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Tucker Carlson Can’t Debate: Gun Control Edition

Tucker Carlson spent almost all of a nearly eight-minute discussion, supposedly about gun control, dishonestly suggesting his guest, Democratic Rep. Jim Himes, was just itching to confiscate Americans’ guns.

Tucker Carlson spent almost all of a nearly eight-minute discussion, supposedly about gun control, dishonestly suggesting his guest, Democratic Rep. Jim Himes, was just itching to confiscate Americans’ guns.

Last night, after painting the Florida school shooting survivors as a "human shield for the media," Carlson purported to debate Rep. Jim Himes about gun control. But while Carlson claimed to admire Himes for having very specific recommendations to combat gun violence, every time Himes tried to make one, Carlson deflected.

It started with Carlson claiming Himes (D-CT) called for confiscation of guns as Australia did after a mass shooting in 1996.

“That’s not what I’m calling for, Tucker,” Himes said, as he would explain over and over. He called Australia “a pretty good example” because after their massacre, they “implemented a whole series” of measures. He also pointed out that Australia doesn’t have a Second Amendment “so they’re not the best example.” However, he recommended we adopt their universal background checks and temporarily block people with temporary restraining orders from getting guns.

Instead of discussing those measures, Carlson changed the subject, in this case claiming that the 1994 assault weapons ban did not reduce killings. “We know that conclusively,” he said (which is not the complete picture).

Then he asked Himes, “What specifically did they [Australia] do that we should do?” But first, Carlson made a point of saying that Australia “confiscated its citizens’ guns by the hundreds of thousands.”

Again Himes said he was not calling for confiscation. He again called for Australia’s universal background checks as well as a mandatory waiting period for the purchase of a gun.” He added, “So you can leave the ‘confiscation’ behind because that’s not what anybody is talking about.”

But Carlson kept returning to confiscation. “But that was the essence of what they did. You’re not allowed to own a gun in Australia except under circumstances where the government says you’ve somehow got a right to. The same with Great Britain. In Great Britain, you’re not allowed to own a gun. You have to prove that you should be allowed to have one? Are you calling for that?”

Obviously, Himes was not. “We have a Second Amendment in this country which you may be surprised to hear I support,” he replied.

“It doesn’t sound like it,” Carlson said. Either he was lying or shockingly obtuse for a TV host.

“You can say that as much as you want Tucker, but it’s not true,” Himes shot back.

Carlson insisted, “I’m just saying it once.” But he suggested it over and over.

When the gun confiscation smear ran out of steam, Carlson pivoted to trying to paint Himes as a hypocrite. “So you work up on Capitol Hill surrounded by armed guards. Do you think they have too many guns and do you believe that their magazines hold too many rounds? And if not, why not?” Carlson “asked.”

As if that had anything to do with solutions to gun violence.

But Himes had a great answer: HIMES: That’s an absurd argument but … I would be perfectly happy with the general public having the same firearms that the Capitol police have if the general public were, like Capitol police, required to undergo a criminal check, required to re-certify themselves every single year for the use of those firearms and personally accountable and professionally accountable for how they’re used. So if you’re willing to put all of those restrictions on the general public’s right to own firearms, which is what the Capitol police have…

Carlson had no smear for that. So he interrupted to sneer at Himes and changed the subject again. He never explored Himes’ actual suggestions of universal background checks, waiting periods, temporary restrictions on those with restraining orders, etc.

Watch Carlson's inability to debate above, from the February 21, 2018 Tucker Carlson Tonight. The discussion with Himes bgins at 4:35.

Crossposted at News Hounds.
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