In the Fox News segment excerpted above, Judge Jeanine Pirro argues that banning guns won’t stop crime. She should certainly feel free to argue that position. But when she invokes video games in a preposterous culture-war argument, it’s hard to take any of her comments seriously.
Here’s a partial transcript of what she says at 0:28:
So, if we ban assault rifles, then should we ban the images of assault rifles in movies and video games? What’s that, you say? The First Amendment protects free speech? Of course it does! And the Second Amendment protects my right to bears arms. Neither trumps the other.
The whole seven-minute clip comes off as shrill and screeching, which is par for the course with on-air punditry. But it’s the comparison of the constitutional amendments that feels way off. Pirro equates the right to see an image of a gun with the right to own one. The implicit idea is controlling access to potentially harmful things like guns and video games. But that’s a false equivalency that doesn’t work. The harm caused by a gun in the wrong hands has a different impact than the harm that caused by exposure to violent imagery. It’s the worst kind of apples-to-oranges comparison.
Look, folks, here’s the deal on gun control: we are at one of those moments in America’s political history where a particular aspect of everyday life seems almost destined to be legislated. A war of ideas is being waged over whether Americans will be able to access guns and ammunition in the same way that they currently do. It’s an understandably worrisome concept for some people. But, when boneheaded rhetoric like this rears its head, you can’t be blamed for thinking that the public good isn’t actually a priority for the people making statements like this.