CNN’s Piers Morgan, who is striving to make himself the face of gun-control zealotry, made the mistake of inviting Breitbart.com editor Ben Shapiro onto his show Thursday night. They’re still cleaning up the wreckage.
Shapiro is the author of a new book, called “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans.” He did a very good job of working Morgan’s use of the Newtown dead into his thesis. Morgan didn’t like it at all. He also recoiled when Shapiro’s pocket copy of the Constitution came out, deriding it as “your little book.” I believe Count Dracula once had a similar conversation with Abraham van Helsing.
Shapiro does a fine job of explaining the Second Amendment’s role in defense against tyranny – the people need “assault weapons” precisely because the government has them. While agreeing with this case, I also find it one of the most difficult aspects of the gun control debate for average Americans to accept. Of course, some are actively put off by any discussion of rebellion against the government, but even those who accept the basic logic of the Founders – and understand Shapiro’s point about the value of a well-armed citizenry as a deterrent against the aspirations of tyrants, without a shot being fired – find the whole discussion too abstract. They are generally willing to consider trading abstract liberty for concrete security. This may not speak well of them, but it would be silly to pretend that a large number of Americans don’t feel that way.
The challenge to Morgan’s refusal to support an outright ban on all handguns is a devastating point, especially because many gun-control zealots privately do support such a ban (with their own bodyguards excepted, of course.) They know it’s politically toxic, so they can’t say it out loud… yet. But it’s interesting that some of them have trouble actively lying about it, so they frantically attempt to change the subject when the question is put to them. Gun-control fever is an emotional tide that surges with high-profile news events, but breaks upon the rocks of hard facts and logic… such as what kind of weapons are actually used in the commission of most violent assaults, and how often guns are used to repel such assaults.