Remember when the zaniest thing about Tucker Carlson was his bowtie? Cue the slapstick sound effects because the Fox News host said something on Thursday night that registered on the bizarre-o-meter: the use of bump stocks in the Las Vegas mass shooting might have saved lives.
After one of his guests reasoned that the gunman would have claimed fewer lives if he hadn’t used bump stocks, Carlson contended that the bump stocks might have saved lives.
“Many more would’ve died actually because if you talk to people who know a lot about guns they say pros don’t even fire on fully automatic because they can’t hit anything,” Carlson maintained.
He later added, “I’m not defending bump stocks, I’m just saying, let’s be real.”
Carlson was speaking to Avery Gardiner of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence about whether Americans should have the right to own firearms. Gardiner said the group only wants to keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them, like violent criminals.
“What legislative solutions would’ve prevented what we saw on Sunday night?” Carlson asked.
Gardiner said that in the case of the Las Vegas shooting, a background check probably would not have prevented the killings, but regulations on bump stocks could have resulted in a lower body count. She also mentioned the availability of high-capacity magazines for civilians.
Carlson countered that the Las Vegas shooter had dozens of magazines, so the argument against high-capacity magazines would be disputable.
“We need to be focused on what would prevent the next shooting,” Gardiner said.
After each of the all-too-frequent mass shootings in the United States, the issue of gun control was brought up. The National Rifle Association (NRA) condemned any further restrictions on the right to bear arms, but added in a statement that “despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law.”
Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida said he would support a ban on bump stocks as did Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
“I definitely think we need to revisit the issue of gun safety,” Curbelo told a Miami news station, Salon reported. “A question that I have started asking around here is, ‘Why are these bump stocks legal?’”
Johnson argued that “the fact that fully-automatic weapons are already illegal and this makes another weapon capable [of automatic fire], I would be supportive” of regulating bump stocks.