- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Bill O’Reilly sparked an uproar on social media after he said Sunday night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas was the “downside of American freedom.”

In a blog post on his personal website, the ousted Fox News host said stricter gun laws wouldn’t have stopped 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, who opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing 59 people and injuring more than 515 others who were attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival down below.

“The murderer had a number of deadly weapons in his room and you can count on the gun control debate to ramp up,” Mr. O’Reilly wrote. “But having covered scores of gun-related crimes over the years, I can tell you that government restrictions will not stop psychopaths from harming people. They will find a way.

“Public safety demands logical gun laws, but the issue is so polarizing and emotional that little will be accomplished as there is no common ground,” he continued. “The NRA and its supporters want easy access to weapons, while the left wants them banned.

“This is the price of freedom. Violent nuts are allowed to roam free until they do damage, no matter how threatening they are,” he concluded. “The Second Amendment is clear that Americans have a right to arm themselves for protection. Even the loons.”

The post was swiftly criticized on Twitter, with some users arguing that there’s nothing free about a people having to live in fear.

Mr. O’Reilly also criticized Hillary Clinton for attacking the NRA in the wake of the attack, asking his followers, “Death in Vegas, politics as usual. Were you offended by Hillary Clinton bringing up the NRA while bodies are still in the morgue?”

Mr. O’Reilly was forced out of Fox News in April amid multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

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