On Monday night, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” where he defended the U.S. government’s use of drones and answered David Letterman’s questions about gun control. During the exchange, O’Reilly called for gun crimes to be “federalized” while also laying out a proposal on gun registration.
Other subjects that the two men covered included the film “Zero Dark Thirty” and the new Esquire article that documents the purported life struggles of the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden.
But while the appearance covered a variety of topics, O’Reilly’s proposal for guns were some of the most interesting. Here’s a transcript of his comments:
“Here’s what you do with guns…you federalize all gun crimes, number one. You take it out of the local jurisdiction and state and you federalize it, right? So therefore if you’re caught in a gun crime holding up a 7-11, you get a mandatory 10 years if you’re convicted in a federal pen, on top of whatever Slurpee you stole.” […]
The second thing you do is, if you buy a gun, you have to register the gun — just like you have to register your car, alright. Now, people say ‘Oh, slippery slope, they’re gonna come–. Hey, this makes it easier for the government to take a thug who has a gun that’s not registered and put him in jail for 10 years.”
Later in the interview, Letterman expressed some confusion surrounding the difference between automatic and semi-automatic weapons. After the host asked why people need automatic guns, O’Reilly corrected him, noting that these firearms are illegal (although he didn’t get into the nuance of acquiring permits for them).
“What about the … automatic weapons. I still don’t understand the need for an automatic weapon,” Letterman said. “I’m not against guns, but I don’t get the automatic weapons.”
O’Reilly tackled by trying to explain the difference between automatic and semi-automatic weapons.
Watch the relevant part of the exchange, below (and see a longer portion of the interview here):