This is the second time I've heard Chris Wallace repeat this remark that the Boston residents on lockdown during the manhunt last week would have been safer if they were just more heavily armed. The first time was right around the same time Arkansas state Rep. Nate Bell sent out this tweet, on one of other the Faux "News" morning shows. The second time was during his interview with Rep. Dianne Feinstein on Fox News Sunday, who pushed back sternly at Wallace's assertion.
The thing that the right doesn’t seem to understand is that the Boston manhunt makes the case for why everyone should not have an assault weapon. The bombers were able to kill a campus police officer because they had the element of surprise. They were able to carjack and rob someone due to the element of surprise. A panicked population armed with assault weapons is likely to take law enforcement’s focus off of the bombers, because they would be dealing with every trigger happy scared individual who fired their gun. The last thing law enforcement needed during the search for the bombers was more people running around with guns.
Arming more people with assault weapons would help terrorists by distracting law enforcement. Sen. Feinstein was correct. If people wanted to feel safe there are literally thousands of guns that they could own.
The idea that assault weapons in the hands of regular citizens can stop terrorism is more NRA action movie fantasy.
The reality is that a scared and on edge population armed with assault weapons probably would have resulted in more death and destruction, but this is something that the NRA and their congressional lackeys don’t want to discuss.
Full transcript below the fold.
WALLACE: All right. We have a couple of minutes left, and I want to ask you a question and Congressman King a question.
Senator, reaction to the Boston bombings has spilled into other issues, including gun control. There are some conservatives who say -- some conservatives who say that, when a million people in Boston were forced to stay in their homes, that a lot of those people -- particularly in Watertown where they were going door to door and there was a real concern that this fellow might be on the loose, might break into their house, might take hostages -- would people like to have guns?
FEINSTEIN: Oh, some may have, yes. But if where you're going is do they need an assault weapon? I don't think so. As the vice president said --
WALLACE: Shouldn't they have the right to decide whatever weapon they feel they need to protect themselves?
FEINSTEIN: Well, how about a machine gun then? We did away with machine guns because of how they're used. I think we should do away with assault weapons because of how they're used.
WALLACE: Semiautomatics, that's the most popular rifle in America.
FEINSTEIN: And you could use a 12-gauge shotgun and have a good defensive effect. And there's the element of surprise.
Now, you've got police all over the place in Watertown, so I don't really think that this is applicable. I think there are people that want to make this argument, but 12-gauge shotgun, there are many weapons, 2,000-plus weapons that are available to people for choice without an assault weapon.