When Larry King interviewed Gary Sinise, gun control was one topic of discussion. The Forrest Gump star made his opinions known, and he refused to back down.
Gary Sinise sat down with talk show host Larry King in a 2013 interview to discuss his work with veterans when the host steered the conversation to gun rights. King, who passed away in 2021, was a strong advocate for repealing the Second Amendment, claiming “it was poorly written” and “represents an outdated time.”
When King confronted Sinise on his support of gun rights during an interview, the veteran talk show host allowed Sinise to explain his beliefs. “The thing most talked about in the country today, and I’d be interested in your opinion, is what we do about guns,” King began.
Without missing a beat, Sinise calmly explained his position. “Well, you can’t get rid of guns,” he said. “So, guns aren’t going away. It’s a Second Amendment right, obviously, so guns aren’t going to go away. Violence isn’t going to go away. It’s a human failing and has been for thousands of years. So, taking people’s rights to protect themselves from bad people, well, that’s not something you can do.”
At this point, Larry King interjected to ask about assault weapons. “Ok, but what about armaments,” King said. “Like machine guns or guns that can kill 12 people in one setting.”
Sinise had his answer ready. “Well, those aren’t legal in our country,” he said. “Machine guns, automatic weapons aren’t legal in our country. Yet, that’s not going to stop a bad guy from turning into a—getting a semi-automatic weapon and turning it into and adapting it so it can fire…” King once again cut in to say “society can’t give up.”
At that point, The Apollo 13 star had an example to share. “Yeah, but remember the bank robbers here in Los Angeles, the two bank robbers?” Sinise asked. “Heavily armed, they had body armor. They had machine guns, and they were outgunning the police officers. I was horrified watching that.” Then, Sinise made his point. “The bad guys somehow turned their semi-automatic guns into fully automatic ones,” he said. “So, bad guys with bad ideas are going to do bad things. They aren’t going away.”
Fox News host Dan Bongino echoed many of Gary Sinise’s claims, saying it’s our society that’s broken, not the Second Amendment. “Every one of [gun control advocates’] ‘solutions’ with the dreaded air quotes is a call to take action,” Bongino said. “To take away self-protection rights from you, freedom-loving, patriotic Americans who haven’t done a damn thing wrong. Even though we have verified, concrete, set-in-stone, unimpeachable evidence that banning guns won’t fix the problem.”
Bongino went on to assert that it’s the “evil” in our society that must be acknowledged when it comes to mass shootings. “Like any threat, you can take steps to mitigate the risk, but evil exists. It is real. It’ll always be here. It’s plagued our hearts since the first conscious human being,” he added. “They want to punish us — free Americans — for the actions of [evil individuals.] The same people who are not serious at all about fixing the culture rot do everything they can to place the blame right back on guns.”
We can look to history to understand why the Second Amendment was important to our Founding Fathers. “What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms,” Thomas Jefferson said. Some, like Larry King, say that those thoughts are outdated, while others like Gary Sinise claim it’s a right that all law-abiding people should have.
In contrast to our Founding Fathers, Adolf Hitler also had strong beliefs about gun control. “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms,” the German dictator said. “History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.” This isn’t a debate that’s going away any time soon. However, as Americans, we all have the right to agree to disagree as we continue to ensure the best way possible to go forward as a nation.