Sadly I couldn’t write about this topic when it was still hot and fresh, but it burned my bacon so much that this column will hopefully become a therapeutic rant against Alex Jones, conservative radio host.
As many know, last month Jones appeared on CNN’s Piers Morgan’s show to discuss the gun rights debate. Now I admit I don’t usually listen to Jones and it’s not fair to judge him solely on this interview, but the reality is he is too far to the right on the gun issue to appear rational. In fact, he makes Rush Limbaugh look like a thought-full Andy Griffith.
But if I may slide my little tin-foiled hat on just a second, I will say that I doubt that CNN wanted a rational and civil debate on the gun issue. If they did, they wouldn’t have invited a caffeine-hyper Jones. They simply wanted Jones on there to get high ratings.
If a rational debate was truly desired, Morgan and/or CNN could have interviewed respected professors who have studies that show that areas with strict gun control have the highest crimes while those that do not have the restrictions have lower crimes.
In fact, if Morgan and CNN simply interviewed Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser — who conducted a Harvard study called “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International and Some Domestic Evidence” — they would have provided their viewers with a real education on how other countries with strict gun control have higher crime rates than America.
But sadly, those higher ratings are more important to CNN and Morgan than presenting people with a fair and objective view of a controversial subject like gun rights and gun control.
But let’s get back to Jones. If gun owners want to have a horse in this race then they simply need a spokesman who doesn’t sound like a complete lunatic.
It was embarrassing to listen to Jones and he is not a qualified person to speak on the behalf of gun owners. He came off as a conspiracy nut, which Morgan took advantage of. And being loud, rude and speaking over a person does not mean you’re right.
The problem with the extremists — either liberals or conservatives — is that they are just preaching to the choir. What is needed is to have someone rational to speak to the opposition and make them think about gun rights. Sure die-hard liberals wouldn’t care if Barbara Streisand came out to support gun rights, but liberals who are level-headed enough to honestly listen what is said need to be reached.
What the National Rifle Association and guns owners need is another Charlton Heston. As a famous movie star and actor people liked and respected him for the most part. He played Moses and battled evolved apes, yes, but he was recognizable and mostly always came off as a rational, caring and respectable person. This is basically the complete opposite of the lunatic known as Alex Jones.
Because if we don’t get someone else and we’re left at the mercy of Jones, then gun owners might as well holster their firearms and wave the little white flag.