Tucker Carlson and Red State’s Erick Erickson created their own little echo-chamber Sunday when they got together on Fox News’ Fox & Friends to talk about the evils of gun control. It took them no time at all to agree that “Obama wants to take away our guns” and “Arm the government instead.”
I hardly know what to say. Never, in decades uttering this cry, has anyone – Obama included (and he’s been president for nearly seven years) – taken away anybody’s guns. And news flash: the government is ALREADY armed, making nonsensical Carlson’s whine that “It can’t be a coincidence that…there’s an effort to take our guns, even as the government arms up.”
Oh dear. Watch for yourself courtesy of Media Matters for America:
TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): The federal government spending more than $1 million to arm the Environmental Protection Agency with weapons, many of them military grade. Why does the EPA need guns and ammo and body armor to protect the environment? That’s an interesting question. Here to tell us is editor-in-chief of RedState, our friend Erick Erickson. Erick, great to see you this morning.
ERICK ERICKSON: Good morning. Those nasty snail darters. They shoot back.
CARLSON: It’s unbelievable. I’m going to put up on the screen an outline of what these purchases amount to. Nearly $380,000 for ammo, $210,000 for camouflage and other deceptive equipment, nearly $210,000 for radar and night-vision equipment, and $31,000 for armament training devices. Why in the world, other than those dangerous snail darters, would the EPA need military grade weapons to protect the environment?
ERICKSON: Well, they don’t. But you know, to be fair, this is a bipartisan problem.
CARLSON: Yes, it is.
ERICKSON: It goes back to the Clinton administration. The Bush administration continued it, in some cases using 9/11 as an excuse to do it. Both parties have decided that the government should be armed and they don’t want to deny any branch of the government or any executive agency the right to not look like Rambo when going out into the field. The main reason that they want to do it, and it has escalated in the last few years, is because the Environmental Protection Agency, the Obama administration, have decided to use environmental regulations to confiscate private land, and some cases because contracts were old and nebulous going back to the 1800s.
ERICKSON: There have been several cases in Nevada and in Texas recently where the government has moved people off of their land or away from streams that suddenly when it rains might become navigable waters under the Constitution.
CARLSON: So, why do you arm yourself? You arm yourself because you perceive you have enemies who threaten you, whom you don’t trust. When the government arms itself domestically, not to fight foreign wars or ISIS, but here in the U.S., it’s sending the message it doesn’t trust its citizens.
ERICKSON: Oh, very much so. There is a lack of trust and it’s growing. You see this from the situation out in Nevada last year when they were trying to remove the family from a ranch. We’ve seen this recently in Alaska where they removed a family from land. The government is using environmental regulations among other things. Essentially, they’ve turned into revenue agents of the state and they’re using the environmental policies to say–
ERICKSON: “Oh, you’ve done something wrong. We must fine you. And if we don’t, we’re going to take you from your land by force.”
CARLSON: I’m sure you’ve noticed, and it can’t be a coincidence that the very moment that the federal government and all agencies, not just the EPA, but all of them are arming up, buying guns and ammunition in bulk, politicians are telling the rest of us, the citizens who pay for the government, we’re not allowed to be armed. There’s an effort to take our guns, even as government arms up. Do you see a connection?
ERICKSON: Oh, yeah, I do think so. I mean, the federal government has become very, very hostile to the Second Amendment under the Obama administration. And they want to take away our guns but they want to arm the government instead. Part of it is a fear of the citizenry. More and more the government has exceeded its constitutional bounds. And a lot of people, Democrats, Republicans, liberal, and conservative are kind of scratching their heads as to what provision of the Constitution allows the government to do this. Well, an armed citizenry can prevent tyranny and the government doesn’t like that.
The right-wing media is outraged that government agencies should be armed, and Fox News led the charge in 2013 when armed EPA agents were among those present as part of an ongoing investigation in a small Alaska mining community.
Liberty News showed they were all bent out of shape this past month when they realized EPA agents could be armed, and why are they not out fighting the Islamic State or protecting our border instead of being deployed to “combat ponds and rain water collection?”
Of course, as the EPA pointed out, “Environmental law enforcement, like other forms of law enforcement, always involves the potential for physical, even armed, confrontation.”
Erickson can joke all he wants about snail darters shooting back. What the EPA is no doubt worried about are all those well-armed people who believe in Second Amendment remedies, people like Cliven Bundy and listeners riled up by their anti-government fear-mongering.
In fact, George W. Bush was still president when a Justice Department report revealed that,
In September 2008, federal agencies employed approximately 120,000 full-time law enforcement officers who were authorized to make arrests and carry firearms in the United States. This was the equivalent of 40 officers per 100,000 residents. The number of federal officers in the United States increased by about 15,000, or 14%, between 2004 and 2008.
But of course, George W. Bush doesn’t exist unless you’re Donald Trump pointing fingers at Jeb Bush. Otherwise, Republicans are more than happy to leave those eight years murky and blame any leftovers on Barack Obama.
Carlson and Erickson could not even be bothered to be aware of news their own network reported two years ago, and of course, if Dubya never existed, they couldn’t possibly be aware of how that Republican hero grew the number of federal officers.
This is what happens when you put two dishonest nincompoops together at the same geographical coordinates. They don’t even have to be in Iowa for them to shatter the local average IQ.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.