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March 29, 2023 11:34 am

Ken Buck's Theater of the AR-bsurd on CNN

  • by: Colorado Pols


Rep. Ken Buck (R) daring Joe Biden to take his AR-15.

Yesterday afternoon, senior White House correspondent for CNN Phil Mattingly recorded a segment with Colorado’s Rep. Ken Buck on the subject of gun control laws generally and the AR-15 rifle in particular–the latter being the overwhelming weapon of choice in American mass shootings, and also a personal trophy hanging on the wall of Rep. Buck’s congressional office, one that Buck recently dared Democrats to “come and take.”

The conversation began with a discussion of “red flag” laws like Colorado’s, which Buck asserts would not have prevented the most recent school shooting in Nashville, since it “hasn’t stopped gun violence in Colorado and it won’t.”

Phil Mattingly [00:01:51] But I think this kind of gets to my question because I wasn’t asking about the guns specifically here. This was an individual that had known mental health issues, was seeing a doctor for those mental health issues and yet was able to get access to guns to use. And you’re saying red flag laws in Colorado- You’ve opposed red flag laws generally, particularly on a national scale in the past- wouldn’t work. So those things don’t necessarily net out. What’s your answer here, then?

Buck: Well, my answer is I don’t know what the law is in Tennessee. If you’re telling me there’s no red flag law.

Mattingly: There’s not.

Buck: I don’t oppose red flag laws that give defendants, in this case, the gun owner, the right to appear in court and defend themselves. The problem, the gun, the red flag law in Colorado is there is no due process… [Pols emphasis]

As anyone who knows how Colorado’s “red flag” law works already knows, Buck is straight-up lying when he claims there is “no due process.” A temporary extreme risk protection order (ERPO) requires a hearing and a judge’s order, and the one-year ERPO comes only after a second hearing. It’s not the first time we’ve marveled at this former prosecutor’s seeming total ignorance about laws he is professionally charged with understanding.

From there, the interview turned to Ken Buck’s beloved piece of wall art–since the bolt of the weapon allegedly isn’t present, as the D.C. District Attorney’s office learned to their chagrin, it’s not a fully illegal assault rifle. But with AR-15s just like Buck’s continuing to cause disproportionate harm in mass shootings happening almost daily, it’s certainly fair to ask Buck whether he stands by his previous bravado.

And that’s where things took a turn for the weird:

Phil Mattingly [00:03:05] You know, the president has once again reiterated his call for a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban. You know, back in 2020, you went viral. He posted this video after a similar plea. Take a watch.

Ken Buck (on video): I have a message for Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke: If you want to take everyone’s AR-15 in America, why don’t you swing by my office in Washington DC and start with this one? Come and take it.

Mattingly: Look, I come from a place where all my friends have guns. Many of them use ARs. I guess my question is, is do you concern as a federal official, as a lawmaker, as somebody who legislates that something like that maybe diminishes the impact of what this moment is and kind of the conversation that’s happening, at least if you’re trying to reach a resolution on issues.

Buck: Well, if Joe Biden is interested in reaching a resolution on the issue, let him deal with the southern border. We have drugs coming across the southern border. And this crisis, this mental health crisis that we have in this country has a direct relationship to our drug laws being loosened and the lack of funding at the state level for mental health services. So let Joe Biden deal with some of the issues that are underlying the very serious. And I have to tell you, my heart goes out every time we have one of these shootings, too, to the victims and their families of these shootings. But it doesn’t it doesn’t lessen the burden that Joe Biden has in finding solutions to these problems other than just blaming the gun all the time for the problem that he in part is causing by his policies on the border.

This senseless tire-screeching pivot to the southern border in response to a question about Buck more or less threatening violence against anyone who wants to “take” his AR-15 is as jarring written out as it played out on camera (watch above). It literally makes no sense whatsoever, and the reporter’s quizzical reaction to Buck speaking is subtly comedic in its own right. But then Mattingly refocused on the conversation back on subject at hand:

Mattingly: So even if I stipulate everything you said related to the president, what’s the burden on you as a lawmaker in the wake of these? You noted, every time one of these happens, your heart goes out. You feel awful. The fact that they happened so many times that you have to say every time, that would seem to be a pretty significant problem nationally. So what’s the burden on you as a federal official, as a lawmaker to do something about this, regardless of what you think it is but to do something?

Buck: Right. No, I absolutely acknowledge that. And my burden is to make sure I follow the Constitution. And the Second Amendment protects- there’s more than 2 million AR-15s. As you said, you have some friends with AR-15s. They’re not a danger to anybody. [Pols emphasis] The idea that we’re going to confiscate 2 million weapons in this country is is pure folly. The idea that we’re going to ban a particular kind of weapon as if some other weapon won’t be used…

And that’s it. The answer from Buck is there’s nothing that can be done, and AR-15s (or persons wielding them) “are not a danger to anybody”–absolutely stunning after this week’s in-depth report in the Washington Post about the ubiquity and military-grade lethality of these weapons. Buck makes another generic call to address “the mental health issues that we face,” but after mangling Colorado’s ERPO law beyond recognition there’s no reason to believe anything Buck says beyond “the Second Amendment protects”–which is where his comprehension of the issue appears to end.

No one is proposing to “confiscate” the 20 million–not 2 million–AR-15s in America. But it’s clear that Buck has a lot more to learn about both Colorado and federal gun laws before flapping his jaws on the subject again. It is a disgrace to the very real victims of gun violence Buck claims sympathy for to be either this ignorant or dishonest.


19 thoughts on “Ken Buck’s Theater of the AR-bsurd on CNN

  1. Mattingly: "…what’s the burden on you as a federal official, as a lawmaker to do something about this, regardless of what you think it is but to do something?"

    Buck: "…I have to tell you, my heart goes out every time we have one of these shootings, too, to the victims and their families of these shootings. But it doesn’t it doesn’t lessen the burden that Joe Biden has in finding solutions to these problems…"

    Buck passing the him.

    Also if Buck thinks people with AR-15s are not a danger to anyone then he has no fucking clue about guns. When I'm shooting my AR-15 I make sure to not point it at anyone and keep the gun pointed down range. I double check that the gun is unloaded and the safety is off before transporting it. I do these things because I know that handling a gun makes me a potential danger to everyone around me!

  2. Ah, our favorite preppy lawyer from Ossining, New York (FYI, that’s in Westchester County, you know, where the Clintons live) turned macho cowboy is showing off his stuff.

    1. Indeed….Buck is another Princeton/Wyoming JD lawyer selling BS to ignorant voters. Add in YOUR FACE nationalist Christian churchianity with a Semi Automatic color coordinated AR (assault rifle) weapon who couldn't bother with serving in US military and understanding what 5.56 mm or .223 cal weapon is capable of.  He did send a son to USMA for a free education on taxpayers dime. 

  3. Let's look more at mental health, metal detectors, arming teachers, the southern border, drugs, more resource officers, whatever…same old shit.

    Textbook deflection. 

    Anything but the guns, because it's definitely not the guns! The NRA and RMGO checks tell me so. How can this be any more painfully obvious about what the real problem is.

    1. "Let's look more at mental health, metal detectors, arming teachers, the southern border, drugs, more resource officers, whatever…same old shit"

      You left out her emails and Hunter Biden's laptop but we get the picture.

    2. How many times has Ken Buck looked at mental health and actually supported the US spending more on it? 

      Metal detectors … looking at the long, LONG list of locations for mass shootings, does Buck really think there will be that many metal detectors?  And in many states, with their legislatures insuring people can carry weapons virtually anywhere at any time, "detecting" the weapon doesn't seem like much of a deterrent.

      and so on, for all of Buck's ideas.  how does he think Congress passing something on all the topics is going to impact killings?  and if he can come up with some rationale, has he done ANYTHING to advance those programs and find ways to pay for them?

  4. And which legislator, (Federal or state) is putting an admendment on to the gun bill  which would require liability insurance on to each gun owned/bought?

  5. Face it, the AR-15 is a WMD.

    What defines a weapon of mass destruction (WMD)?

    A weapon of mass destruction is a nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological, or other device that is intended to harm a large number of people.

  6. From Bustle Magazine:

    The AR-15 is basically the civilian counterpart to the M16. The AR-15 came first, in 1947; the M16 a decade later. They have the same magazine capacity: 30 rounds. The former is heavier, with a shorter range and slower rate of fire, but these are subtle differences. Jun 16, 2016

    It is a weapon of war.

    1. Another very important characteristic that makes them extra special deadly is the bullet speed, or projectile velocity. AR-15s fire a .22 caliber bullet, but that is misleading. The bullet comes in a cartridge used in some .30 caliber riflles.

      Subsequently, the added propellant generates a very fast bullet that does significantly more damage to flesh and bone than a larger bullet, moving much slower.

      AR-15s and similar weapons are called “assault rifles” ( a misnomer, as “rifles” are the grooves inside the barrel) for a reason. They are designed to kill as many PEOPLE as possible, as quickly as possible. Period.

  7. Rifles including AR15’s only account for about 7% of murders in the US. If we were serious about gun control we wouldn’t be taking about rifles…. handguns kill more people in the US than any other type of firearm. It’s not even remotely close.

    1. Tell me what I said that wasn't true…

      Your deflection is preposterous…We can only talk about one…not both? Is that it? It sure would be nice if you gun lovers could stop insulting the intelligence of those who see through that ruse.

      Respond to my point and explain why it isn't true.


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