STU: Editor-in-chief of the daily wire, Ben Shapiro.
Hello, Ben, how are you?
BEN: Hanging in there. How are you?
Has anybody followed your lead on not giving the name of the shooter?
BEN: Not so far as I'm aware. So we over at The Daily Wire have taken up the policy in the last week and a half after Parkland of not turning the name or face of the shooter on our website.
I'm not aware that anybody else in the mainstream media have done that. We're not the first to the ballgame, of course. There are other outlets that have done that before.
But I am surprised that the same media that proclaims that every law-abiding gun owner in the country has to give up their rifle, is -- is happy to show continually on a loop the name and face of the shooter, when there are many studies suggesting that mass shooters actually thrive on the sort of publicity. It drives actually more common mass shootings.
GLENN: So, Ben, we are totally unhinged now from facts.
The CNN town hall debate last week was grotesque. And they still don't get it.
I mean, I think it would do a great service to CNN and a Jake Tapper, if they would just come out and say, you know what, having that crowd there was a horrible idea. Horrible idea.
Would you agree?
BEN: Totally agree. I mean, I thought it was Orwell's HEP -- I thought it was just a show trial for gun owners. I thought it was a show trial for the NRA.
And, you know, I know Jake. I like Jake. I think Jake does a good job, when he tries.
GLENN: Me too.
BEN: But I think that that -- I told him this, I thought that was a great injustice. I thought it was just a great injustice.
I thought the entire event was a setup from the start. Jake was not a moderator. Jake allowed the students to go up there and browbeat people like Senator Rubio, one of the students suggesting that when he looked at Rubio, it was like looking at the barrel of the gun of the shooter, which is just an insane statement to make publicly. And the crowd cheered that because it was more of a bang mob than it was an actual crowd of people considering possible arguments.
I understand passions are high. But that's the whole point of being in the news business. I mean, passions are high a lot of places. But there's a selective decision that's being made by news outlets as to which sorts of town halls are set up like this.
I mean, as I said at the time, I don't remember CNN doing a town hall in Texas on the border about illegal immigration after some high-profile killing of somebody by an illegal immigrant.
BEN: With all the members of the community. Of course they wouldn't do that. Because they would say, this isn't newsworthy. It's not newsworthy that people are passionate and upset after a shooting.
What's newsworthy is the argument that actually happens on the basis of reason and decency. And both of those things have completely fallen away are. And instead, CNN has decided to put on a particular set of students.
And there are a bunch of students who go to that school. I mean, there are thousands of students who go to that school. I know at least one of them who is a Second Amendment advocate who is not being booked every single day on CNN. The ones who are booked every day on CNN are, of course, these small group of students that you've seen their faces plastered all over the media, Emma Gonzalez and Cameron Cassty and HEP David Hog, and you know their names. You don't know the names of any of the people who were killed. But you know the names of these kids who are on TV the last two weeks, spouting gun control and suggesting folks like Dana Loesch, who we both know and like and are friends with, that people like Dana are actually uncaring about the death of children, which is just the sickest form of demogoguary. I mean, I've been calling that out since Piers Morgan. I hate that so much, this routine where we disagree on policy and therefore we don't get care if kids get killed. It's disgusting.
GLENN: Well, you could make the case that we care about kids getting killed in larger numbers than what is happening now. The greatest mass shootings in all of history come from out-of-control governments. And that's why we have the Second Amendment. To sit here and say we don't care about kids being shot, we absolutely do care about that. But we also care about protecting the freedoms of children and the children that haven't even been born yet.
BEN: That's exactly right. It's also true that even if you were to put aside the arguments on the founding level for the Second Amendment, you're telling me that in this particular case, the FBI failed twice. They were told specifically twice about the shooter by name, and they did nothing. The local law enforcement had at least 45 calls according to CNN from the shooter's house, including the shooter himself calling the police on himself, a few months ago. And they did nothing. And then we had an armed deputy on -- was present with a handgun. And we're now being told by the media, of course, that a handgun could never go up against a rifle. Which is just an insane contention that is completely meritless, as anyone who has ever fired a gun knows. And then they're telling us that all these law enforcement bodies failed, but we have to give up our guns.
So just to get this straight. My self-defense now rests on me giving up my guns to a bunch of people who will do nothing if somebody threatens me with a gun. So even on the most basic self-defense level, why in the world would I possibly give up my rights to keep and bear firearms, when the authorities aren't even keeping me safe? I mean, according to the Lockian HEP bargain, this is like their only job. Their only job is to protect life, liberty, and property. And they didn't do any of those things. They're not protecting life obviously. They didn't in Parkland. They're not protecting liberty because they want to seize my liberty and not protect my life. And they're not protecting the property of the school.
GLENN: Ben, where do you think this goes?
Because we all know that another shooting is going to happen. Because we're not taking care of the real issues. We're not even willing to -- you know, I was talking yesterday about, you know, they'll take and send the police for, you know, a third grader, who is brandishing a second degree lookalike firearm, otherwise known as a finger gun, and yet we cannot have a conversation -- they'll say, that's leading to violence. And we can't have a conversation about our culture, about the violent nature of our culture. The violent nature of our movies. The video games that our kids are deeply entrenched in. I'm not saying I want to ban any of that or anything else. But we can't even have a conversation about it.
It's all about control over you and any way of you defending yourself. So where do we go from here?
Because half of the country is dead set on that, it seems.
BEN: Yeah. I think it's going to be hard to go anywhere. Again, the entire premise of this conversation has become, you hate children. And you can't have a conversation with someone when they're screaming you hate children. How are we supposed to any sort of agreement about that?
I think there are things that could be done. I mean, I've suggested a bunch of things I think would be effective. Not only HEP faces, but I think that David French has proposed gun violence restraining orders, which is a bunch of basically your family members and close friends can go to a court and petition to have your gun rights temporarily suspended if the court finds you mentally incompetent or a danger to yourself or others. That seems like a decent idea to me.
BEN: There's been talk about -- strong advocate of better security in schools. I went to a private school. And actually, my private school was nearly targeted by a mass shooter. Drove past our private school, targeting -- it was a Jewish school. Targeting the Jewish school. He saw there were armed guards. Or at least, he thought they were armed. He kept driving. He drove over to the West Valley HEP JTC, and shot that place up instead. That's because our school had hard security barriers, it had a certain number of security guards per number of students. There's bomb threats in our school every so often. Nobody at that school has ever been shot or killed on premises at least.
And it seems to me that we should be guarding our kids the same way that we guard our banks. All of this stuff I would assume should get wide agreement across the spectrum because it's relatively uncontroversial, that we should be protecting our schools in a better way. But the left doesn't want to discuss any of those things. Which demonstrates that there really is an agenda here, and the agenda has a lot less to defending schools and defending kids, and it has to do with a generalized gun control push that the left likes to engage in. And more importantly, the moral push that you are a bad human being if you disagree with them. Because again, this is what the Obama administration, in the early years, they had 60 votes in the Senate. They had the House. And they did nothing on gun control. Nothing. Because they knew the American people didn't want it.
And then as soon as the Republicans took back the house, suddenly it turned into, well, let's talk about gun control every single day and why Republicans are obstructionists, which says to me that this is a lot more about politicking than protection.
STU: Is their motivation to essentially get their base fired up. You're coming up to an election. They want all this new money coming in. And they don't necessarily want this money solved. (?) they don't have the argument anymore to take to their base.
BEN: Yeah, I think there's definitely some truth about that. I'm not going to say that their motive is awful and they don't care about kids. Or anything like that. (?) in the same way when they had the power to do so, because it was a valuable political tool for them, I think (?) if they do, number one, it's not going to stop the mass shootings. It's not going to. Not a single element they've proposed is going to minimize (?) which they proclaim they don't want. And so they would rather engine engine up the base for the elections. (?)
GLENN: So we are either going to revive the enlightenment, or we are going to tie in darkness. Which one wins?
BEN: You know, I'm -- I'm with you on this. I think the enlightenment -- there -- it's become a controversial proposition to say things like, use your reason instead of your emotion. And stem cell the truth instead of (?) and if those controversial propositions, we're in serious trouble. There are some of us who are obviously trying to fight back against us. There are some of us (?) I think one of the great debates that's happening right now, inside even the group of us that are pro-enlightenment is what roots have to be restored. Can you just (?) without restoring respect for Judeo-Christian values and thought. Can you just take the cherry on top of the Sunday. And then leave aside the religion and leave aside the (?) relearn all those things. That's right now happening among people on the right and the left. It's a debate that I think is happening between people like Jordan Peterson and Steven pinker, for example. But there must be (?) broad agreement that (?) I don't think there's even broad agreement that we're trying to get enlightenment mentality.
GLENN: Yeah, I'm reading Steven pinker's book right now. He is really -- you know, he makes a lot of good points. But the guy just does not like religion at all, to put it mildly.
And I -- you know, I think we dismiss rel because of its ills. And we -- we fail to recognize that it's set up for the very first time a real civil society, where we -- where we're able to search for truth.
BEN: 100 percent. I mean, this is one of my great critiques of pinker's book. (?) in a very substantial way. Not because I disagree with him about the value of reason. But that I think he has -- the materialist atheist movement has fundamentally undercut a lot of the contentions that they're seeking to support. You have an entire book by Pinker (?) enlightenment thinking. And that neglects 3,000 years of history. (?) can you actually rip away the (?) on the one hand and Greek thought on the other, just take those away. And suddenly the superstructure is supposed to stand. He'll talk about reason. He'll talk about the value of reason. He'll talk about the value of enlightenment. And not once in the entire book does he mention the revolution.
Well, you can't do that. If you're not going to mention the (?) French revolution. If you're not going to mention the progressives of the early 20th century. If you're not going to mention the risks that came along with the enlightenment, an alignment on traditional values and Greek (?) the notion that the universe has a purpose, that we can discover as individual human beings. If you remove all of that, then people (?) they think is based on reason pretty quickly. And that I think is what Pinker neglects. And and I think it's a problem for him. (?) we are balls of floating meat with no free will.
GLENN: That is exactly the case, as I understand it, that Nietzsche was making, when he said in a God was dead. Well, then who becomes God? What man -- and that was the beginning of this whole collective idea that led to mass murder.
BEN: Totally agree. And I think that, again, Pinker (?) what he fails to recognize is that Nietzsche was making a diagnosis, Nietzsche wasn't making a recommendation. And Nietzsche was looking at the enlightenment mentality, which said, we are smarter (?) and we've come up with our own reason, and that reason is going to die with us. The cult of reason was actually a cult in the French Revolution. The first official state rev (?) was the cult of reason. The goddess of reason. And, of course, that immediately devolves into people chopping their heads off.
GLENN: Yeah. Yeah.
BEN: I'm all for reason. I love reason. The reason has to be undergirds. (?) that can either be found through nature and nature's God. Or it can be found in the revelatory dictates of violence by a religion.
GLENN: Thank you, Ben.
Ben Shapiro, the editor-in-chief of the daily wire.