On his Fox News show, Glenn Beck claimed that lawmakers are considering "a ban on guns" in light of the recent shooting in Tucson, Arizona. Beck has previously stoked fears that the government or President Obama "will slowly but surely take away your gun or take away your ability to shoot a gun, carry a gun."
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Beck Claims Politicians Are "Pushing" To Ban Guns Following AZ Shooting
Beck: Lawmakers Are Pushing "A Ban On Guns." On his Fox News show, Beck claimed that lawmakers are pushing "a ban on guns" in response to the Arizona shooting. Beck stated:
BECK: It didn't take long for Washington to come out with their solution to the problem of the alleged violent rhetoric. The solution, however, comes despite not having a shred of evidence that this crazed gunman was motivated by anything other than his craziness. Politicians, however, are there to protect you, and they're pushing a ban on certain symbols and words, a ban on guns, a ban on talk radio. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 1/11/11]
Beck Has Previously Fearmongered About The Government "Tak[ing] Away Your Gun"
Beck: Obama "Will Slowly But Surely Take Away Your Gun Or Take Away Your Ability To Shoot A Gun, Carry A Gun." Discussing Richard Poplawski, the man accused of fatally shooting three Pittsburgh police officers in April 2009, Beck said on his radio show that Obama "will slowly but surely take away your gun or take away your ability to shoot a gun, carry a gun. He will make them more expensive; he'll tax them out of existence. He will because he has said he would. He will tax your gun or take your gun away one way or another." [Premiere Radio Network, The Glenn Beck Program, 4/6/09]
Beck Suggested Government Would "Pull Guns Out Of Everybody's Home" If Fort Hood Shooter Was From Tea Party. Following the Fort Hood shooting, Beck criticized Sen. Chuck Schumer's call to close loopholes that would "keep guns out of the hands of potential terrorists," claiming that lawmakers were "blam[ing] the massacre on America's love of guns." He further stated that anytime there's a tragedy of this type, "they start to come after the guns," adding that if accused shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan had been a tea party member, "they would have pulled guns out of everybody's home that was trying to stand up and say, 'We need reduced-sized government.' " From the show:
BECK: It was terrorism at Ft. Hood that killed 13 people, wounded 29 others. Not even two weeks have gone by since the tragedy, now lawmakers are scrambling to blame the massacre on America's love of guns.
Yes. Maybe too loose federal gun laws, huh? Last week, it was Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. Chicago -- who would have seen that coming? And yesterday it was Chuck Schumer.
BECK: I think this is where Americans are fed up. They're fed up of hearing about how dangerous -- I mean, you just heard Richard Daley say this, "America loves guns." What are you talking about? We have a right to guns.
Just like I'm saying, "America loves cars." Yes, some own them, some don't. Every time they start to come after the guns -- but even without any violence, any violence whatsoever, tea party members are already accused of inciting violence and everything else.
Can you imagine what the media response would be and how it would be wall-to-wall coverage if this guy, god forbid, would have been, you know, a tea-partygoer? They would have condemned everything about the tea party movement, everybody in it. And they would have pulled guns out of everybody's home that was trying to stand up and say, "We need reduced-sized government." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 11/16/09, via Nexis]
- Schumer Calls On Closing Loopholes That Allowed Hasan To Purchase Gun. Talking to reporters in November 2009, Schumer lambasted the "bureaucratic fire walls" that allowed Hasan to get a gun, saying, "A giant red flag should have been waved when Maj. Hasan tried to buy a gun." He further stated: "The Fort Hood shooter didn't just slip through the cracks. ... He walked right through a gaping hole in the federal system to keep guns out of the hands of potential terrorists." [New York Daily News, 11/16/09]
Beck: "The Government Might Just Nudge You Into A Position To Where You Might Get Rid Of" Your Gun. Discussing studies by the National Institutes of Health related to firearms and gun violence, Beck claimed in October 2009 that if the studies found that "guns are very dangerous and bad for your health," the "government might just nudge you into a position to where you might get rid of that gun." From the show:
BECK: The CDC used to conduct studies on the health effects of owning a gun. Thirteen years ago, the House voted to stop that funding. Now, under Barack Obama, over a decade later, another federal agency, the NIH, is conducting similar studies. The CDC once did on the health effects -- the health effects of owning a gun.
A spokesman said, "Gun-related violence is a public health problem." Uh-oh, public health problem? That made my radar go up. It diverts considerable health care resources away from other problems, and therefore is in the interests to the NIH.
Hmm, I'm wondering, we should ask Cass Sunstein, who promised he wouldn't ban any guns or hunting. I wonder if owning a gun will suddenly make your health care premium jump and skyrocket, you know, nudge.
It's almost like if times were tight, and the studies come back to show guns are very dangerous and bad for your health, the government might just nudge you into a position to where you might get rid of that gun. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 10/19/09, via Nexis]
Beck Suggested Regulations "Have been Put In Place" To Ban Guns. Citing a litany of cases as examples of how "choice architects have changed your life" through supposedly excessive regulation, Beck claimed in September 2010 that the lawmakers' solution for violence would be to ban guns. He stated:
BECK: If you think I'm exaggerating, let's take a look at how the choice architects have changed your life all because you're Homer Simpson and you haven't noticed. These are just the things that they have done in the last 18 months on food. Now, this is all going to be up on Fox News.com, Fox Nation, TheBlaze.com and GlennBeck.com. I want you to see all of these things because it's too much to even show you. But let me just start with food.
Left to your own devices, you're going to eat too much, you're going to be a big fat fatty, and you'll eat the wrong food. You'll become unhealthy. Well, enter Cass Sunstein and the choice architects.
BECK: OK, so we're telling you about all the regulations that have been put in place in just the past 18 months. The solution for violence? Ban guns. Toy safety? Regulate yard sales. Can't have yard sales anymore. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 9/22/10]
Democratic Lawmakers Targeting High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines, Not Guns
McCarthy To Introduce Legislation Focusing On High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines, Not Weapons Themselves. During an interview that aired on NPR's Morning Edition, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy explained that her legislation, which Beck discussed during his show, would not target weapons themselves, but would seek to outlaw the kind of magazine the alleged Arizona shooter used. From the interview with host Steve Inskeep:
INSKEEP: In Saturday's shooting, the gunman fired a Glock semiautomatic pistol. The Democratic representative is focusing not on the weapon here but on the magazine, which held at least 30 bullets.
Let's review some history so that we have this clear. In the 1990s, an assault weapons ban was passed in the United States. After a decade, it expired in 2004. The magazine that was used over the weekend would've been illegal during that decade, but, of course, it is quite legal now. Is that correct?
Representative CAROLYN MCCARTHY (Democrat, New York): That's correct. A clip can carry anywhere from 10 bullets, all the way up to 33, depending on the manufacturer.
INSKEEP: And so you want legislation that specifically targets that kind of magazine, not actually the weapons themselves?
Rep. MCCARTHY: No. The weapons in themselves -- number one, I have to look at, you know, what can actually pass in Congress and have it signed by the president. The House and the Senate are pro-gun houses. So with that being said, I have to find something that will be reasonable to the majority of the members so that we can cut down.
You have to understand, with the large amounts of bullets that were held in the magazine he was able to spray and shoot, unfortunately, an awful lot of very innocent victims.
Rep. MCCARTHY: We're not dealing about guns here. We're dealing about a piece of equipment that goes to the gun. I think when you think about just common sense here, large capacity clips that can basically, in my opinion, be weapons of mass destruction, should not be available to the average citizen. They will be available to our military. They will be available to our police officers. [National Public Radio, Morning Edition, 1/11/11]
Sen. Lautenberg Considering Companion Legislation to McCarthy's. According to his office, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) reportedly plans to introduce legislation in the Senate similar to McCarthy's, "prohibiting the manufacture and sale of high-capacity ammunition feeding devices." In a statement to Talking Points Memo, Lautenberg stated: "The only reason to have 33 bullets loaded in a handgun is to kill a lot of people very quickly. ... These high-capacity clips simply should not be on the market. Before 2004, these ammunition clips were banned, and they must be banned again. When the Senate returns to Washington, I will introduce legislation to prohibit this type of high-capacity clip." TPM further reported that Lautenberg's bill "would ban ammunition clips 'that have a capacity of, or that could be readily converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition,' according to a press release." [Talking Points Memo, 1/10/11]
GOP Rep. King Plans Stricter Gun Laws To Protect Government Officials. The Washington Post reported that Republican congressman Peter King (NY) is planning to introduce a law "that would make it illegal to knowingly carry a gun within a 1,000 feet of certain high-profile government officials." Beck did not mention King's proposal during his broadcast. [The Washington Post, 1/11/11]