Fox News guest Ben Stein claimed that if the terror attack at a Paris concert hall would have happened in the United States “there would have been someone in the audience who would have shot those two guys up on the stage before they had gotten off two rounds,” before falsely claiming that where gun laws are stricter there is more gun violence.
Stein's claim is contradicted by the fact that the United States has far looser gun laws compared to France and also a gun homicide rate that is 14 times higher. The conservative media myth that stronger gun safety laws are linked to more violence has been debunked, and indeed, the evidence shows that states with stronger gun laws have fewer gun deaths.
Stein's contention that a civilian with a gun could have stopped the heavily armed terrorists is also baseless; according to an analysis of 62 mass public shootings in the United States over a 30 year period, not a single one was stopped by an armed civilian.
NEIL CAVUTO (HOST): Alright, David Cameron just gave a barn burner of a speech -- I caught only the tail end of it -- in London at a very swanky affair. Talking about how the western world must respond to terror, not tentatively, not halfheartedly, but fully and with great passion and with great resolve. This occurs of course after the terror attacks in Paris, but Paris is one of those cities where they have some of the world's toughest gun control laws. In fact, only hobbyists are only allowed to even own such guns and many policemen don't even, are not even allowed to carry weapons, much as it is in much of Canada. So it's the gun ownership issue that people want to bring to the fore here. Ben Stein says it might be falling on deaf ears here because this country, again, is very tough when it comes to guns. But Ben Stein, violence still happens doesn't it?
BEN STEIN: Well we hate violence. We hate racism. We hate terrorism. But gun control has nothing to do with this. I mean, it's amazing. Just yesterday I saw the idiot of idiots Bernie Sanders saying that the terrorism has something to do with climate change. One doesn't have anything to do with the other, and neither does it have to do with gun control. Terrorists can get guns. Terrorists can get guns one way or another. People who want to do mass murders can get guns. I keep thinking what would have happened if this had been a concert in north Idaho, where my wife and I live during the summer. There would have been someone in the audience who would have shot those two guys up on the stage before they had gotten off two rounds. This is crazy that gun control has anything to do with this issue.
CAVUTO: Do you ever wonder though, I mean we have seen some of the more horrific acts of violence. Certainly Norway comes to mind, other countries that have similarly very strict laws. That countries like France, for example, if you have ill intentions, there are ways around those, and a way to make sure that you're the only one with the weapons, right?
STEIN: And the same is true everywhere. That's the problem. There's an old, old saying, old, old saying -- when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. It is a very amazing thing that in towns, these western rural towns, southern rural towns, where there is not much gun control, where people carry guns in their cars and on their belts, there's not much gun violence. There are not many gun homicides, whereas in places where guns are strictly controlled there's a lot of gun violence.