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Sea Change? Bill O’Reilly Stands Up to the NRA

O’Reilly’s comments may signal that there is a greater ideological shift happening in the country.

On the heels of President Obama’s gun reform speech, fiery conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly made a surprising statement criticizing senseless pro-gun ideology, taking on the pro-gun lobby.


It was a response to the president’s speech this week calling for better safety standards as well as tighter restrictions on who is allowed to buy firearms in the country. O’Reilly first criticizes President Obama, saying that he’s “missing the big picture.” Taking the familiar conservative “hard on crime” stance, O’Reilly provides statistics indicating that there were less than 200,000 murders and assaults using firearms in 2014, with more than 300 million firearms in a country with a population of 323 million. O’Reilly believes this points out that most crimes using firearms are committed by “hardcore criminals, not by civilian shooters” and that there should be a federal law that anyone who commits a gun-related crime should get 10 years in prison “on top of what they get for the crime.”

But then he comes down equally hard on the other side. “The NRA and gun owners should be reasonable. The FBI should background-check anyone buying a firearm in America. That just makes sense.”

After a year riddled with gun violence, O’Reilly’s comments may signal that there is a greater ideological shift happening in the country.

“If you are paranoid and believe the government is stockpiling information so they can come to your house and take your guns, that's your problem,” says the commentator. “But the government has an obligation to enhance public safety.”

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