Mike Rowe talks about gun rights

  • 1 February 2018
  • NormanL
careful aim

We're fans of Mike Rowe, the guy we've watched for years on TV showing us the various "dirty jobs" that often make the world tick. Rowe often has a few things to say about culture, education, and community. In this Washington Times interview, he also has a few things to say about firearms:

TV host Mike Rowe likes to illustrate how attitudes have changed over the years by recalling the time he and a classmate brought a gun to his high school in Baltimore — not just any gun, but a sniper rifle.

“We walked in the school, had the gun over my shoulder, walking down a crowded hall and the principal saw me and said, ‘Hey, what do you have there?’ And I handed it to him and said, ‘It’s a Mauser. Check it out. It’s an old German sniper rifle,’” Mr. Rowe said.

The principal was impressed with the firearm and their plans to tinker with it in metal shop, he said.

“He said, ‘Bring it by the office when you’re done. I’d love to look at it when you’re finished,’” Mr. Rowe recalled. “That’s 1979 or 1980. Where I grew up, we saw the guns in the back of the truck. They were there in the gun racks in the high school parking lot.”

In an interview with The Washington Times, Mr. Rowe, 55, touched on a range of topics, as well as his career, which is taking a turn. The Trinity Broadcasting Network has begun airing new episodes of his “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” show, which CNN ran from 2014 to 2016.

Guns, he said, haven’t changed all that much over the years, but our perceptions of them and attitudes about them have, with calls for more gun control laws after mass shootings that put the onus on the weapon, not the person misusing it.

“I think most things are down to mental health. I think a lot of giant issues get missed because we confuse the cause with the symptom,” he said, adding that the basic issue behind shootings is “terrible judgment.”

“I think there’s something in there with gun control and the whole conversation around guns. We’ve had guns in our culture from the beginning, and it hasn’t become an issue, really. These mass shootings haven’t become a thing until relatively recent years.”

Gun control is a personal issue for Mr. Rowe. He made headlines in 2016 after taking to social media to explain how he awoke one morning to the sound of a drone hovering outside his bedroom window in San Francisco. While still in the buff, he grabbed his shotgun and went onto his porch with the thought of blasting the high-tech interloper.

But he hesitated and considered the big picture: He could be arrested for discharging a gun within the city, and the drone could be recording him for all the world to see as he stood there naked while pointing his shotgun. He lowered his gun, went back inside and eventually wrote about his dilemma on Facebook. The post went viral.

“In the wake of that, I got a thousand questions about gun control,” Mr. Rowe said. “I’m absolutely in favor of sensible restrictions, but I don’t understand how the restrictions that we currently have are being implemented in a way that’s effective. I don’t understand how the restrictions we have would have stopped any of the recent tragedies in the headlines. It was really just a comment that said, ‘It probably feels good to pass laws in the wake of a tragedy, but it’s worth looking around and saying, ‘What are we giving up as a result?’

“Even though I didn’t pull the trigger and shoot the drone out of the sky, and even though I would have felt a lot more comfortable with clothes on, it was a great feeling to have the Mossberg 500 in my hands and looking up at a kind of intruder. And I’m not comfortable giving that away,” he said.

And that's where the anti-Second Amendment crowd falls flat. There are a lot of folks like Rowe who aren't necessarily against some limits placed on where and how firearms can be used. But the drive to erase the Second Amendment, and ban all firearms because: reasons...leaves the 120 million or so American gun owners cold.