Bill O’Reilly is prone to occasional moments where he sounds like the voice of reason, but they happen with such infrequency that they come as a true surprise. Such is the case with his discussion of gun control in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Now, O’Reilly has wavered on this issue even in recent days. Last year, he kinda admitted that background checks make sense. Yet only a few days ago, he butted heads with Stephen Colbert while zeroing in the issue mostly in terms of cracking down on terrorist groups. He also spoke of internment camps, which was unfortunate.
Something has changed since then, which is obvious in both videos within this story. First, the crotchety host launched into his latest Talking Points Commentary segment by telling his pro-gun audience that the level of gun crime in the U.S. is ridiculous, and the problem must be solved. He handled the matter straight up by declaring, “High-powered weaponry is too easy to get.” And O’Reilly described his solution in general terms without getting shouty about ISIS, which is a significant shift:
“Congress should debate what kind of weapons should be available for public sale. And the states, the individual states, should decide what kind of carry laws are good for their own people. New laws are definitely need in the age of terror and mass murder.”
Something may be going on over at Fox News, for anchor Gretchen Carlson called for a ban on assault rifles earlier this week. Viewers ripped her to pieces in response, but O’Reilly was not deterred and persisted in telling the cable news network’s audience that change is inevitable. The filibustering Democrats agree, and their reasons couldn’t be more affecting. If Fox News is also uniting to spur on greater gun control laws, then this may actually be an issue where a bipartisan solution is possible. Maybe? We’ll see if O’Reilly changes his stance next week.
O’Reilly also paid a Thursday morning visit to Fox and Friends to follow up on his stunning turn of discourse. He advocated for stronger laws that would keep guns away from suspected terrorists. And he argues that the general public should accept what the post-filibuster Congress decides about assault weapons. What world is this?