All-Star Panel: Potential for Obama's gun control agenda

All-Star panel weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," February 4, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


PRESIDNET BARACK OBAMA: I need, everybody who is listening to keep the pressure on your member of Congress to do the right thing. Ask them if they support commonsense reforms like requiring universal background checks or restoring the ban on military style all the assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Tell them there's no legislation to eliminate all guns.  There's no legislation being proposed to subvert the Second Amendment.  


JOHN ROBERTS, ANCHOR: President Obama in Minnesota -- Minneapolis today talking about guns and gun control and his proposals for it, urging voters to do an end run around people like the NRA and go straight to the members of Congress to say they want gun control. Out of the laundry list that he had there, Tucker, what do you think he might get done?

TUCKER CARLSON, EDITOR, THEDAILYCALLER.COM: What's frustrating is having to sit here and take it seriously. Anybody who knows anything about this laughs at this. It's not at all serious. No sane person believes that a universal registration, which is in effect what this is, by the way, of the government keeping a list of anyone who buys a gun, would prevent any crazy personal or any criminal from getting a firearm. As to high capacity magazines, there are over 100 million high capacity magazines already in circulation in this country. This is a joke.

Someone needs to explain in clear language why asking the government's permission before I give a duck gun to my 16-year-old for Christmas is going to prevent any crime. It is instead going to abridge my Second Amendment right and by the way, affect the tradition that thousands and millions of American families have. It's so stupid it almost doesn't rise to the level of public policies.

ROBERTS: Juan, by all measures, you appear to be a sane person. Do you think that universal background checks could in fact prevent some of these mass shootings that we've seen?

JUAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR EDITOR, THE HILL: Yes. And I am a little stunned at Tucker's exuberance here.


WILLIAMS: Maybe it's your personal opinion, but it has no connection to political reality. Political reality is we had a Fox poll, and in the Fox poll I believe it's 91 percent – 91. It's not like 50 percent, 91 percent of Americans say yes, everybody who buys a gun --


ROBERTS: In fact we have that poll. Let's put it up, there you go. 

WILLIAMS: This is unbelievable. When you look at it, it says right there, not only that, check people buying ammunition, 80 percent. So this is the political reality. People in America are fed up with the extent of gun violence. Today we had the situation in Alabama with the little kid, the guy shot the bus driver. Last week in Texas, they shot a prosecutor. I think you are way out of touch with the reality of how much Americans want something done.

CARLSON: But that's not a reality of what will end crime. The cities with the highest proportion of crime are also the cities that have the strictest gun control. Explain that?

WILLIAMS: Because you have states next door with lax gun control, and then you have people engaging in straw purchases and the criminals taking advantage of it.


ROBERTS: Charles, would universal background checks in any way prevent any of what we have seen so far?    

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I think that's extremely unlikely. I think – and I am going to accept your assumption about Juan's sanity, at least.        


WILLIAMS: Thank you, thank you.


KRAUTHAMMER: The only way you are going to make a difference is to do what Australia did. You take away the existing guns. That is what Tucker is talking about.

ROBERTS: And that would never happen.

KRAUTHAMMER: It's not going to happen here because you'd have insurrection. Australia had seven percent of Australians had guns. Here the number is somewhere around 50 percent of households. And we have a tradition and we have a Second Amendment -- you can't do it.

But the fact is that if you are think you are going to make a difference by somewhat slowing the increase in the number of guns, there are 300 million floating around in the country today. They are going to remain untouched because we have a second amendment. It will take 100 years to degrade that stockpile. And that means it's not going to have any effect on homicides. And that was shown empirically by the fact that we passed a pretty strict quote-unquote assault weapons ban in the mid-90s, it lasted a decade and it had no discernible impact.

ROBERTS: I was at a town hall meeting that Congressman Paul Brown had in the tenth district in Georgia. It was in Jackson. And everybody wanted -- he was there to talk about spending deficit and debt. Everybody wanted to talk about gun control. And almost to a person everyone of them said the only reason why the government wants me to go through a background check is so they know what background I have and how many guns I have so they can take my guns. There is a huge perception Juan in this country, that is what the government is up to here.

WILLIAMS: Well sure, I think there's a lot of paranoia and I think it's promoted by people who are opposed to any gun control that the government is going to confiscate your weapons. And there is no such plot afoot from anybody involved. And of course the suggestion is also that the president is out of touch with the sport, with the family traditions. That's why the picture was posted.

CARLSON: It's not about sport. Here is a really simple solution. All gun control ought to apply to everybody, and that would include the body guards of anyone who works for the federal government in any department or agency. So if you think I don't need this or that weapon to protect my family, you don't need yours.


CARLSON: I am merely saying that all Americans are worth the same. My family is every bit as valuable as anybody else's family when he works in Congress or the executive branch. That's just a basic operating principle in America.

ROBERTS: We have to leave it there. Thanks so much for joining us.  Stay tuned, though, because we are going to tell you what it takes to accurately predict the outcome of a football game. Charles. 

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