random thoughts about tonight’s real time w/ bill maher.

I watched Real Time with Bill Maher tonight, with panelists Andrew Ross Sorkin, S.E. Cupp and Michael Moore. When the topic turned to guns, gun rights, gun control, the panel, as you can guess, got heated.

As the lone conservative on the panel, Cupp spoke against a national gun registry—the latest bogeyman in the debate—while Moore harped on her about 100-round firepower. Cupp pointed out that rampage shootings are on the decline over the past 30 years. Moore protested this answer, but offered no credible rebuttal.

Here are the facts:

According to Mother Jones, there were 61 shooting sprees in 30 different states from 1982 – 2012. Of those shootings, nearly 50 of them were committed by killers who obtained their guns through legal channels.

It’s quite feasible Cupp is correct when she states shootings declined, but 61 shootings in a 30-year span is a fairly alarming number. Nevertheless, the attention and discussion about guns should not remain focused on rampage shootings, which are relatively rare. It would be like legislating traffic laws based upon the frequency of multi-vehicle crashes on the highway.

I don’t have any issue with Cupp’s statement. My issue is we are focusing on the wrong drivers in the discussion. Paranoia over a gun registry (which does not exist) should not stunt any reasonable movement to curb gun violence. Sadly, this paranoia (and the NRA’s blood money in Washington) prevent our current legislature from passing any new regulation; even something as popular as streamlining background checks to close the so-called “gun show loophole.”

I think my only point in this entry is to suggest Michael Moore bring more than a knife to a gun fight with S.E. Cupp. She’s not always the most credible voice, if you ask me, but she brought more of a game to the table than Moore on this night.


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