons. He even takes a swipe at the ACLU for protecting the rights of the mentally impaired. And he bitches about all the free-roaming nutcases who can’t be involuntarily incarcerated. Apparently, freedom doesn’t mean that people with mental problems should be allowed to actually be free. However, he then reasserts his premise that freedom does mean they should all be able to arm themselves to the teeth.

If O’Reilly got his way, and the “authorities” were allowed to pick up “people who are misbehaving,” O’Reilly would have to be at the top of the list. Anyone with his decades long history of sexually harassing and assaulting women ought not to be “walking all over the place.” And his clear inability to articulate a coherent thought makes his case all the more troubling. He’s obviously a very sick man, in more ways than one. And in the final analysis, his “price of freedom” was $32 million (and more) paid to silence his victims.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Said Shooting Was a Mental Health Problem, But Signed Bill Easing Their Access to Guns

Once again Donald Trump and every Republican NRA shill in America is serving up their “thoughts and prayers.” Meanwhile, the families and victims of another gun slaughter are suffering for the abject negligence of a cowardly Congress. The shooting in a Sutherland Springs, TX, church is just the latest episode of senseless violence that is turning the country into a war zone. But the absence of affirmative solutions isn’t the worst part of the right-wing response. They are proactively enabling the almost certain continuation of these tragedies. And it starts at the top with Trump himself.

Donald Trump

The President’s first remarks on the Texas massacre were given just hours after it occurred from his junket in Japan. As usual, he couldn’t help politicizing the subject. Absolving his friends in the gun lobby of any responsibility, Trump speculated on the cause despite having no facts. “This isn’t a guns situation,” he reckoned. “This is a mental health problem.”

With regard to the latter half of his comment, it’s unarguable that mental health played a role in this shooting. In fact, it plays a role in every mass shooting. None of these incidents can be described as normal psychological behavior. So Trump is telling us nothing by stating the obvious. However, the first part of his comment completely ignores reality. These tragedies are only exacerbated by the easy access to such dangerous assault-type weapons.

The Republican Party marches in lock step with the NRA to preserve access to virtually all weaponry. They oppose regulating cop-killer bullets, military firearms, and “smart” guns. They are even blocking regulation of the “bump stock” accessories that modify conventional weapons into fully automatic ones. That was what the Las Vegas gunman used to kill fifty-eight people just last month.

But the GOP position on mental health is no better. They are currently proposing cuts to mental health programs in their budget and tax bills, More to the point, they are determined to protect the rights of violent offenders, domestic abusers, and other unstable miscreants to own whatever guns they want. Donald Trump even signed a bill in February for that precise purpose. As reported by NBC News at the time:

“President Donald Trump quietly signed a bill into law Tuesday rolling back an Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase a gun. […] President Barack Obama recommended the now-nullified regulation in a 2013 memo following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 20 first graders and six others dead. The measure sought to block some people with severe mental health problems from buying guns.”

Early reports suggest that the law Trump revoked was just the sort of regulation that might have kept the Texas shooter from obtaining his guns. He was discharged from the Air Force for “bad conduct.” Specifically, he was found to have assaulted his wife and child. Not coincidentally, domestic abuse has been found to be a consistent and accurate predictor of mass shooting perpetrators. Samantha Bee happened to do a segment on this subject last week. It should be required viewing for every member of Congress and law enforcement:

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump-Fluffing Psychiatrist Tells Fox News That CNN ‘Contributes to Mass Shooting’

In the world of conservative politics and punditry, the right time to talk about common sense gun safety is never. And they are especially adamant that such discussions be avoided following any gun-related tragedies. Which effectively nixes any dialog ever since these tragic events occur almost every day.

Fox News

However, talking about how Democrats and the liberal media are responsible for firearms massacres is fair game at any time. For example, Tuesday morning Fox News aired an interview with forensic psychiatrist Michael Welner (video below). Welner is a devoted supporter of Donald Trump. His appearance with the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends was in keeping with the network’s obsessive partisanship. They acted together to brazenly politicize the horror of the Las Vegas calamity.

Welner began with a wholly invented proclamation that “people who are gun enthusiasts, and who are populists or nationalists in this country, are dehumanized. They’re demonized.” It’s impossible to know where he got that from. While there are protests aimed at the National Rifle Association (NRA) and politicians who kowtow to them, citizen gun owners have never a target of scorn. In fact most NRA members actually support measures like background checks and banning assault weapons. However, Welner’s inclusion of “nationalists” in his diatribe was peculiar. Whether or not they own guns, they are associated with the white supremacy movement. Welner apparently considers them victims in the same mold as he does gun owners.

Welner’s analysis of the shooter’s mindset was equally as bizarre. He led off by saying that “This is a sixty-four year old with no dramatic mental illness. No major decline. Someone who’s intact.” On the basis of what examination did he draw those conclusions? There have been no reports as to the shooter’s psychological profile from either the press or the police. Following that, Welner spouted off a stream of incoherent psychobabble that makes one wonder if he got his degree from Trump University. He asserted that all mass murderers are either seeking notoriety or advancing a cause. He left out many other possible motivations including racial or other prejudice, retribution or redress of perceived wrongs, and just plain insanity.

Welner’s primary theory involved looking at the victims and working backwards to establish a motive. So when Fox’s Brian Kilmeade asked what the country music fans at the concert represented, Welner replied, “Americana.” Between the two of them, the only notable characteristic of the victims was the entertainment venue they patronized. That led to this disturbing exchange between the two:

Kilmeade: Jeff Zelany [of CNN] says that country music fans are for the most part Republicans, and the President, by showing this type of sympathy is doing something for his base. Are country music fans symbolic of Republicans?

Welner: Well, I think that CNN is gonna have to answer for how they demonize gun enthusiasts and how CNN actually contributes to mass shooting. And I believe that they do.

First of all, Welner didn’t bother to answer Kilmeade’s embarrassingly biased and asinine question. And the answer he gave was embarrassing enough in it’s own right. That was the professional diagnosis of an allegedly trained psychiatrist? Actually, it’s the opinion of a quack who closed this segment with another absurd allegation. He complained that “We don’t demonize mass killing enough, and that’s why people feel they can do it for a cause.” Really?

Statements like these are not unfamiliar at Fox News. They frequently trade in slander and defamation that is unsupportable and way out of bounds. In this case, Welner may have even exceeded whatever flimsy standards Fox News maintains. Because later in the program, Kilmeade issued a disclaimer to note that the views Welner expressed were his own did not represent Fox. When Fox News is ashamed to be associated with you, that should be a wake up call that the doctor might need professional help himself.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It’s Come To This? Florida Sheriff Has to Warn People NOT to Shoot Into Hurricane Irma

Sunday morning is bringing an unprecedented peril to Florida and much of the Southeast. As Hurricane Irma gets closer to population centers it’s size and strength are threatening both life and property. The most important thing now is for anyone who has not evacuated to find shelter and hope for the best.

Hurricane Shooter

That said, there are still surprisingly asinine incidents popping up that make one question Darwin’s theory of natural selection. For instance, Rush Limbaugh broadcast a ludicrous and dangerous conspiracy theory. He said that warnings to evacuate were just a plot by television companies and convenience stores to increase ratings and sell more bottled water. Less than twenty-four hours later he fled his Palm Beach estate, leaving his listeners to the fate of Irma.

However, a Facebook post later appeared to challenge Limbaugh’s idiocy. Ryon Edwards, a twenty-two year old prankster, posted an event coordinated to the arrival of Hurricane Irma. He invited readers to join him in shooting at the hurricane to alleviate any related stress or boredom. They responded in the tens of thousands. This did not go over very well with the law enforcement community. As Time Magazine reports:

“Florida authorities are advising people against firing weapons at Hurricane Irma following a Facebook event titled ‘Shoot At Hurricane Irma’ that garnered interest from over 45,000 accounts.

“‘To clarify, DO NOT shoot weapons at Irma,’ the Twitter account of the Pasco County Sheriff’s office tweeted on Saturday night, just hours before the eye of the storm passed over the Florida Keys. ‘You won’t make it turn around & it will have very dangerous side effects.’ Bullets fired into a storm system like a hurricane can have unpredictable and potentially dangerous trajectories.”

It may seem unnecessary to persuade people not to shoot at a hurricane. But we’re talking about people who think the Second Amendment permits them to take up arms against fellow Americans. And that includes those serving in the police and military that they sometimes praise as heroes. There are no shortage of stories about NRA members who shoot themselves or other innocents for frighteningly stupid reasons. And every Independence Day these cretins fire into the air despite warnings and news of tragic consequences.

The Pasco Sheriff was correct to assume that a fair number of the thousands who joined the Facebook event might take it literally. Many people hold views that are no less absurd. There are those who believe that these hurricanes, and other natural disasters, are God’s punishment for homosexuality. And others are convinced that only the pagans will be swept away. This doesn’t even address all the mainstream Republicans who deny the effects of climate change and the science that predicted these massive weather events.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

That absence of reason can also infect gun owners who imagine that their bullets in large numbers will turn Irma around. In reality, it’s the bullets that can be turned around, and directly back toward the imbecile who fired it. The fact that a professional law enforcement officer finds it necessary to issue this warning is a sad statement on the state of our nation. But it’s better to make the warning than to regret the suffering after the fact.

The Republican Party Platform Is More Worried About You Getting Off Than Getting Shot

The nation is currently undergoing the heart-wrenching anguish of senseless violence and loss of life. Last week saw an unusually painful series of events that included the killings of citizens by over-zealous police officers, followed by a brutal attack on good cops who were protecting a peaceful protest of such killings. In both cases guns played a prominent part in needless slaughter.

Gun Lady

Fox News, and the rest of the conservative media, immediately launched an assault on #BlackLivesMatter, branding them racists and hostile for their efforts to draw attention to the far too frequent incidents of African-Americans becoming victims of police misconduct. The blame from the right extended even further to include President Obama and Hillary Clinton, whom they alleged were directly responsible for the Dallas shootings. It requires an unfathomably perverse logic to make those associations but, as it turns out, it isn’t even the craziest thing the right has done this week.

Reports from the Republican National Convention’s Platform committee reveal that they have unanimously approved an amendment declaring that:

“Pornography, with his harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions. We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children’s safety and wellbeing.”

Everyone can agree that protecting children from nefarious types who would harm them, or exploit them for deviant purposes, is a worthy goal. However, Republicans are making an Olympian leap of reason by designating pornography in general as a “public health crisis.” Never mind that they don’t bother to cite any references to professional journals or medical studies to validate that claim. They simply expect it to be taken on faith.

RELATED: New Study Explains Why Fox News Is Obsessed With Sex And Porn

What makes this absurd is that these are the same Republicans who have fought fiercely to prevent gun violence from being studied as a public health crisis. The Republican majority in Congress, at the behest of the NRA, passed legislation that explicitly prohibits government agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control, from appropriating funds to conduct research on gun violence and injury prevention. And this was after prior studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine established that gun ownership is a risk factor for homicide in the home. The American Psychological Association agrees and has lobbied to eliminate the GOP’s freeze on funds for research:

“APA endorses the provision to end the freeze on federal gun violence research. This ban has significantly hampered psychological scientists’ ability to systematically assess the risk of assault and other weapons to the public, and to determine the effectiveness of various preventive measures. APA supports increased federal funding for research on the causes and prevention of gun violence, including attention to violence in media, to jump start this field after so many years of neglect.”

But none of these reasonable arguments has moved the the Republican Party to act reasonably. Under the banner of their presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, they are becoming more radically conservative than ever. With this platform they are asserting that pornography is a public health crisis despite the lack of any credible evidence. But they won’t allow gun violence to even be studied by medical professionals even though existing research indicates a very real problem. It is emblematic of the GOP’s shift to the ultra-right with other platform items that include opposing marriage equality, supporting gay conversion therapy, and declaring coal to be “clean” energy.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Today President Obama and others paid tribute to the fallen officers of the Dallas Police Department. And while these solemn events are unfolding, the Republican Party is making it easier for other maniacs, like the one that murdered five cops, to acquire and use weapons that escalate the body count. But at least we’ll be safe from the horror of nakedness.

Fox News Mangles Obama’s Dallas Response, Then Airs The Single Worst Pro-Gun Argument Ever

While the tragic events in Dallas were still unfolding, President Obama took time from the NATO summit in Poland to speak to the horror that has once again stained the streets of an American city (video below). Speaking on behalf of all Americans he offered his condolences and promised that “the federal government will provide whatever assistance Dallas may need as it deals with this tremendous tragedy.”

Obama

Acknowledging that all the facts were still not known at the time, he condemned the shootings as “a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement.” He praised the officers for “doing their jobs, keeping people safe during peaceful protests” when five of them were killed and seven others wounded. Continuing, he said:

“I believe that I speak for every single American when I say that we are horrified over these events, and that we stand united with the people and the police department in Dallas. According to police, there are multiple suspects. We will learn more, undoubtedly, about their twisted motivations. But let’s be clear: There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement.”

It was a heartfelt statement that sought to console the victims and their families and to bring Americans together in this time of shared grief, reminding everyone “to express our profound gratitude to our men and women in blue — not just today, but every day.” But the only part of his remarks that Fox News saw fit to broadcast was this out-of-context soundbite:

“We also know that when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic.”

That happens to be an indisputable fact, but Fox News presented it as an attempt to politicize the tragedy by calling for gun control. Of course, there is nothing political in that comment unless any recognition of the reality of gun violence is considered political. Which, in the world of Fox News, it surely is.

That’s why Fox News spent most of the morning maligning the President. In one particularly absurd segment, Fox interviewed a guest who offered a unique perspective on the proliferation of guns in American society. He explained that the situation in Dallas proves that gun control doesn’t work, because if the police can’t defend themselves against an attack like this then it’s up to citizens to arm themselves for protection.

Seriously? If the police can’t defend themselves against an attack like this, with all of their resources, manpower, and training, how the hell is a private citizen going to prevail in a similar situation? What would an armed citizen do differently that would have protected him from this type of assault? In all likelihood he would panic and spray bullets around a densely populated area resulting in even more civilian casualties. He would not have the expertise to differentiate a suspect from another citizen, who might also be armed. It would be a blood bath.

What’s more, with citizens running around brandishing AR-15’s, how would the police be able to assess the risks and identify the actual suspects? In that environment everyone would look like a suspect. This could result in police firing on the wrong people because they appeared to be dangerous or threatening. At the very least it would consume precious time while officers confronted armed citizens in an effort to determine whether or not they were criminals.

If anything, the fact that the police were unable to prevent the murders of their own colleagues by a well-armed maniac is proof that sensible gun regulations are necessary. If the perpetrator did not have access to a high-powered, semi-automatic weapon, he would not have been able to cause nearly the harm that he did. He would not have had the range or the rapid-fire capability, and some of the deceased officers might be alive now.

For Fox News to air deranged commentaries like this, while much of downtown Dallas is still being cordoned off as a crime scene, is irresponsible in the extreme. And for them to falsely accuse Obama of politicizing the shootings, even as they cut his full statement to a single sentence, is patently dishonest. The only politicization going on here is by Fox News and the gun fetishists they represent.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

YIKES: Trump Delegates Promise To Be Packing Heat At The GOP Convention

From the “What Could Possibly Go Wrong” file:

The Republican convention will begin in a couple of weeks but the fireworks have already started. There is a vibrant #NeverTrump movement that is furiously organizing to prevent Donald Trump from becoming their party’s nominee. And an unprecedented throng of loyal Republicans have vowed never to vote for Trump. They include the two past Republican presidents and the two past Republican candidates for the office.

Donald Trump

Trump’s rallies have frequently been the scene of violence directed at protesters, which Trump encourages and even offered to pay the legal fees of anyone arrested for such an assault. He has bragged that his followers are angry and once described a pair of supporters who beat up a homeless Latino man as “passionate” people who “love their country.” He even boasted about having his own concealed carry permit and virtually dared evildoers to bring it on.

In the spirit of this overtly hostile political crusade, some Trump delegates are now declaring that they will be coming to Cleveland armed. They are concerned about possible threats to their safety from rampaging protesters or wild-eyed terrorists. One Trump delegate exclaimed “We’re talking about ISIS.” And these self-styled Republican Rambos think that their handguns will protect them from trained jihadis with AR-15s, body armor, and suicide vests. One armed delegate said that…

“There are a whole bunch of things happening: You go to various events, receptions, whatever, outside the convention hall. And you walk on the streets and, you know, people know that you are a delegate, and who knows what the crazy people are going to do? So you’ve got to be vigilant about what’s going on and prepare yourself.”

So they expect the battlefield to expand to include area restaurants, hotels, and city sidewalks. This should make every resident of Cleveland nervous. The introduction of civilians with guns into public settings is asking for trouble. There is a reason that convention facilities, including the one that will be hosting the GOP convention, not do permit firearms. Security professionals know that there is a greater risk of injuries to innocent bystanders when people with no experience get involved in situations that are rife with chaos and panic. Plus, with more people brandishing weapons it makes it harder for law enforcement to know who the bad guys are.

A couple of months ago there was a petition circulating to alter the rules at the arena and allow delegates to take guns into the convention hall. It garnered more than 50,000 signatures before it was discovered that it was started by a gun reform advocate.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

There are legitimate reasons for citizens to be cautious in public places and to be aware of their surroundings. But that isn’t a license to be paranoid and to exacerbate the problem. Particularly at a political convention where such strong animosities are prevalent. And that is just among the Republicans. Last March Trump was whining about the prospect that he might not have enough delegates to secure the nomination. In an interview on CNN he warned if he were denied his rightful crown that “bad things would happen” and that “I think you’d have riots.” Now, with the “Dump Trump” faction of the party still working to find an alternative candidate, his delegates are strapping on sidearms and swaggering into town with puffed up chests threatening to fulfill Trump’s prophecy. Does anyone think this will end well?

MUZZLED: House Republicans Kill Live Camera Feed Of Democratic Gun Reform Sit-In

Democratic congress members of the House of Representatives launched an unprecedented protest in the chamber by staging a sit-in. The purpose of the protest is to force Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republican leadership into scheduling a vote on gun safety reforms (video here).

CSPAN Blackout

Shortly after the protest began, the Republicans who control the House called a recess saying that the House is not in order, and then shut off the chamber’s cameras to prevent the American people from seeing their representatives actually doing something worthwhile and in agreement with the majority of the people. It is a brazen act of censorship intended to make the courageous demonstration disappear and to help the GOP in their efforts to kill reform at the behest of their NRA masters.

By taking the unprecedented step of shutting off the cameras, CSPAN went dark. They later had to resort to broadcasting video from mobile phones in the chamber, which continues as of the writing of this article. And as if that weren’t bad enough, Rep. John Yarmouth just tweeted that “The Sgt at Arms is asking us to stop taking photos and video from House floor. Republicans should turn the cameras back on.”

These GOP authoritarian tactics are nothing less than government suppression of free speech. This is the people’s house, not the private broadcast facility of the Republican Party. And despite the GOP’s tyrannical usurpation of power, Democrats are united in persisting with this protest. Participants include party leaders like John Lewis and Nancy Pelosi, and they have promised that everyone who wants to speak will be able to.

Republicans will have to shut down the building and evacuate everyone if they hope to end this. Which I wouldn’t put past them. Two years ago the GOP held a hearing on the alleged IRS targeting of Tea Party groups. Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the committee, delivered a five minute opening statement, asked a few leading questions, then gaveled the hearing adjourned without allowing anyone else to speak. The ranking Democratic member, Elijah Cummings, objected to the adjournment, but Issa cut off his microphone and stomped out of the room. Cummings continued without the mic calling Issa’s conduct “absolutely un-American.”

This is pretty much what we can expect from the Republican Party if it is allowed to remain in control of Congress, or worse gain the White House with a victory by Donald Trump (who has revoked the press credentials of several media organizations and whose camp has advocated revoking the broadcast license of CNN). Democrats have to be united in voting out Republicans in every jurisdiction if the nation hopes to preserve its constitutional freedoms.

Donald Trump’s Plan To Arm Drunken Bar Patrons Is Even Too Sick for The NRA

Within hours of the horrific massacre in Orlando, Florida, Donald Trump was congratulating himself and seeking political advantage from the suffering of others. He spent the next few days lambasting President Obama for not saying ‘radical Islamic terrorism,” a right-wing mantra that is at best a trivial distraction that has no effect whatsoever on counter-terrorism activities. [See The Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine]

Donald Trump

Yesterday Donald Trump escalated his grandstanding by repeating an ignorant trope about how different the outcome would have been if the patrons of the Pulse nightclub had themselves been armed. Every expert on public safety has repudiated that notion as being either ineffective or increasing the risk. But in this specific circumstance it would be so ridiculous that even the NRA distanced itself from Trump’s remarks. The NRA’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, told CBS’s Face the Nation that “I don’t think we should have firearms where people are drinking.” And Chris Cox, chief lobbyist for the NRA, said that “no one thinks that people should go into a nightclub drinking and carrying firearms.” Well, not on one. Some states are passing laws explicitly permitting it.

Still, for most sane folks the prospect of arming patrons of a crowded establishment where alcohol is being served is inviting tragedy even without any terrorists showing up. It would lead to common arguments having deadly results, as well as increasing the odds of lethal accidents. Trump’s phony machismo is just further evidence of how shallow he thinks through issues that can have profoundly disturbing consequences.

As a result of his quick-draw mouthing off, and the NRA’s equally quick disapproval, Trump tried to walk back his statement in a tweet (of course) falsely asserting that “When I said that if, within the Orlando club, you had some people with guns, I was obviously talking about additional guards or employees.” The dishonesty of that lame qualification is easily observed by revisiting his original comment:

“If we had people, where the bullets were going in the opposite direction, right smack between the eyes of this maniac — if some of those wonderful people had guns strapped right here, right to their waist or to their ankle, and this son of a bitch comes out and starts shooting, and one of the people in the room happened to have it, and goes boom — boom — you know what? That would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight, folks. That would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight. So don’t let them take your guns away.”

What’s obvious about that statement is that Trump was referring to the bar’s patrons. The security guard in the club was, in fact, armed. Trump was talking specifically about “those wonderful people” and then he warned his rally audience, who were not security professionals, to resist letting anyone “take your guns away.” Never mind that no one is trying to take guns away from responsible, law-abiding citizens. Trump was clearly recommending that everyone, including bar patrons, strap on loaded weapons and prepare for a night out Wild West style. And it’s not the first time he has pitched this idiocy.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

This whole affair is textbook Trump: Exploit the fear and bigotry of your followers by saying something stupid and indefensible. Then refuse to apologize, or even acknowledge the asinine nature of your statement, and lie about what you allegedly meant. It’s the strategy of an egocentric authoritarian who knows he can get away with anything because his glassy-eyed disciples won’t hold him to account and the media is too obsessed with ratings to do its job. Hopefully that situation will correct itself as the election season proceeds.

Fox News ‘Psycho’ Analyst Tells Real Doctors To ‘Shut Up’ About Gun Violence

The tragedy in Orlando last week has once again provoked the debate over access to assault weapons and the ease with which such destructive arms are attained by sick people with intent to do harm. It’s a fairly one-sided debate since the majority of Americans are in favor of common sense reforms such as universal background checks, prohibiting suspected terrorists from buying guns, and banning assault weapons.

Fox News

But leave it to Fox News to take the side of the NRA extremists who oppose any effort to make our country safer. With the exception of a couple of surprising and out of character commentaries by Bill O’Reilly and Gretchen Carlson, the consensus opinion of Fox News anchors and contributors is that guns should not even be included in the discussion about how to respond to mass murders by guns.

On Fox & Friends, for instance, the Curvy Couch Potatoes called in a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team to offer his “professional” opinion on the matter. Psychologist Keith Ablow is a blatantly political mouthpiece for right-wing propaganda and a confirmed Obama hater who long ago abandoned any credibility as a medical advisor. At the outset of the interview he was asked by co-host Brain Kilmeade whether gun violence is a disease or advancing a political agenda by the government. Ablow responded saying that…

“Of course gun violence isn’t a disease. This is part of the progressive agenda, alive and well at the AMA, the American Medical Association.”

Ablow went on to accuse the AMA of having a desire to “look into the problem of uncontrolled gun ownership.” Presumably, therefore, he is in favor of uncontrolled gun ownership, a position he shares with the world’s terrorists. In support of his argument he rattled off a stream of unrelated statistics about various causes of death in Argentina and Sweden that in no way addressed the very real and continuing problem in the United States. Then he lectured the AMA and the American Psychiatric Association on the need to “rebuild our mental healthcare system,” as if that was a novel idea that they hadn’t though of, or been working on for decades in spite of the opposition from conservatives like Ablow.

Ablow and Kilmeade also felt that it was important to note that homicides by guns were not among the top twenty causes of death in the U.S. That’s correct because health issues like heart attacks and cancer dominate the top ranks of fatalities. But their argument appears to suggest that the thousands of preventable deaths by gun violence are therefore irrelevant and unworthy of discussion. It’s a position that callously dishonors the victims and their families.

Perhaps the most striking part of Ablow’s remarks is that he touches on a cogent thought momentarily, but lets it fade off into his knee-jerk gun fetishism without acknowledging it’s importance. He said that…

“There are reasons for homicide and nobody knows how many of those acts would have taken place without guns.”

Exactly. The fact that nobody knows the answers to many of the questions surrounding the epidemic of gun violence in America is precisely the reason that organizations like the AMA and Centers for Disease Control should be studying the subject. However, Republicans in Congress, at the behest of the NRA, passed legislation that prohibits such studies. Ablow called the attempt to link guns to violence “foolishness,” but what’s more foolish than literally legislating away the quest for knowledge?

As usual, Ablow squeezed in a slap at President Obama by complaining that the AMA “are the people who championed Obamacare” (which, of course, has resulted in more Americans having access to affordable health care than ever before). He ranted that liberals have an agenda “to eat away at gun rights with medical research.” And after this brazenly political screed, Ablow had the audacity to demean those who advocate for more knowledge and greater safety by saying “that’s being political. So stop it. Call yourself the American Political Association and shut up.”

Shut up? That’s the advice of the “doctor” on whom Fox News relies for their “fair and balanced” discourse on matters of national importance? That’s how a “news” network approaches a debate on how to deal with serious and deadly issues? Fox News is doing what they always do with controversial issues. They consult a hardcore partisan to push their right-wing message without regard for the truth or the welfare of the nation.

Here’s a Primer on Keith Ablow:

For the record, Keith Ablow has been dispensing ludicrous psychological diagnoses for years. Some of his past adventures in malpractice include his charges that President Obama was waging psychological warfare on the American people, that Newt Gingrich was honorable for being unfaithful to multiple wives, accused Obama of wanting Ebola to spread in America, and my personal favorite, he actually praised the Unabomber’s sociopathic philosophy. These are a few of the reasons that may have contributed to his abrupt separation from the American Psychiatric Association. But who needs those medical establishment elitists when you have Fox News?

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.