The Corner

Charlie Cooke: ‘The Government Would Like to Put Your Name on a List — and Then Deny You Your Second Amendment Rights’

National Review’s Charlie Cooke took to Facebook Live yesterday to discuss the Orlando shooting and take questions about the Left’s gun-control agenda and other Second Amendment issues that have surfaced in light of the terrorist attack in Orlando.

Check out the video above and a few of Cooke’s most potent thoughts below:

‐“Had he called up and said, I’m the shooter, it’s me, I did it for Jesus, I did it for the Presbyterians, very few people would have said ‘no you didn’t.’”

‐“The government would like to be able to put your name… on a list, and then deny you your second amendment rights. Well, that’s not how it works in free countries. It wouldn’t work that way for free speech, it wouldn’t work that way for freedom of assembly, or for freedom of religion, or for freedom of the press, and it shouldn’t work that way for the second amendment either.”

‐“It is not acceptable to treat the Second Amendment as if it is a second class or less important right, and it’s not acceptable to deprive individuals of it purely because they are under suspicion… In my view, the way to take someone’s rights is to convict them of something.”

‐“It’s peculiar to suggest that somebody can be deprived of their rights because there is enough evidence to do that but there’s not enough evidence to arrest them.”

As regards gun control in the more traditional sense, which is the so-called assault weapons ban… firstly, the United States had an assault weapons ban between 1994 and 2004, and it didn’t seem to do a great deal. That’s not just me speaking, that’s not just other Second Amendment advocates speaking — the Clinton White House conceded on two occasions that they didn’t seem to be doing a great deal if anything, and the Obama Justice Department conceded precisely the same thing after it…sunsetted.”

‐“I don’t think — in a country with 400 million guns — you can stop somebody who wants to get their hands on a gun. I think that is clear even in a place like France… had this person… wanted to get hold of a gun he would have done so.”

‐“If one were to try to diminish shootings in this country, one would have to go after handguns. Handguns are used in between 6 and 7 thousand shootings a year. So-called assault rifles are used so infrequently that the FBI doesn’t even keep statistics. Rifles of all types are used in half as many murders as hands and feet… and fewer murders than shotguns. ‘Assault rifle’ really doesn’t mean anything except aesthetic differences…

‐“The obsession with assault weapons is really the prerogative of the ignorant, and a deliberate attempt to conflate semiautomatic rifles that are owned by everyday Americans, 6 or 7 million of them in circulation, with machine guns.”

‐“If you’re going to live in a nation that values and presupposes liberty, you are going to live in a soft target. We don’t want metal detectors everywhere; we don’t want to have surveillance everywhere; we don’t want to lock down all of our tourist attractions. The American way of life does not lend itself to a perfectly safe environment… to an extent, this is going to happen, and we should do everything we can to stop it without abandoning our way of life.”

‐“Practically speaking, gun control is going to take a much greater effort in somewhere like the United States where there are so many and where there is such an attachment to gun rights… When I hear people saying ‘well, Australia did this’ or ‘Britain did this’ . . . it’s somewhat irrelevant to the point at hand.”

‐“The fact of the matter is that just as prohibition and the war on drugs fell most harshly on poor people, so would any more draconian gun control. The progressives don’t like stop-and-frisk, stop-and-frisk was a gun control measure.”

‐“If you had told me that a man who proclaimed and pledged his loyalty to ISIS, a man who held homophobic and antediluvian views would attack a nightclub full of gay Hispanics and that the next day the very people who should be the most bothered by this, if you listen to their political claims, would have focused on Republicans and the NRA, I would have been astonished.”

‐“There seems to have been a considerable and concerted attempt to make this about anything other than the cause the gunman himself claimed he was acting for.”

‐“I would like to invite Michael Moore to come to my house, and he can take my AR-15, and turn it into an automatic weapon in 5 minutes… we’ll film it, and we’ll put it up on the internet to raise awareness. You cannot do that. It is far, far more complicated than that, and I have to wonder what sort of shop class Michael Moore went to, if any.”

Read more of Cooke’s work here. Follow him on Facebook here

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”


The Latest