On Friday night, Real Time host Bill Maher showed his ass.
The comedian welcomed Colion Noir, self-proclaimed “gun nut” and host of NRATV’s web series NOIR, onto his HBO program. But instead of challenging the mendacious gun lobbyist, Maher presided over a bizarre—and ill-informed—love-in.
“I have seen your videos many times. You’re very good at what you do,” offered Maher by way of introduction. “You kind of earn your smirk. Because people like me who don’t really like guns, we don’t know much about guns…What are the misconceptions that bother you the most?”
Noir went on to explain how the “vast majority” of guns are semiautomatics—which is true—but then defined a semiautomatic as “you pull the trigger once, you get one bullet.” That’s technically true, but he left out an important distinction: semiautomatics reload for you at lightning speed, so for example, an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle can fire about three rounds a second, or 100+ rounds per minute (depending on how fast you can reload each magazine). It’s a weapon designed for combat.
Maher, of course, didn’t offer any pushback—instead, he nodded and said, “Liberals think getting rid of the AR-15 would go so far to solving this problem, and tell me why it wouldn’t.” Noir then launched into a ridiculous spiel about how “bad guys” in movies are to blame for our cultural obsession with assault rifles when, say, countries like Japan and Australia consume just as many gun-happy movies as America yet have very few shootings due to their strict gun-control regulations. Rather, our fixation on the AR-15 is because it’s been used in six of the ten deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, including Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, and Parkland. And furthermore, gun-control activists aren’t merely pushing for an AR-15 ban but the reinstatement of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, since mass shootings have exploded in America since it lapsed in 2004.
The Real Time host agreed with Noir’s fallacious logic: “There’s a lot of hypocrisy there. If guns aren’t so popular, why do they dominate movies as much as they do?”
Ugh. Noir offered all the classic NRA talking points—that he needs a semiautomatic rifle for self-defense, recreation, standing up to a tyrannical government or to potentially thwart a mass shooting, otherwise known as the “good guy with a gun” myth.
And again, Maher was in agreement, saying that Noir “made some very interesting points” about people apparently needing weapons of war for self-defense, and that he’s “sympathetic to the argument that, if you’re in a horrible situation, it would be a good thing if a good guy had a gun.”
It’s an argument Noir made in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where he controversially said that a good guy with a gun would have prevented the killings, instead of, say, potentially wreaking more havoc by engaging in a gunfight among a crowd of frantic schoolchildren or getting gunned down by law enforcement after being confused with the mass shooter.
Noir then defended the arming of teachers to prevent school shootings, and Maher responded with a weak “I disagree”-style non-rebuttal, instead of breaking down why it’s an absurd idea, from recent incidents of teachers accidentally shooting themselves in classrooms to the outrageous cost of arming and training America’s teachers.
Things got particularly strange when Noir invoked the Second Amendment, saying that he needs semiautomatic rifles to stand up to a tyrannical government. “If the guns that I have are not going to be enough, why not provide me with the same weapons?” asked Noir.
Huh? Like what, anti-aircraft? The government has drones, missiles, and chemical and nuclear weapons. You can have all the semiautomatic rifles in the world, it won’t make a lick of difference.