Usually, I write off these Republican-Representative-meets-CNN-host segments as just another opportunity for NRA-owned GOP representatives like Don Bacon to spout talking points.
And spout them, he did. The usual tripe about how AR-15s aren't weapons of war because they're technically not carried in the military even though they can mow down as many people as machine guns.
"I'm asking you if you think an AR-15 is akin to a weapon of war or what was used here," said Poppy Harlow, to which the dutiful Republican replied that of course it's not. "A weapon of war -- a weapon of war is an automatic weapon, it's a machine gun. That's what our Army uses. Our Marines use. And an AR-15 is not. It's a rifle."
"By the way, the AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America," he added smugly.
Harlow was in no mood for it, pushing him to admit that it was mere semantics and little more, which of course sparked the usual bullshit about how the Army and Marines don't use that gun.
As if the fact that it's not issued to the military makes those AR-15s any less deadly.
Here are some facts to share with any idiot Republican who thinks it's cute to answer this way:
Las Vegas: AR-15
Aurora, CO: AR-15
Sandy Hook: AR-15
Waffle House: AR-15
San Bernardino: AR-15
Poway synagogue: AR-15
Sutherland Springs: AR-15
Tree of Life Synagogue: AR-15
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) March 23, 2021
At any rate, Poppy Harlow was not here for it, or his regurgitated bullshit.
"I think the viewers know that is not the point I was making," she remarked dryly, reminding him that "It was the Aurora Police Chief who characterized them as such." So much for all that respect for police, eh?
When Bacon again cheerfully stated that they were the most popular rifle in the United States, as if that was something to be proud of, Harlow cut him off. Straight up.
"What do they need them for?" Harlow asked. "What do they need them for?"
"You know, we're a country of free people," Bacon oozed. "You are allowed to have things you want. If it's legal."
Harlow kept asking for what, and he kept eliding until he finally just fell back on the old "why should anyone care" as if people aren't being massacred routinely by this weapon of mass death.
This went back and forth some more, with Harlow getting steamed at his claim that it was "your right" to own that monstrous tangle of metal and mayhem.
Harlow shot back, "If I owned an AR-15, I would want -- you'd, of course, you could ask me why I owned it and for what. Especially when so many people are dying. I think it's a legitimate question."
Which of course, it is. Absolutely legitimate, and the reason this guy has so much trouble figuring it out is because he knows there's no legitimate reason to own one.
All of this leads to the point where this CNN host has had quite enough of his nonsense about their popularity, their uselessness, and his intentional effort to miss the point.
First, the fact check: "Neither of these bills in the house, neither one would confiscate any weapons. I want to be very clear."
And some outrage: "But my job in this chair is to ask the people in power like you what you will do to protect people that are murdered, and to protect people who are terrified like Mason Alexander who we had on the show yesterday who said this to me. Listen."
Don Bacon has raked in over $18,000 from the NRA and well over $30,000 from the NRCC. All he has to do for that money is vote against any bill that will make this country a little bit safer from weapons of mass death.
It's great work if you can get it.