Fox News host confronts Abbott over gun control

Fox News host confronts Abbott over gun control
AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills

Fox News has long had a reputation of being the “right-wing” cable news outlet and, for a lot of years, there was a reason for that. Compared to MSNBC and CNN, they really were.

Yet there are many who wonder if Fox is trying to roll leftward. An indicator is if Fox News starts pushing gun control.

We recently had a poll from them that argued broad support for it, but polls are polls. While I’m distrustful of many of them, it seems the folks at Fox aren’t.

And now one of the hosts tried to use it to push a gun control narrative on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Fox News host Shannon Bream pressed Texas Governor Greg Abbott about whether he would consider support for several gun safety measures backed by a wide majority of Americans after a mass shooting in Texas on Saturday killed multiple people.

A mass shooting at Allen Premium Outlets in Allen, Texas, on Saturday afternoon left at least nine people, including the suspected shooter, dead. It is the latest in a string of mass shootings to occur across the United States. There have been at least 199 mass shootings so far in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The shooting again renewed calls for stronger gun laws in the U.S., reigniting debate about which policies will successfully reduce gun violence.

Abbott appeared on Fox News Sunday, just one day after the shooting. During that appearance, Bream confronted him with a recent poll showing widespread support for several policies advocates say would lessen gun violence across the country.

When asked about the new poll, Abbott said state lawmakers have been working on a number of policies aimed at reducing gun violence, including passing laws to ensure criminals cannot obtain firearms and increases in penalties for criminals in possession of guns.

However, the governor pointed to mental health investment as the long-term solution to reducing gun violence, highlighting that Texas has invested $25 billion to address mental health in the state.

Now, I’m not going to argue with Abbott about anything he said, but I will point out one thing that Bream probably should be cognizant of.

That poll she’s citing was a national poll. It wasn’t about Texas, but the United States.

For Abbott, that makes it meaningless, just as it would be for state lawmakers across the board.

People in Texas don’t really care what New York or California thinks they should pass. Lawmakers there especially don’t. After all, while they might raise some money from that bunch, none of them can vote for them. As such, it’s kind of stupid trying to appease them.

Further, absolutely nothing in that poll suggested the issue was enough to sway anyone’s votes away from Republicans.

Then there’s the fact that polling shows a very generalized kind of support for a measure, but when you get down to the details, suddenly there are issues.

Take universal background checks, for example.

That’s a law that has polled very well across the nation. Yet many states, upon putting it on the ballot, found that the voters rejected the law. Sure, it passed a few places, but it didn’t pass in a lot of others.

Why?

Well, it turns out that people like the idea of universal background checks right up until they find out that they can’t sell their brother-in-law a firearm or loan a gun to their wife’s best friend without undergoing a NICS check.

Suddenly, it’s a bridge too far, but that’s not what people are thinking of when they’re asked about whether all gun sales should require a background check. They figure all those other gun sales should, not theirs.

So yeah, I’m not overly convinced that Fox News polling even matters nationally.

Yet for Texas, which is where Abbott is concerned, there’s even less evidence that gun control is that favored. Bream should know that. Everyone at Fox News should.

Or maybe Tucker Carlson took the network’s brain on his way out the door.