OK, so it wasn’t the Lincoln/Douglas debates. But it serves as a window into the mindset of the anti-gun “advocates.”

On May 19, Tom Selleck appeared on the “Rosie O’Donnell Show” to plug an upcoming movie. What happened looked like an ambush. O’Donnell, a rabid, anti-gun-nik, challenged Selleck’s support of the NRA. O’Donnell called Selleck, who appears in ads for the NRA, a “spokesperson” for the organization.

Good Lord, a Hollywood actor, other than Charlton Heston, confessing membership to the NRA! Heavens! Send in ground troops!

In left-leaning Hollywood, one could more safely come out of the closet and admit to child molestation than a support of the Second Amendment. For Selleck’s colossal sin of being in Hollywood and conservative, the “Queen of Nice” jumped on Selleck the way Jeffrey Dahmer attacks a Chateaubriand.

O’Donnell: “But you can’t say that guns don’t bear responsibility. … Why would the NRA be against assault rifles? This is a gun that can shoot five bullets in a second. This is the gun that those boys brought into the school. Why the NRA doesn’t say as a matter of compromise: ‘We agree. Assault weapons are not good.'”

Selleck: “I can’t speak for the NRA –”

O’Donnell: “But you’re their spokesperson, Tom. You have to be responsible for what they say.”

Selleck: “I’m not a spokesperson –”

O’Donnell: “… But you can’t say that ‘I will not take responsibility for anything the NRA represents’ if you’re saying that you’re gonna do an ad for the NRA.”

Selleck: “… You’re carefully skirting the issue. It’s an act of moral vanity, Rosie, to assume that someone who disagrees with your political agenda to solve our problems cares any less or is any less –”

O’Donnell: “I never said you cared less. Tom, I don’t think you care less. Nor do I think the men in the NRA cared less. … I simply said, why can there not be a compromise?”

Selleck: “There is a compromise. There’s a compromise in enforcing laws, there’s a compromise in not allowing kids with guns in schools. The problem is, and what you don’t seem to realize. … Look, we all hang out with people we agree with, and you have a very one-sided view of the fact, but what you don’t understand –”

O’Donnell: “As does the NRA, and the people you hang out with in the NRA have a one-sided view, as well.”

Had O’Donnell allowed him to speak, Selleck might have mentioned that people use guns perhaps as often as 1 million times per year for defensive purposes, undoubtedly preventing large numbers of murders.

Selleck might have said that Scotland and Ireland, countries with tough gun laws, have higher murder rates then the United States. Or that Switzerland, with a per-capita gun ownership higher than ours, has a lower murder rate.

Or that studies show that a woman who resists her attacker with a gun stands a better chance of avoiding injury or death. Or that convicted felons, when polled, say they are less likely to attack an armed person or enter a house where a gun is present. Or that Rosie O’Donnell does commercials for K-Mart, where one can purchase a rifle.

A piece of work, emotional liberals.

Actress Sharon Stone, post-Columbine, turned in her guns to the LAPD, announcing her wish to relinquish her Second Amendment rights in favor of “peace of mind.” Maybe next time she’ll renounce her First Amendment freedom of speech.

Tell me, does Stone live in a house with armed security? Does she have an alarm system that comes with an armed response? Does she have access to armed security guards? Does she employ armed bodyguards for protection?

Sure, somebody like Stone could easily renounce guns in exchange for “peace of mind.” But what about the inner-city cleaning lady who has to catch a bus at 2:00 a.m.? Or how about the guy who gets up at 4:00 a.m. to stack newspapers in vending machines?

But Stone feels good, you know, morally superior.

However, the same “sensitive,” “caring,” emotional liberals frequently rip your head off for taking the wrong side of an issue.

Former presidential advisor Dick Morris once appeared on “20/20” and explained how his boss, the president, sized up his 1996 opponent, Bob Dole: “You must understand something. Bob Dole is not a nice man. Bob Dole is evil! The things he wants to do to children are evil! The things he wants to do to poor people and old people and sick people are evil! Let’s get that straight.”

Pick the target. Whether Clarence Thomas, the tobacco companies or the gun lobby, the emotional liberal says: “You are not simply wrong, or misinformed. You are evil.” But I’m sure they mean it in a nice way.

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Larry Elder

This editorial is made available through Creator's Syndicate. Best-selling author, radio and TV talk show host, Larry Elder has a take-no-prisoners style, using such old-fashioned things as evidence and logic. His books include: The 10 Things You Can’t Say in America, Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America, and What’s Race Got to Do with It? Why it’s Time to Stop the Stupidest Argument in America,.

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