On Thursday night, Fox News’ Sean Hannity tackled the current gun debate, noting that some Democratic politicians have invoked race, claiming that it plays a role in the current opposition to new firearms restrictions. The conversation quickly heated up, with author David Limbaugh and commentator Juan Williams facing-off over ethnicity and the Obama administration’s handling of the situation surrounding gun violence.
“I don’t think that this is about the president’s race, but I think that race has a lot to do with this conversation,” Williams told Hannity at the beginning of the segment.
While Williams agreed with the Fox host that opposition to President Barack Obama’s recent gun legislation has nothing to go with the president’s ethnicity, he disagreed fervently with Limbaugh’s claim that Obama has used race as a divisive tool.
“Obama is deliberately projecting race onto his political opponents, saying it’s their racism,” Limbaugh charged. “He’s doing it to his political advantage. It’s shameful.”
While the conservative commentator insisted that Obama, in past electoral campaigns, has ”appealed on the basis of race,” Williams decried such a notion. In fact, he told Limbaugh that he’s too smart to be spouting such commentary.
“A man of your intellect — you are way off in the weeds,” he said. “You’ve lost all touch in this central argument that I’m making to you — that you can see the carnage in the black community at a tremendously high rate –”
From there, Hannity and the guests spoke over one another, as Williams was interrupted.
“You ought to be worried about black-on-black crime then,” Limbaugh said, the contention clearly rising.
“So what are you saying David — because it’s black on black crime it’s tolerable?,” Williams responded.
After Hannity and Limbaugh explained that this wasn’t the case, Limbaugh alleged that Obama may be trying to crack down — even more so than he already has — on gun ownership in America. Again, Williams disagreed, saying, “You’re spreading paranoia, David!”
Watch the heated exchange, below: