Fox News host Gretchen Carlson doled out a take Tuesday that may have surprised some of her viewers: voicing support for a ban on assault-style weapons in the wake of Sunday’s mass shooting in Orlando, Florida.
Following a segment about House Democrats protesting a moment of silence in memory of the victims, Carlson she said she agrees with President Barack Obama and those who want to ban assault weapons.
“Every time we have a mass shooting we talk about guns. Right? Yes,” she said. “The Orlando massacre was terror. But there’s no doubt that Omar Mateen was able to kill so many people because he was firing an AR-15, a military style assault weapon, a weapon easier to buy in the state of Florida than buying a handgun.”
Carlson cited a recent Quinnipiac poll that found 58 percent of people said they agreed with banning assault rifles and asked for “common sense” on gun control.
“Do we need AR-15s to hunt and kill deer?” Carlson asked. “Do we need them to protect our families? Yes, I’m in favor of people being able to carry. I think some of these mass shootings would have been less deadly if that were the case. But I’m also with the majority today taking a stand. Can’t we hold true the sanctity of the Second Amendment while still having common sense?”
Carlson appears to have evolved on the subject. In 2013, she did a “Fox and Friends” segment on how people could find “tiny little loopholes” to bypass New York’s ban on assault weapons.
On Tuesday, Carlson acknowledged that she would probably have a different opinion from the historically conservative Fox News audience and said she welcomed those differences. She displayed a Fox News viewer poll showing 89 percent of respondents would not support a ban on assault weapons.
“That’s fine. That’s what makes America great,” Carlson said.