Despite its failed attempts to pass gun-control legislation, one Democratic representative thinks his party should go farther and agrees with Bill Maher’s suggestion that Democrats should come out against the Second Amendment. On his show on Friday, the host criticized Democrats for not being strong enough on guns and effectively being “Republican Lite.”
REP. KEITH ELLISON (D., MINN.): I mean, 27 children were mowed down. Isn’t that enough for us? One of our colleagues, Gabby Giffords — shot in the face.
BILL MAHER: Then why doesn’t your party come out against the Second Amendment? It’s the problem.
ELLISON: Bill, I sure wish they would. I sure wish they would.
MAHER: Really? Because I never hear anybody in the Democratic party say that. What they say, ‘I am also a strong supporter.’
Maher was especially critical of Kentucky Democratic senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes for countering Mitch McConnell carrying a gun onstage at CPAC by sharing a picture of her shooting a gun herself.
Backtracking a bit, Ellison said that gun-control measures were a step forward in the debate, but Maher would have none of it.
MAHER: It means there are 3,000 types of guns available in the U.S. and you want to ban about 200 of them.
ELLISON: No, what it means is that if you want to have grandpa’s shotgun, have it, but get rid of them crazy military-style assault weapons.
MAHER: That’s not going to change anything.
Ellison made a last ditch effort to explain how gun-control measures would be effective by inflating his facts.
ELLISON: You can’t solve the problem with just one little thing. You’ve got to make sure that the CDC can issue reports on gun killings and hand gun violence. You’ve got to make sure that we can get rid of assault weapons. You’ve got to close the loophole at gun shows. You’ve got to do a whole range of things to get us into a sane place. We’ve got 12,000 handgun murders a year. It’s got to stop.
In fact, according to the FBI’s most recent crime report from 2011, Ellison overstated the number of annual handgun murders by about twofold. In that year, 6,220 deaths were handgun-related.