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4 CNN Liberals Walk into a Bar… and Defend Gun Rights?

Anthony Bourdain: There are a lot of nice people in this country... and a lot of them own AR-15s.

by
Paula Bolyard

Bio

November 11, 2013 - 10:30 am

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One of the more interesting shows on television is Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown on CNN. Sunday was the season finale, where host Bourdain traveled to Detroit to explore the food and culture. After the episode — “The Last Bite” — Bourdain gathered with friends in a Las Vegas bar to discuss the season, which included a segment filmed in New Mexico that featured “gun culture.” CNN host Don Lemon joined Bourdain, along with Roy Choi (author of L.A. Son) and actor Wendell Pierce.

Bourdain, an avowed “New York lefty,” admitted that he likes guns and expressed his respect for American gun owners:

These people in the segment, as many people in red state America — in gun country America —  these are nice people. They like guns. As a matter of fact, I’ve gotta admit, I like guns. I like holding guns. I like shooting guns.

He explained more in a blog post about the New Mexico episode:

In New York, where I live, the appearance of a gun—anywhere—is a cause for immediate and extreme alarm. Yet, in much of America, I have come to find, it’s perfectly normal. I’ve walked many times into bars in Missouri, Nevada, Texas, where absolutely everyone is packing.  I’ve sat down many times to dinner in perfectly nice family homes where—at end of dinner—Mom swings open the gun locker and invites us all to step into the back yard and pot some beer cans. That may not be Piers Morgan’s idea of normal. It may not be yours. But that’s a facet of American life that’s unlikely to change.

Bourdain described author Roy Choi as a peace-loving leftist, recalling that his family had defended Koreatown during the ‘92 riots with semi-automatic guns and shotguns with no support from the city government or the police. He asked Choi if Americans should be able to get AR-15s easily.

Choi said, “I’m from Los Angeles, so the numbers and the semi-automatics are, for us, it’s more about protection, whether it’s the Korean community or down in the inner cities. It’s really about —  the guns are a part of the culture in Los Angeles, whether or not we want to agree with it or not and they — in the Korean community a lot of times they existed in stores. They existed as protection.” Choi said we should be talking about jobs and human rights instead of guns.

Lemon admitted that he had once owned an AR-15. “Listen, similar to you, I did own an AR-15. After covering [the Aurora shooting] I bought an AR-15 in Colorado because I wanted to go through the process of seeing how quickly — took me 20-30 minutes to get an AR-15 and I wasn’t even a resident of Colorado.” Lemon has since sold the gun but said he has “evolved” on his gun stance over the last year. “I don’t want to be a sitting duck. If other people have guns and they’re not going away, I’m wondering, should I be armed myself if everyone on the block is armed and I’m not?”

Bourdain said we shouldn’t compare the United States to Europe or Great Britain and said doing so didn’t help the discourse. “It doesn’t help. We’re not them.”

Lemon agreed, adding that comparing all gun owners to those who shoot up shopping malls isn’t helpful, either. “Those people who you were out shooting with — those were law-abiding citizens who were trained for guns and respect them. They’re not the people going into malls and shooting people. So there are two different ways to look at this. Yes, it’s mental health. But for the most part the people who have guns and who carry AR-15s, most of them are not shooting up people.”

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Wendell Pierce blamed the gun lobby for inciting fear and increasing gun sales.

Bourdain said, “There are people on the left as well. People tend to get shrieky when something awful happens.”

Pierce (not to be confused with CNN gun-grabber Piers Morgan) told the group that he had been tempted to buy a gun. “Listen, I don’t own a gun but the discourse got so crazy in California at one point after one of the last shootings that I wanted to go out and buy a gun. They had me believing that they’re going to take away guns so much that I’m going to have to go out and get one — I probably should go out and get one before…”

Lemon added that illegal gun owners on the street “aren’t going to go for background checks. They’re not going to do — they’re going to get guns illegally and they’re just going to buy them.”

Bourdain said we need to find common ground and suggested we could agree on limiting straw buyers. “If we just stop talking about every gun owner like they’re an extremist, a lunatic, necessarily right wing. … I don’t think we’re doing ourselves or anybody any good.”

He asked his guests if they would own a gun if they lived in Montana.

Lemon said, “Absolutely.”

Choi, who had already said he has been a lifelong gun owner, said, “Yeah, I probably would and go through a background check, though.”

Even Pierce admitted, “I would definitely own a gun if I lived in Montana.”

Lemon added, “I don’t know if I would own a gun living in the city, but yeah, absolutely if I lived in Montana. Why not?”

(Might I suggest that Lemon look up the crime statistics in “the city” and Montana?)

bourdainguns

There are probably a lot of things Anthony Bourdain and I disagree about, but I appreciate his refreshingly frank appeal to his left-wing friends to try to understand gun culture:

I may be a New York lefty—with all the experiences, prejudices and attitudes that one would expect to come along with that, but I do NOT believe that we will reduce gun violence—or reach any kind of consensus—by shrieking at each other. Gun owners—the vast majority of them I have met—are NOT idiots. They are NOT psychos. They are not even necessarily Republican (New Mexico, by the way, is a Blue state). They are not hicks, right wing “nuts” or necessarily violent by nature. And if “we” have any hope of ever changing anything in this country in the cause of reason—and the safety of our children—we should stop talking about a significant part of our population as if they were lesser, stupider or crazier than we are.

As someone who recently “evolved” on guns myself, I understand the fear many people have of firearms and the culture that goes along with it. But as Bourdain says, it’s not going away and we need to find a way to talk about this without demonizing each other:

Gun culture goes DEEP in this country. Deep….When people start equating guns—ALL guns—as evil—as something to be eradicated, a whole helluva lot of people are going to get defensive. The conversation so far has illuminated, instead of any substantial issues, mostly the huge cultural divide between those like me who live in coastal cities with restrictive gun laws—and that vast swath of America who live very differently. We don’t understand how they live. And they don’t understand how we could POSSIBLY live the way we live. A little respect for that difference might be a good thing. The contempt, mockery and total lack of understanding for all those people “out there” by deep thinkers and pundits who’ve never sat down for a cold beer in a bar full of camo-wearing duck hunters is both despicable and counterproductive…There are a lot of nice people in this country. A whole helluva lot of them, like it or not, own AR 15s. If we can’t have at least, a conversation with them, sit down, break bread— about where we are going and how we are going to get there, there is no hope at all.

Well said, Mr. Bourdain. A lot more breaking bread, a few more giant pierogies, and a lot less demonizing (on both sides) would do us all well as a nation.

By the way, could someone please let Piers Morgan know that he may be the last anti-gun crusader at CNN now?

And also, warn Anthony Bourdain that he might want to see a doctor. There are some very obvious signs that he may be in the process of evolving into a libertarian.

Recently "retired" from homeschooling, Paula is an unapologetic Christian and Constitutional conservative. An enthusiastic Tea Party supporter, she is a member of the Wayne County Republican Executive Committee. She is also a contributor at Ohio Conservative Review. Paula lives in N.E. Ohio with her husband, two dogs, and two parrots.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
New Yorkers? Heck, I'm a Canadian and got to shoot an AR-15 this year and, please don't tell Justin Trudeau, I'm hooked! Didn't even get a twinge of longing to shoot up a mall or a school. That's pretty shocking, eh?
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, I'm glad this collection of lefties is capable of seeing sense on the issue. But the problem is the asymmetry of the situation.

If the left says anything supporting more gun control, even in small ways, gun owners simply have to assume the worst. The left's response to guns in general gives gun owners absolutely no confidence whatsoever that the Left will behave with respect to the Constitution.

The only way the Left could defuse this would be to give the Second Amendment the same care and tender concern they exhibit for the First, and continue doing this for, oh, roughly next generation or two.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Never watched the show and never will. But I do know Japan, having lived and worked there. I love the place, unreservedly, and would take a consulting gig there tomorrow. I love the people, the food, the crazy chaos of the cities, the garden-like beauty of the countryside.

But live there permanently? No. There are things about Japan that no gaijin will ever really understand; in some ways Japan may as well be on another planet, in spite of over sixty years of Westernization and the fascination the Japanese seem to have with all things America.

One of the odder aspects of that last is the prevalence of guns in Japanese pop culture, in a country where it is almost impossible to obtain a firearm.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (43)
All Comments   (43)
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Picking apart another quote of Bourdain's:

"I’ve walked many times into bars in Missouri, Nevada, Texas, where absolutely everyone is packing."

No he didn't.

Fact 1: It is absolutely ILLEGAL in Texas to carry your weapon with a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) into any establishment that derives 51% or more of its income from the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption. This is covered repeatedly in the CHL class. Anyone else who carries a gun into a 51% bar (or a grocery store, or a theater, or a church, or whatever) without a CHL is in violation of Texas law and is a criminal.

Fact 2: Texas has roughly 26 million inhabitants. Of those, roughly 500,000 have an active CHL. Surveys indicate that of all people who have a active CHL, only about 5-6% of them carry a firearm at all times.

Therefore, EVEN IF it were legal to pack your heat into a bar, which it isn't, there is only a 5-6% chance that any of the patrons would be packing. There is no way in hell that "absolutely everyone was packin'" in any bar in Texas.

Just being real here....
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
What about open carry? Is it legal there?
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Quoting the article:
"Lemon admitted that he had once owned an AR-15. “Listen, similar to you, I did own an AR-15. After covering [the Aurora shooting] I bought an AR-15 in Colorado because I wanted to go through the process of seeing how quickly — took me 20-30 minutes to get an AR-15 and I wasn’t even a resident of Colorado.”"

I'm VERY pro-gun, and I'm glad that Lemon's views have evolved, but I'd like to point out that he committed a major federal felony by buying an AR-15 in a state of which he is not a resident. If he bought it from a gunstore, and therefore an FFL, he has to certify on the Form 4473 that he lives in the state in which he is purchasing the gun. If he lied about his residence address, then he committed a felony. If the FFL holder KNEW he was lying and sold him the gun anyway, he risked having his FFL yanked.

I love AR15s. I not only think that everyone should have one (as a militia weapon) as part of the responsibilities of citizenship, I don't think the purchase or possession of them should be limited in any way, except perhaps by age of majority. But that said, we have LAWS. And if gun owners are going to call themselves "law-abiding," then that means that they will ABIDE by the law, without excuses. Change the law if necessary, but OBEY it until it changes. . . .unless you are deliberately performing an act of civil disobedience, which is what is sometimes required to effect change.

But my sense is that Lemons wasn't interested in civil disobedience. He thought he was going to make a point about access to AR15s being "too easy." Then it turned out AFTER the fact that he enjoyed shooting/owning one, and now he thinks it makes some kind of sense.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
whamprod,

Federal law allows purchases of rifles and shotguns in any state. ...an AR15 is typically a rifle unless assembled as a handgun. So there was no law broken.

Only handguns, bare receivers, and "other" firearms must be transferred through a FFL in the state in which you reside.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I stand corrected.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Besides sports, hunting and the lot, the Second Amendment aka R(ight) to K(eep) and B(ear)A(rms) is designed to discourage tyranny getting established in the United States. The Founders saw that very real danger and made sure it was added to the proprosed Constitution.

Many people cite Nazi Germany, the former USSR, and other such dictatorships that first confiscated firearms before establishing their dictatorships. However few Americans know that in the mid 1950s and through the 1960s the same thing was active here.

During the Civil Rights Movement blacks were routinely denied to access to firearms primarily in the South. Groups like the Deacons for Defense and Justice formed NRA clubs. The NRA then sent these groups firearms to defend their communities from the Klan and others.

The guns were sold through the Civilian Marksmanship Program known as CMP which the NRA operated. Many CMP firearms were military surplus such as the WWII rifle the M-1 (the ones recently barred from being imported from Korea). This was before the Gun Control Act of 1968 when you could mail order firearms.

Once armed, the Deacons stopped the Klan from shooting into house at night, and escorted civil rights activists. They even provided security for Martin Luther King at some events.

They would not have needed to form groups like the Deacons if the local government felt like protecting them. Once the populus was armed they protected themselves. The group later disbanded once they felt they were no longer needed.

Many of us have never heard of that history in the USA. They think things like that happen only in foreign countries. But this, denial of rights, happened right here and not that long ago.

Does anyone think it could not happen again?
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The guns were sold through the Civilian Marksmanship Program known as CMP which the NRA operated. Many CMP firearms were military surplus such as the WWII rifle the M-1 (the ones recently barred from being imported from Korea). This was before the Gun Control Act of 1968 when you could mail order firearms. "

Slight correction.
http://www.odcmp.com/sales.htm

CMP is still up and running, and you can buy military surplus from them. The Army ran it until 1996. M1 Garansa run from $600 to a $1000

33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Besides sports, hunting and the lot, the Second Amendment aka R(ight) to K(eep) and B(ear)A(rms) is designed to discourage tyranny getting established in the United States."

Uh, no.

THE reason for the Second Amendment is to discourage tyranny getting established in the United States.

Sports, hunting and the lot are incidental to it.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
"suggested we could agree on limiting straw buyers"

Been done.

Next!?
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tell Eric Holder that. . . . .
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bingo.

Anybody who is seriously interested in limiting straw purchases should be talking to Eric Holder and his boss about F&F, instead of trying to outlaw something that is already illegal.

36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
the smartest people in college were the engineering/m.d. types. apparently they always have been.

the left's logic of trying to want to seize 'assault' weapons vs. say handguns or shotguns is ridiculous on the face of it. any of them can be used to kill rooms full of people, and handguns are used to kill (by far) more people than all other kinds. funny no mention of taking away his 'bro's' weapons of choice, semi-auto pistols. no mention of the chicago or detroit chaos? hmmm.

otoh, taking away semi-auto high powered rifles would have the consequence of making it much more difficult for citizens to defend against an invading army, or an internal power grab by a nutcase prez.

also, as logic goes, isn't it strange that the very weapons obozo & co. wants to ban (assault type) are the primary weapons he and holder talked the Mexican drug cartels into buying from dealers along the border. the gov. guys insisted the legal shops sell to well known, very bad criminals. the cartels really didn't want them. single shot American made rifles and pistols vs. fully auto machine guns furnished w/ a phone call from their terrorist/gun running 'contacts'? no brainer.

then there's the constant lie told that these guns going to mex. criminals were tagged in order to trap the criminals. they were tagged when Bush tried it. it didn't work so they discontinued the attempted sting. they weren't tagged at all under 0-bama's selling spree. all the news agencies run w/ this lie, including fox. the guns were sold to the mexicans for one reason, to pump up the numbers of u.s. guns in the hands of the murderers. 0-bozo and hitlery and holder were constantly preaching how the mex. drug war was being fueled by American guns and how 90%+ of their guns came from the u.s. the true number was closer to single digits, thus the need for the lie., and the guns. 0-bozo was just warming up to start his gun seizing/treaty signing campaign in earnest. Brian Terry's death opened it all up for the public to see. the lies being told are clouding the crimes committed by this admin., just like Benghazi, and the i.r.s. thing and on and on, round and round the toilet swirl goes.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 sound bite by Bourdain DOESN'T equate him being a lucid person.

He's still an Illiberal, over middle-aged self-important choad whom like many other geriatric H-town Illiberals, sports a stupid earring and destroys his palate, his supposed 'craft' with cigarettes.

Some years back my wife and I were going to Prague, CR for holiday. A colleague called me and told me to turn on the Bourdain program because he was in Prague..

Bourdain was eating street vendor food in Prague. Boiled schnitzel If I recall. Bourdain was 'Oohing' and 'Ahhing' this crap whereas the translator, vendor exchanged, 'This guy knows this is but crummy, bland cheap food, right'? looks.

I'd rather take in the relaxed, albeit bland delivery of traveler Rick Steves than Bourdain any day of the week.

37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
New Yorkers? Heck, I'm a Canadian and got to shoot an AR-15 this year and, please don't tell Justin Trudeau, I'm hooked! Didn't even get a twinge of longing to shoot up a mall or a school. That's pretty shocking, eh?
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, I'm glad this collection of lefties is capable of seeing sense on the issue. But the problem is the asymmetry of the situation.

If the left says anything supporting more gun control, even in small ways, gun owners simply have to assume the worst. The left's response to guns in general gives gun owners absolutely no confidence whatsoever that the Left will behave with respect to the Constitution.

The only way the Left could defuse this would be to give the Second Amendment the same care and tender concern they exhibit for the First, and continue doing this for, oh, roughly next generation or two.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hold on people, lets not go too easy on this Lefty Turd…

Remember where his “Revelations” are coming from… He’s just having His Moment , breathlessly pointing out the argumentative flaws his fellow Superior Costal Elite’s are making in the quest for “progress”.

You see, he’s spend some TIME with the Natives, and Discovered the Key. He’s therefore become an Uber-Snob, telling The Regular Lefty Snobs who know best, that HE now knows even better, and they should LISTEN to him...

“ And if “we” have any hope of ever changing anything in this country in the cause of reason and the safety of our children—we should stop talking about a significant part of our population as if they were lesser, stupider or crazier than we are”

Yes of course,” reason”….because “we” all know these Rubes and Rednecks believe in “unreasonable” gun rights that are weird, evil, and endanger children…BUT, my less elite eiltists, “we” need to lay off on the Rube and Redneck talk, because its hurting the cause of “reasonable” Gun Control (magazine limits, assault weapons) we all know, in the end, is right and reasonable.

Why harden the resolve of these knuckle-draggers when a little flattery can soften them up?

“If we just stop talking about every gun owner like they’re an extremist, a lunatic, necessarily right wing. … I don’t think we’re doing ourselves or anybody any good.”

We must take the politics out of it…stop the labeling, and “move forward”…forward to the non-partisan goodness of our superior way of thinking.

“There are a lot of nice people in this country. A whole helluva lot of them, like it or not, own AR 15s. If we can’t have at least, a conversation with them, sit down, break bread— about where we are going and how we are going to get there, there is no hope at all”

Of course we hate Assault Weapons…but antagonizing them isn’t the answer…Stalemate. Locked horns. Recall votes over gun control …is this where we need to be? If we befriend these people, (distasteful as it seems), we’re MUCH more likely to get the kind of Gun Control we want…slowly, incrementally, while making them believe and AGREE that “we” know whats best for the country…

That is of course, is when OUR political side controls all the weapons…or, at least the all the effective ones that currently maintain a reasonable deterrence to that end….

Oh, and by the way trust me, Modern Guns ARE a whole hell of a lot of fun!!!

Especially when WE’RE the privileged few allowed to have access to them!
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tony's heart is open to the world, not just the liberal world.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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