This segment with Piers Morgan is precisely why I called Breitbrat Ben Shapiro a twerp. At the ripe old age of 28, he has all the answers and thinks he's the smartest guy in the room. He's perfectly comfortable calling someone a bully for disagreeing, and worse yet, claiming they're standing on the graves of the children who were killed at Sandy Hook in order to score political points. That's something a twerp says to get someone to try and start a fight with them.
As much as I am not usually a Piers Morgan fan (because he was mean to kids when he was a judge on America's Got Talent), in this case, I actually wish he had let some of that meanness show. However, he still did a pretty good job defusing the "on the graves of the children at Sandy Hook" when he suggested the erstwhile Mr. Shapiro tell Gabby Giffords how she and her husband are dancing on the graves at Sandy Hook, too.
Bullies dancing on the graves of little children
In this first segment, Shapiro serves a little whine about how Piers and the liberals "bully" anyone who doesn't agree. Ben, old boy, I can't help it if facts have a liberal bias that will snap your head back like you've been punched. When Piers enumerated the last several mass killings and forced you to admit they were committed with an assault rifle, you may have felt bullied, but if you were, it was because facts have a way of shattering illusion.
Shapiro, undeterred, argues that more murders take place with guns than assault weapons, and smirkily asks Piers why he doesn't care about as much about Chicago's children killed with handguns as the children killed with assault weapons.
Screw that, Shapiro. You don't think we'd like to limit handguns? Well, I would. But that's chasing after unicorns. We aren't so stupid that we think there's a prayer of a ban like that. I'll take reinstatement of the assault weapons ban as a start, rather than none at all. Piers was having none of it too.
That didn't stop Shapiro from making that leap and claiming that the "left" wants an outright gun ban. Screw the constitution, just ban them all! That's the caricature of the left Shapiro tries to pass off on the audience.
But wait, there's more.
Shapiro is getting ready to play the "government tyranny" card. Strange how that card only gets played when a Democrat is in the White House, isn't it? And of course, it plays straight into the wingnut fears and paranoia about how that scary black dude in the White House is going to emasculate the entire country by taking away their guns -- and then...what?
Laws were meant to be broken
In this segment, we get a lot of Shapiro's mechanical and disingenuous argument about how banning assault weapons is merely symbolic as long as handguns aren't banned, once again inviting Piers into the trap of saying all guns should be banned. (Which Piers avoids quite well.)
Ben's got a spiffy answer for Sudafed sales regulation versus assault weapons, and still has a soft place in his heart for the kids in Chicago being shot with handguns. He makes the same tired arguments about illegal immigrants coming into California, assault weapons being modified illegally, etc., as if to justify no ban whatsoever on any guns because well, someone might break the law banning those specific guns.
With that logic, why bother with traffic laws? Someone might break them and cause an accident. Because that never happens, does it? Why bother with any laws at all? How is that at all Constitutional?
Answer: It's not constitutional. But it is wantonly libertarian. It presumes a lack of connection to society and the people who inhabit the same space we do, which is exactly the impression you get of Shapiro, with his smirk and self-satisfied arguments.
Poor, misunderstood NRA
Then there's the NRA. Ben is shocked -- SHOCKED -- at how they've been attacked, and so unfairly. As part of his argument, he says they're a private membership organization that doesn't take taxpayer dollars. To which I say bullsh*t. That tax-exempt NRA foundation gets plenty of taxpayer dollars by virtue of its tax-deductible status. That 501c4 organization (NRA Action) gets plenty of taxpayer dollars because it is tax-exempt and therefore pays no taxes on the income earned on their assets.
Spare me, because it's a nonsensical, intellectually dishonest argument.
The only argument he made that's possibly more intellectually dishonest is the one where he claims that David Gregory is making no accusations against video game manufacturers for violent games, or movie studios for violent films. Oh, Ben, this is where you simply don't grok reality and make a straw man try to stand up as something honest. Please.
Maybe the NRA should stop allowing their brand to be slapped on schlocky, violent PlayStation games, eh? Or else retire that argument forever.
In the end, the only question that deserves an answer and cannot seem to get one is the one Piers Morgan laid out at about six minutes in to this segment. It goes like this:
Why does any civilian need an AR-15 military-style assault weapon?
I've heard Ed Schultz ask this question, I've heard Piers Morgan ask this question, and I've heard numerous legislators ask it, but I have yet to hear an answer. Until tonight. Ben answered it in the only way he could:
They need them for the prospective possibility of resistance to tyranny, which is not a concern today. It may not be a concern tomorrow.
MORGAN: Where would this tyranny come from?
SHAPIRO: It could come from the United States because governments have gone tyrannical before.
If EVER there has been any hint of tyranny, it is in this present day, when the people of this country had an election and by an overwhelming majority, elected a Democratic president and Senate. They would have elected a Democratic House, but gerrymandering ensured Republicans would hold that, and they are leveraging it to be tyrannical. Right. Now.
Witness President Obama's cabinet nominees. Just yesterday Jeff Sessions said no to Jack Lew. Flat no. Sessions: Jack Lew must not be allowed to become Secretary of the Treasury. Why? Because he negotiates a tough deal.
Let's talk tyranny, Ben. Over half this country now supports Obamacare and doesn't want it to be repealed. But Republican governors are doing their damnedest to make sure it's not implemented in their states against the will of the people. Nothing says oppressive power like Republican governors and Republican Congressmen working against the will of the people.
More projection from Mr. Shapiro, it seems. The only difference is that we on the left still believe in using WORDS instead of GUNS to get the country back on track.
Talk to me about tyranny when the right wing in this country isn't running around calling for people to shed blood to prevent Obamacare from taking hold, or lightweight gun regulation to happen.
Tyranny is here, riding in on assault weapons and idiots like Ben Shapiro.