Fox Contributors Use Orlando Shooting To Push "Gun-Free Zone" Myth
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Fox contributors Rob O'Neill and Pete Hegseth falsely claimed the gay nightclub where the Orlando shooting took place was a "gun-free zone" and that “most mass shootings are in gun-free zones." In fact, there was an armed “uniformed Orlando police officer working at the club off-duty” who exchanged fire with the gunman, and two other officers “showed up and opened fire” as well. Furthermore, research shows that most shootings are not in "gun-free zones." An analysis by Everytown for Gun Safety found that only 13 percent of mass shootings occurred in "gun-free zones" between 2009 and 2015, while the vast majority of shootings took place where carrying a gun is legally permitted. From the June 16 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): The debate now in Washington, D.C., after what happened down at Pulse is all about guns.
ROB O'NEILL: Sure it is. It's always all about guns.
DOOCY: It's always about --
O'NEILL: They even mentioned in the article, it's the same reason we don't give civilians rockets and landmines. Well you know what? We don't even give our military landmines anymore. The closest thing we have to a landmine is called a Claymore mine and that's something -- you don't set it off, you need to roll it back up because you can't put those out.
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): Pete, why would a terrorist, what do you do about terrorists, these getting into the hands of a terrorist though? I understand you guys want to protect your family.
PETE HEGSETH: Well the NRA has already said that they could support a waiting period to review if someone is on the terror watch list. There are sensible things you can do without denying due process. That conversation should be had. But I don't like the -- what the Democrats are going to try to do here is -- [Rep.] Seth Moulton (D-MA), he’s a friend of mine, Iraq War veteran, a smart guy, good guy, but they're going to put an Iraq veteran out front and say, "Well this guy doesn't want you to have a weapon. He was there, he saw it." That type of approach might be savvy PR but it doesn't change the facts and the Second Amendment that that rifle is different than the rifle I carry.
O'NEILL: We knew they would do that too. They send one marine forward to say one thing. I could make a hundred phone calls after this and have a hundred marines disagreeing with him vehemently.
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): And during the Paris attacks, I understand their laws are extremely strict in Europe. I believe they still had guns during those attacks, right?
HEGSETH: They did and I believe the Pulse nightclub was a gun-free zone and I bet a lot of people wish there were weapons there.
O'NEILL: You know what's funny. Well not funny, bad choice of words but most mass shootings are in gun-free zones. You have them on campuses, you have them in theaters, you have them in -- if guns are so deadly, I haven't seen a lot of mass shootings at gun shows.