Tucker Carlson: Las Vegas shooter's bump stock saved lives

The Fox News talking head took a position on bump stocks that even the Republican Party and NRA hasn't adopted

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published October 6, 2017 11:18AM (EDT)

"Tucker Carlson Tonight" (FOX)
"Tucker Carlson Tonight" (FOX)

Fox News host Tucker Carlson made a bizarre claim on Thursday night — namely, that the use of bump stocks during the Las Vegas mass shooting may have actually saved lives.

After one of his guests speculated that fewer people may have died during the Las Vegas shooting if Stephen Paddock hadn't used bump stocks, Carlson insisted that the bump stocks may have actually saved lives.

"Many more would've died actually because if you talk to people who know a lot about guns they say pros don't even fire on fully automatic because they can't hit anything," Carlson insisted.

He later added, "I’m not defending bump stocks, I’m just saying, let’s be real."

Carlson's position — which, yes, amounts to a defense of bump stocks despite his protestation — is even help among his fellow conservatives. In a statement that decried any efforts at further gun control, the NRA nevertheless added that "despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law."

Similarly, Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida has said that he would support a ban on bump stocks, arguing to a Miami news station that "I definitely think we need to revisit the issue of gun safety. A question that I have started asking around here is, ‘Why are these bump stocks legal?’"

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin also expressed that view, arguing that "the fact that fully-automatic weapons are already illegal and this makes another weapon capable [of automatic fire], I would be supportive" of regulating bump stocks.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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