An Open Letter To Bill O'Reilly About His Dystopian Take On The Las Vegas Shooting

It’s clear to anyone paying attention that you are an enabler of the violence you rail against.
10/03/2017 07:16 pm ET Updated Oct 04, 2017
Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Dear Bill,

I have no interest in living in your nightmarish version of our country, where 59 dead and over 500 injured in a horrific mass shooting is “the big downside of American freedom.”

First, it is most decidedly not “a big downside.” It is an unacceptable and tragic horror that any civilized nation would take swift and reasonable action to prevent from ever happening again.

Second, it has nothing to do with “American freedom,” unless your repugnant idea of freedom includes protecting the right of individuals to amass military-grade arsenals.

You refer to the killer as “a psychotic” and note that he had “a number of deadly weapons in his room.” The actual number is 23, with 19 more at his home. They are all perfectly legal in Nevada, a state where a psychotic doesn’t need a license to own a shotgun, but doesn’t dare deal five-card stud without one.

Bill, your certitude is exceeded only by your stupefying shallowness. You say that “government restrictions will not stop psychopaths from harming people.” Agreed, so why then have laws prohibiting murder or rape? Or — and here’s a novel idea — why not let each state decide whether it wants ineffective anti-murder and anti-rape laws to remain on its books?

What’s truly sickening about your analysis, Bill, is your ignorant smugness: “The NRA and its supporters want easy access to weapons, while the left wants them banned.” You have the first part of that right, even the NRA would agree. But the left doesn’t want weapons “banned.” The overwhelming majority of liberals understand that guns are here to stay. In fact, many of us (not me!) own guns, enjoy them and even misuse them, causing tragedy in our own families. What liberals want is sensible regulation, along the lines of how the government regulates any dangerous merchandise or activity, like cigarettes or flying an airplane.

Apparently, Bill, this is too complex a concept for you to understand. Your mind is so horribly twisted you conclude, “This is the price of freedom. Violent nuts are allowed to roam free until they do damage, no matter how threatening they are.”

You’re confusing freedom with fear and death. You think you’re a tough law-and-order guy, but you’re actually a defender of anarchy.

No, Bill. You’re confusing freedom with fear and death. You think you’re a tough law-and-order guy, but you’re actually a defender of anarchy. You wrongly say that “the Second Amendment is clear,” when any student of American history can tell you that the Second Amendment is well known for its utter lack of clarity.

In fact, the “right” of individuals to bear arms that you — and the Supreme Court, in its 5-4 “Heller” decision of 2008 — claim the Second Amendment establishes is tenuous and limited. But you make no mention of that. “Even the loons” have this right, according to you, the right to own enough firepower to mow down hundreds of concertgoers from the 32nd floor of a hotel. How’s that for American exceptionalism?

Bill, it’s clear to anyone paying attention that you are an enabler of the violence that you rail against, yet are willing to accept as part of the American deal. You are more concerned with protecting Stephen Paddock’s rights than you are Colin Kaepernick’s. You are more concerned with the “war on Christmas” than the actual war on your fellow citizens. Simply put, you are part of the problem.

Think about it.

Joe Raiola

Joe Raiola is Senior Editor of MAD Magazine and Producer of the Annual John Lennon Tribute in NYC. He has performed his solo show, “The Joy of Censorship” in over 40 states.

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