CBS' Stephen Colbert and Fox News' Bill O'Reilly clashed about gun control issues as they discussed the tragedy of the Orlando massacre on The Late Show.
As predicted, Bill framed it as a war against extremists, but Colbert said,
You can also say the problem is easy access to high capacity, rapid firing weaponry.
The crowd cheered wildly.
Bill refused to accept gun control measures as any sort of defense against the jihadist experience, as he called it. Colbert dinged him once more:
COLBERT: tens of thousands of people are killed with guns and having nothing to do with jihadi's or Islamic extremists.
O'Reilly refused to take part in "lamenting problems that cannot be solved."
Colbert, sticking to the fact that the U.S. is flooded with easily accessible firearms, said:
But if you don't agree on what the problem is, you can never agree on a solution.
Of course, this received even more applause.
O'Reilly said that his analysts don't believe that modifying federal gun laws will change a thing, to which the audience booed. Like most of us, the audience knows exactly who is funding O'Reilly and his network, and it's certainly not Moms Demand Action.
Oddly enough, Bill-O mentioned the Port Arthur attack in 1996 in Australia whereas since then, possession of a firearm is essentially illegal and a crime punishable by over a decade in prison. Surprisingly, he then said,
O'REILLY: We could learn from Australia.
This refreshingly honest remark made the audience clap in his favor for the first time.
Don't get too excited, folks. He was making that point to bring up an irrelevant comparison between the United States and the Land Down Under. With such disparate populations and the fact that he's neglecting all other Industrialized First World nations' statistics on firearm ownership, he ruins any possibility of a sensible argument.
After the 1996 ban was enacted, Australia saw a 72% drop in gun deaths. The commensurate time in America was also met with a 30% decline in gun murder and a 60% drop in all shootings. What Bill-O fails to mention is that the number of deaths by guns that are not handguns (like assault rifles) have been going up steadily since the assault rifle ban failed to be renewed in Congress in 2004. He also fails to include this jaw-dropping chart on the US vs.the world in number of guns owned per 100 people.
Bill-O credits the for-profit prison industry for the drop in crime, giving props to all the measures that have made the U.S. Prison Population embarrassingly large. He thinks the mass incarceration of drug offenders, especially, have made our country safer and better.
O'Reilly wants to the US to pass a declaration of war against Islamic terrorist groups so that we can detain Americans any time we like.
Colbert explained that after 9/11, we (America) went to war in Iraq as, to which BillO countered with his statement that we wouldn't be an "occupier here."
Colbert asked Bill how it would stop a lone gunman here and O'Reilly said it wouldn't.
COLBERT: Why would then we declare a war based on this?
The audience loved that question too, applauding loudly.
Bill believes that it would make NATO fight ISIS. Sounds relevant to home grown U.S. terrorism, right?
For the remainder of the interview, O'Reilly stuck to his usual stance of guns aren't the real problem and affords the population protection from bad guys. MOAR GUNZ!!
Colbert fired back that you cannot kill an idea, like ISIS. O'Reilly said that everything ISIS does is a hate crime, but he doesn't mention that this Orlando murderer wasn't actually a member of ISIS.
Showing that he is totally oblivious to all aspects of the arguments against mass proliferation of guns, O'Reilly rejects the mental health argument for the Orlando shooter, of course, and the only thing we can do in the future is contain evil, slowly but surely. Ugh. Frustrating, as expected.