Bill Maher expressed annoyance with liberals gun control advocacy during a panel discussion on his HBO talk show Friday night.
“First of all, liberals should learn more about guns. I don’t know much about guns because, again, I don’t care, I don’t like them, but I hear this from gun people,” Maher said at one point in a wide-ranging conversation about gun control with guests Charles M. Blow, Clint Watts and Rep. Katie Porter.
The “Real Time With Bill Maher” host was generally critical of Democrats’ bullishness on gun control and said it is not a “winning issue” for the party.
Maher cited polling data to back up his argument, noting that liberal positions on issues like healthcare are more popular with the American people. Meanwhile, voters slightly favor Republican positions on guns.
The guests pushed back. Porter, a Democrat congresswoman from California, defender her party’s gun control efforts as intended to “reduce preventable gun deaths.”
But Maher not waver from his contention that Democrats’ focus on gun control was a tactical mistake that could cost them elections.
“I’m just saying I want to win this election, and I want to fight it on the issues we’re going to win on,” Maher said in response to Porter.
Bill Maher and the gun control debate
Maher’s accusation that liberals fear guns without really understanding them is familiar to conservatives. Commentator Stephen Miller echoed the sentiments of many gun rights advocates in a 2017 op-ed for Fox News.
“The American political left and mainstream media pundits at large do not understand guns. They are not educated about them and they refuse to learn about them. They could not tell you the difference between an automatic or semi-automatic firearm. They don’t understand what a suppressor does or does not do. It’s safe to say most of them have not heard the term ‘bump stock’ until this week,” he said.
Earlier this year, Roll Call political reporter Bridget Bowman was widely ridiculed for tweeting a warning that a Glock is “not just any gun” in that it “fires if the trigger is pulled.”