David Brooks Doesn’t Know Why Australian-Style Gun Control is Controversial

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New York Times columnist David Brooks is, in theory, supposed to be the conservative counterweight to Washington Post associate editor Jonathan Capehart when the two join PBS NewsHour host Judy Woodruff every Friday to recap the week’s news, but in reality Brooks mostly ends up repeating liberal talking points. A case in point was Friday’s episode where he wondered why Australian-style gun control is so controversial.

Brooks’s remarks came at the end of the segment’s gun control portion after Woodruff asked, “You agree the likelihood of there being any more federal action on guns is very unlikely?”

After noting his agreement, Brooks lamented, “I have never understood why an Australian-style gun buyback is an affront to anybody. It’s an open choice. You can sell your gun or not. But if we’re going to reduce 400 million guns, it would take something like that, not even just banning future purchases. I mean, we have got 400 million here.”

Maybe because it was not “an open choice,” but mandatory and Brooks will probably escape the ire of the fact checkers.

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Earlier in the discussion, Woodruff acknowledged that the recent bill passed by Congress “wouldn’t have had any bearing, apparently, on what happened in Illinois” on the 4th of July.

Capehart agreed and cited that as proof that the country needs to elect more Democrats:

That’s because Congress just — they picked the low-hanging fruit. The hard stuff, they won’t do, because there aren’t votes. … But we — more serious action needs to be taken. But it won’t be taken until Congress is in a position where there are more people who want to do something. I’m specifically thinking of an assault weapons ban and some other stronger things that could be done. But the current configuration of Congress, that—that’s– not going to happen.

After declaring that the Supreme Court “annihilated” New York’s gun law, Capehart added, “the action now is in the states. It is now with governors, who now, the onus is on them to do something to protect their citizens, whether it’s with guns or whether it’s abortion rights, abortion access because of what the Court did.”

Hopefully those states will have a better grasp on the facts than Brooks did.

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Here is a transcript for the July 8 show:

PBS NewsHour

7/8/2022

7:37 PM ET

JUDY WOODRUFF: I feel we are having these conversations, Jonathan, over and over again, trying to get at whatever it is. Congress passed — I mean, the president signed a bill. Congress finally passed a bill or did pass a bill related to guns, but just a couple of weeks ago, it was signed. You look at it, wouldn’t have had any bearing, apparently, on what happened in Illinois.

JONATHAN CAPEHART: Right. That’s because Congress just — they picked the low-hanging fruit. The hard stuff, they won’t do, because there aren’t votes. The president’s doing an event, I believe, on Monday, a more formal ceremony, acknowledging his signature of that gun—of that gun– law.

But we — more serious action needs to be taken. But it won’t be taken until Congress is in a position where there are more people who want to do something. I’m specifically thinking of an assault weapons ban and some other stronger things that could be done. But the current configuration of Congress, that—that’s– not going to happen.

And I think, when it comes to guns, given the Supreme Court decision with—with– New York that completely annihilated New York’s gun — gun– licensing law, all — the action now is in the states. It is now with—with—with– governors, who now, the onus is on them to do something to protect their citizens, whether it’s with guns or whether it’s abortion rights, abortion access because of what the Court did.

WOODRUFF: You agree the likelihood of there being any more federal action on guns is very unlikely?

DAVID BROOKS: Seems remote. I have never understood why an Australian-style gun buyback is an affront to anybody. It’s an open choice. You can sell your gun or not. But if we’re going to reduce 400 million guns, it would take something like that, not even just banning future purchases. I mean, we have got 400 million here.

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