Bill Maher and his Real Time panel ripped Democrats again on Friday for not setting themselves apart from Republicans when it comes to gun safety laws, pointing out that even Fort Hood shooter Ivan Lopez questioned how easy it was for a person with mental health issues to have access to firearms months before attacking the base.
“Our gun laws are so crazy, even crazy people know that they’re crazy,” Maher said.
Daily Beast editor-in-chief John Avlon agreed, mentioning the bipartisan gun bill that could not make it into law despite overwhelming public support following the 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
“They were trying to close a loophole reflecting mental health,” Avlon said. “It is so nuts that we aren’t able to get through a law with 90 percent support? That shows how paralyzed we are.”
Maher and Avlon also mocked Georgia Democrats for not standing up against the Republican-backed “guns everywhere” bill making it easier to carry guns into churches, public facilities and bars.
“Common sense left the building a long time ago when we talk about guns in this country, the Georgia law being the most obvious,” Avlon told Maher. “Guns in bars? I mean, what could possibly go wrong?”
For that reason, Maher told his panel he backed a recently-published suggestion by former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ that the Second Amendment should be expanded to explicitly guarantee the right to keep and bear arms “when serving in [a] militia.”
“This is the original intent of the Second Amendment,” Maher argued. “It was about militias, not about malicious.”
Libertarian author and American Enterprise Institute fellow Charles Murray pushed back, however, saying it would create “the biggest unintended consequence in the history of liberalism.”
“Every red state, and a whole bunch of blue states, too, will create militias,” Murray said. “And guess what? There are gonna be a whole lot of people that want to be in those militias.”
“We already have it,” Avlon responded. “It’s called the National Guard.”
“If you change the amendment, it’s not limited to the National Guard,” Murray said. “They can form other kinds of militias. You are going to end up with large militias which are going to change the relationship — at least psychologically — of the states to the federal government.”
Watch the discussion, as posted online on Friday, below.