(Video: Fox News)
While Dan Bongino lamented the jump to politicization following the Texas school shooting and sought a respectful dialogue, Geraldo Rivera grew increasingly combative in reaction to the tragedy, going as far as to declare the Second Amendment “makes me sick.”
The pair of Fox News hosts joined Sean Hannity on his eponymous program Tuesday night in an attempt to find some common ground on what might have protected the at least 19 children and two teachers from being killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Salvador Ramos, the 18-year-old suspect faced no opposition in beginning his heinous massacre, which all parties agreed may have been prevented if armed security were present at schools.
“The only place you, Dan and I diverge is,” Rivera argued, “it is not to me irrelevant that in the last 10 days 30 people have been killed by two 18-year-olds with assault weapons. How can you buy an assault weapon on your 18th birthday when you cannot buy a beer?”
He went on to promote a juvenile weapons ban and asked, “Why is that unAmerican? How does that violate the Second Amendment?”
“You know, over a decade in law enforcement,” Bongino, a former NYPD officer and member of the Secret Service, explained, “I arrested a lot of people who had illegal guns and you know, they love your idea for gun laws…You know why? Because nobody gives a damn about gun laws, and especially -”
“What that kids can’t buy assault weapons?” Rivera interrupted.
“This is why it’s so hard to come on with you,” Bongino said, exasperated as Rivera attempted to further his point, “because you just never let me talk.”
The host of “Unfiltered” petitioned for mutual respect under the circumstances and went on, “In my experience, yes, I don’t want an 18-year-old who is incompetent, potentially mentally ill and a homicidal maniac to have assault weapons. You and I both agree,” he continued and even conceded the use of the term “assault weapon” for the conversation even though “there’s no such thing” and it’s an “unnecessarily hostile term.”
“You’re talking about an obviously psychologically disturbed young man here who walked into a school and shot a bunch of school kids,” he continued. “You really believe like he was sitting there reading a law book beforehand.”
Preempting Rivera’s response, Bongino said that an argument for stricter laws would penalize the thousands of innocent 18-year-olds who have a right to own a firearm to which the co-host of “The Five” replied, “So what?”
“So what?” Bongino shot back, incredulous. “Geraldo, we live in a free country.”
Even Hannity said Rivera was “living in a fantasy world” for suggesting murderers would follow the laws if they were stricter to which he replied, “Maybe I am,” before thrusting responsibility on former President Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas), who are all slated to speak at the National Rifle Association convention later this week, to promote restrictions because “the way the Second Amendment is construed now makes me sick.”
Bongino had alluded to the conversation heading down this path at the onset when he referenced President Joe Biden’s address to the nation over the tragedy.
“First it’s too late to not politicize it…The president of the United States just came out and what could’ve been a great healing moment for all of us to be able to mourn together, I mean he is the president of the United States, he decided to attack the gun lobby,” he said.
“In a moment where he could have been a great healer and unifier he chose that moment to start screaming at Americans and the gun lobby…Cutesy time with these people is over. They don’t care,” he noted and later applied to Rivera’s argument.
“For the last 30 years of your life you’ve been a very wealthy successful guy,” Bongino pointed out. “Nobody disputes that. You can go out tomorrow and buy security if you wanted to – the Second Amendment makes you sick. Why?”
“The criminals don’t care about your gun laws, they love them because it keeps law-abiding people unarmed while they don’t give a damn about your laws. I did this for a living. They laugh at gun laws and they love people like you advocating for gun laws because you can buy armed protection and they can go in high crime communities and prey on innocent people who can never get a hold of a gun because they actually obey the law,” the former cop concluded.
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