Bill O’Reilly was angry at Rep. Jim Clyburn’s focus on gun control. | AP Photo
Bill O’ Reilly flashed anger at Rep. Jim Clyburn for focusing on gun control over terrorism in the wake of the Orlando massacre, saying on Thursday that he wanted to “slap” Clyburn for his comments.
Speaking on “Fox and Friends,” O’Reilly got heated when discussing terrorism and the background of American-born shooter Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people at an LGBT nightclub before being killed in a shootout with police.
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“It just angers me. There’s two separate issues: There’s the terrorism, and there’s the gun control. But what was it, Congressman Clyburn, is that his name?” O’Reilly said.
Then O’Reilly launched into an impression of Clyburn’s voice and speech patterns: “It’s not about terrorism; it’s about gun control,” referring to comments Clyburn made to MSNBC on Tuesday, a day after he followed a moment of silence for the Orlando victims by asking House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) when gun-control legislation would be considered.
“You know, and I just want to slap him,” O’Reilly said, adding, “with all due respect.”
“You know? What is it going to take? Do the ISIS people have to come to your backyard, do they have to put you in the cage because they will,” O’Reilly continued. “So when you start to — when you start to tell Americans lies, that there isn’t a terror threat, that it’s all about gun control, only if we banned all guns we’d be safe from ISIS. When you start to lie at that level and it’s acceptable lies then we’re in trouble as a country.”
Clyburn’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
At the same time, O’Reilly said that Congress should be able to decide whether there are certain weapons that cannot be sold to the public.
“I mean, look, I think that Americans who are sane — there are crazy people on the right, too — I get letters like, ‘I want my assault rifles, and don’t you come near me!’ Listen, pal, this isn’t anarchy here,” O’Reilly said, giving another impression of an outraged viewer. “If Congress decides there are certain weapons can’t be sold to the public, that’s our country. You can’t buy a mortar, you can’t have hand grenades, so if there are giant rifles with big clips that Congress believes is a danger, then that’s what we accept. Let’s debate it and vote on it.”