Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) sparred on Tuesday over gun control in the wake of the Aurora, Colo., shooting.
O’Reilly, who has long been a proponent of gun control, said on Fox that it makes sense for Congress to pass a new law that requires the sale of all heavy weapons to be reported to the FBI. O’Reilly then invited Chaffetz on to dissent.
“Giving the FBI a master list of everybody who owns weapons in this country is not the right direction,” Chaffetz said.
“That’s not what I said, and you know it,” O’Reilly responded. “I said heavy weapons, all right? Mortars. Howitzers. Machine guns. In this age of terrorism, if you do a flight school, the FBI is alerted. But you can buy a machine gun and the FBI doesn’t know. And you think that’s responsible?”
Chaffetz told O’Reilly that it is “absolutely not true” that anyone can buy a gun without restrictions. “You can’t just buy a bazooka,” he said.
O’Reilly said the purchase of thousands of rounds of ammunition online should raise a red flag with the feds. “This just makes common sense. It’s not an intrusion on gun rights.”
“You’re not going to assign an FBI to follow each and every law abiding citizen,” Chaffetz countered.
“If you get 60,000 rounds, you certainly will,” O’Reilly said. James Holmes, the suspect in the Aurora movie theater shooting, purchased about 6,000 rounds online, according to the New York Times. “Come on!” O’Reilly finally said to Chaffetz.
Watch their exchange:
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com