The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) announced in a blog post yesterday that comedian Bill Engvall has been selected as the featured entertainer at the 2015 SHOT Show State of the Industry dinner.
He’s a hunter. He’s a target shooter. He’s one of the top comedians in America today — and among the busiest. He’ll also be our 2015 SHOT Show State of the Industry featured entertainer.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is pleased to announce that comedian Bill Engvall will perform at the SHOT Show’s annual State of the Industry Dinner, set for Jan. 20, the first evening of the show in Las Vegas.
Bill has starred in numerous television shows, including solo specials, and appeared in several feature films. He is perhaps best known as part of the enormously successful Blue Collar Comedy concert films, which have sold more than 9 million units and are some of the most watched movies and special in Comedy Central history. The soundtrack for Blue Collar Comedy Tour — One For The Road (Warner Bros./Jack Records) was also nominated for a Grammy Award. This fall, he appeared on the top TV hit, “Dancing with the Stars.”
Bill has been at the SHOT Show before and proudly supports America’s hunting and recreational shooting traditions, so he knows that a full house will warmly welcome him.
Engvall does indeed support hunting, but his publicly stated willingness to ban certain firearms in a 2011 appearance suggests that his welcome will be anything but warm. Starting at the 1:40 mark of this clip from Real Time with Bill Maher, Engvall states his position as a “Fudd” who wants to protect his hunting guns and handguns for self defense, but who is more than willing to compromise the Second Amendment.
I don’t believe there’s any reason for a person like myself to own an AK-47… I’d be willing to meet you halfway and say I think you can ban guns if you can pull the trigger and 60 bullets come out—there’s no need, it’s not used for hunting, it would ruin any of the meat…
A 2012 interview suggests that he hasn’t changed his position, but merely regrets letting his position be known.
“Now I don’t think we need to take away guns from people,” he says. “All I said was, ‘I don’t see any point in a civilian owning an AK-47. That’s a military rifle to kill people.’ My Twitter account blew up. All these country fans of mine, and redneck fans were like, ‘Are you a Communist? You can’t take away our guns!’ That’s what happens a lot of times on shows like that. I enjoy doing ’em. But I’ve learned, as little celebrity as I have, you can’t have an opinion anymore.”
There seems to be some ambiguity to Engvall’s comments. It isn’t readily apparent that he understands the different between commonly owned semi-automatics and selective-fire and fully automatic firearms heavily regulated under the National Firearms Act.
Then again, it may not matter.
Engvall doesn’t seem to grasp that the point of the Second Amendment is to ensure that the citizenry has weapons of contemporary military utility to defend the Republic against tyranny, whether that tyranny is foreign or domestic. Owning firearms suitable for hunting is simply a side effect of the intent of the right to keep and bear arms for militia service.
If he hasn’t changed his willingness to support gun bans, Engvall’s appearance at the State of the Industry dinner is going to be awkward, to put it mildly.