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About (Late) Last Night: On 'Tonight Show,' Bill Maher attacks NRA, Arizona ... and audience [video]


Bill Maher can always be counted on for a little controversy, and on last night's "Tonight Show," he surely delivered ... and then some. 

After a segment in which Maher poked fun of Christine O'Donnell and the new speaker of the House, John Boehner, Leno opened up the conversation: What were Maher's thoughts about the shootings this weekend in Arizona?

Over the ensuing four minutes, Maher certainly made his feelings clear.

"The NRA should change their name to the Assassin's Lobby, because that's what they are," he began. "Nobody needs a gun that fires 31 rounds."

Maher then criticized Arizona's permissive gun laws, which allow citizens to carry concealed weapons in many public places.  "These guys always think that it's great to have a gun because if some bad stuff goes down, I'll be able to stop the bad guy."  Dismissing this idea as a "fantasy," Maher claimed "You would never be able to do that. People have to be trained for months and months at a time."

Maher condemned the Democrats for abandoning the issue of gun control, a point which fell flat with Leno's audience. "There should be one party that sticks up for this issue," he said, garnering little reaction. "I'm not expecting it from this crowd."  Cue the nervous laughter.

When Leno brought up the hot-button issue of violent rhetoric in politics, Maher let loose, going after Newt Gingrich and a number of other Republicans, whose "go-to rhetoric," he claimed, suggests: "Wouldn't it be fun to kill people we disagree with?"

Some audience loudly disagreed with this point.  Maher responded, "Really, then, do you read?"  

As a rule, insulting someone's literacy is not the best way to win an argument, and it certainly wasn't in this case. Maher did get a more positive response from his comments on the patriotism of bringing home the troops home, expanding healthcare and paying taxes, but it was probably too late. When Leno awkwardly wrapped up the segment with a hasty plug for one of Maher's upcoming appearances, you could practically hear him sighing with relief.

Even for those who agree with him politically -- and surely there were more than a few in the "Tonight Show" audience -- Maher's abrasive tone isn't always easy to like.  

-- Meredith Blake




Comments () | Archives (65)

Way to go Bill. In your arrogance, you announce to the criminal world that you do not offer leathal force to protect your own person and property. Not a smart thing to do. Or is it that you are rich enough to hire security? Well, the rest of us either defend our selves and family or be victum to the criminal element. I choose to protect myself.

WOW now I heard it all. This guy remindes me of a bully, one that really doesnt know anything and think he does. Remember thoughs guys in school? They are confronted with something they dont know about and instead of making themself look bad, they just yell things out loud and start pushing to make themselves look big. When in reality they are uneducated and too lazy to really fix the issues.

Really Bill? I have two guns that hold 30+ rounds at a time. What good are they? Nothing, except I like them, and I have the right to own them, so you can't have them. And as far as literacy, do YOU read? why not try reading the constitution, the foundation of our country and highest law we have. Its right there in the 2nd. SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. Do you know what shall not means? How about infringed? Well, you are a liberal, maybe you're having trouble with the word be? Just admit it, you want us all to be good little serfs who kneel before the ruling class without question and do as were told.

I wonder....does *anyone in LA or California have any idea what the rest of America thinks about them? Do you? Do you understand that the rest of America honestly believes that 99 percent of you are marxists and that we really honest to gosh don't give a flip what you think? People in Californicate really believe they are the axis of the world. Actors and Berkley and "progressives", hehehe.... So much self-righteousness you have hey? Have any of you seen where most of America is actually praying for an earthquake to dump all of you in the ocean? Listen, if you people want to live a certain way...please....do it. But when you try and change the REST of the country into doing what YOU like...well, you be fixin' to get sum combat. Saavy? Just try staying on YOUR side of Death Valley and leave the rest of us alone.

What do you want to bet that Maher doesn't go anywhere in public without an armed escort? He is a hypocrite.

It always amazes me when someone uses a gun in an act of violence- the first thing everyone wants to do is outlaw high capacity magazines and guns. Don't these people realize that someone who wants to commit a crime with a gun will ALWAYS be able to get one somehow- and they do not care that it is illegal. We should spend more time and money prosecuting criminals with the laws that are on the books, and less time trying to restrict things bad guys will be able to acquire anyway.
Look at the philosophy this way as well, no cries "ban guns" when one gang member kills another do they?

I really hate this guy. What a joke of a man!

Bill Maher is such an irrational joke of a human.

Those that claim a '65% more likely' statistic are lying by omission. THOUSANDS of people every year, many in their home, defend themselves with guns. There are numerous, police-blotter stories where someone breaks into a home, and someone in the home, ranging from 12 year old girls to elderly men and women, grab a gun and keep themselves from being hurt, killed, or raped.

Then there is Bill Maher with his 'you wouldn't know what to do' lie. I personally know of someone who was drug into an alley, pulled his gun, and killed the person who was attempting to mug him, who also had a gun. My other friends tell of similar stores of people they know.

Did Bill Maher also did not mention that there were people there who had guns, but were smart enough to NOT pull and shoot in a crowd. No, another lie by omission. Bill Maher and the rest of the anti-gun nuts are very capable of only telling half a story.

The plain fact is that two of the most violent cities in this country, Chicago and New York, also had or still have the most strinent gun requirements. My own town, Mesa Arizona, has lower violent crime rates that a Buffalo New York, a similar sized town that is in a state with stricter gun control laws.

My wife and I target shoot almost every weekend. It's fun to go out to the range and shoot at paper targets trying to get better, or out into the desert and shoot at bottles. We do train, Mr. Maher, for months and years. We talk about how to keep our house safe without having an armory. We discuss how to make sure it's an intruder and not a friend in the house.

It is you Mr. Maher that needs to read more, not those that have guns.

Bill Maher's career has washed up. Obviously he is against guns due to his ignorance in the subject. NRA is strictly an organization that represents its members by protecting the second amendment. The funny thing about the banning of high capacity magazines, any shooter who practices for a small amount of time can switch magazines in a matter of seconds. So if they ban 10+ round magazines, criminals will just carry 5, 10 round magazines and do just as much damage or worse! The other thing to remember is that criminals don't follow laws. At the time when Jared Laughner purchased his gun, he passed a FEDERAL background check to get it. It's not like he went into Bubba's gun shop and Bubba said "You look like a good guy, here you go". Most of the people that criticize gun laws only know the process of what they read in the liberal media.

Didn't everyone also notice that when the 1994 gun ban was put into place that all killings stopped, no criminals used ar-15's, hi-cap magazines, etc. The only people that lose that battle are the law abiding citizens....

I should want Bill Maher to tell me that I should or should not own a firearm? About vices, he should know huh? But how is it that those who oppose my ownership of firearms and my carrying a firearm are so quick to assume that I'm a lunatic or an idiot? Is it because they realize that they aren't quite plumb so they assume that everyone is off plumb? There are enough pistols alone in the U.S. to arm every man, woman and child a couple of times over. Seriously. But look at the statistics, there is only a very tiny percentage used to injure or kill in a crime. The rest are owned by people like me. I've been carrying concealed for over 35 years. I have only had to show my pistol to an attacker once. He fled. I have never had to use it. If people like Maher get their way I will become a criminal for owning a firearm and the criminals will still be armed.
This whole thing about magazine capacity is a joke, but not very funny. Personaly I prefer a shorter mag, they're easier to handle and if you need more rounds buy another mag. It's a simple matter to push the mag release and drop the empty while grabbing a full mag. With a little practice any dufus can train himself to replace mags and chamber another round and resume fire in about 2 seconds. So much for the mag capacity stuff. I own a .22 cal target pistol that has a magazine and I keep extras so that when my wife and I are at the range we can fire for a longer time without having to stop and load mags. Loading mags takes time and time is what we pay for at the range.
I think the whole point I'm trying to make is that people like my wife and I represent the overwhelming majority of the gun owning public. We don't take drugs, we drink very little and we handle our firearms responsibly. And we have morals we would never use one against anything other than paper unless we had to. Or for hunting. If you try to disarm the public you may get the arms from the law abiding but the people that worship skulls in the back yard and read Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto and stalk women like the Arizona shooter did will still have some kind of weapon. And you won't.
Adm. Yamamoto stated that the reason he dreaded the idea of invading the U.S. is that he had been here and he knew there would be an American with a gun behind every blade of grass if Japan invaded. At the same time the Japanese were dreading an invasion of a well armed U.S., Britain was begging us to send our old worn out weapons to them for their home guard. The people were almost defenseless. I don't know about you but the idea of the goverment having all the firepower and our enemies having firepower but me not having any is unsettling. Bill maher go back and smack your girl around some more and take whatever drugs you're on and leave us alone here in the real world.

Maher is an idiot because the cuts are for long term savings. Yes, 25 million is not much compared to 1 trillion but count the savings just for 10 years and it can help. 1 million is still 1 million. If we would focus mainly on US and not the world then we can easily get out of debt. I believe in helping others but in order to help others you must make sure you yourself will be able to help them. We keep paying politicians to voice our opinions and secure our INVESTMENTS but as we have all seen, they are just trying to make their own pockets fat. That is why the Tea Party worked in removing many of the irresponsible politicians but we still have many more still in office. We are in major debt and if we cut back and let other Governments take liability for ALL THEIR ACTIONS, then they too can learn to take care of themselves.

Maher needs to remember an unarmed country is a country that can be taken over. As history has shown, the Japanese did not want to invade this country due to their fears. Their emperor did not want to invade AMERICA because he knew that we were a country with armed citizens. He knew that civilians would come out from every home to protect their country. Maher needs to look outside his box and realize that there are other countries that practice what we practice, "THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS." In Switzerland they train their civilians to protect their country and have proved it to be very successful. So much censorship in this country that everyone in this country is trained to look around them with a blind eye.

With people like Bill "IDIOT" Maher, expect us all the crumble beside him in times of great disaster. It is people like him that is making this country move backwards and not forward with his stupid ideology.


Sure. I've heard of Bill Maher. I accidentally clicked on my pay-tv 'rent' button once and wound up getting one of his crappy movies where he practices ambush journalism and selective editing to slander Christians.

Forget 'free so I watched it'. It sucked so badly I couldn't stand to watch more than 10 minutes of it. And I suspect I did better than most.

Bill Maher running his idiot mouth at people. What a shocker.

Maher is a despicable elitist pig. It is far easier to say "angry rhetoric causes violence" than to ask what causes angry rhetoric as if anger just comes down from the sky like rain. Maher's contempt for our Constitution does not phase me as I see no evidence whatsoever that his intellect is equal to that of Madison or Jefferson.

I will assume that Bill Maher has body guards to carry guns for him, as for the rest of us we are looking for a job and can't afford that kind of protection. I would also assume that the president and other politicians have people to carry a gun for them as well.
I was a contractor as in construction, but they have passed a law that says I have to pay $300.00 and take a long training class on the handling and the dangers of lead paint. In 1978 they outlawed lead paint, I have been in business since 1984 and I can assure you if there is any lead base paint around I have encountered it by now. If I don't take this class and pay the money every five years I will be fined $37,000 per day. By the way if I do take this class I have to hire someone that took the advance class so they can let me do my work. Has anyone seen anything about nearly everything coming into the country from China has been coated with lead paint. I can see where I must be a much greater threat than the entire country of China.
Arizona has every low life we can think of crossing what was suppose to be a border so why would you the protection of a gun. Sherriff Apiola has a contract on him put out by drug dealers so I am sure he doesn't need a gun. Not too many years ago I bought a pistol and I was waiting for the government to say I was or was not qualified to own a pistol. It had not been long begore that the US government was happy for me to carry a automatic weapon and trained me to kill people.
As for the amazingly small percentage the cuts in spending would be lets figure out how small the percentage is compared to 0, nothing, zilch. I am sure Bill Maher can buy a calculator or hire an accountant to figure those and tell us which is higher.
Bill Maher is an opportunist and Jay Lino Knew what he is, that is why he had him on the show. I will be morte able to stop he bad guy if I have a gun than if I had nothing but to cry and plea for my life. Let's give Bill Maher a job on the border. Without a gun.


bill maher is nothing more than a cartoon. his opinions and arguments are banal at best, and dangerous at worst. that he actually gets on tv, really explains alot about the ignorant state of our country.
to call him a wacko socialist is an insult to those people.
his psuedo intellect really is sickening, and unfortunately he is infecting others.
his "show" is a joke because he seldom, if ever, has on folks with opposing views. perhaps because he knows what would happen.
also he totally ruined a perfectly good "family guy" program with his appearance. what a waste of air time. a test pattern is more noble than mar.

First as a person that has shot guns with large capacity magazines I'd like to say that they are a lot of fun to shoot, second there are hundreds of thousands of these magazines maybe millions in circulation and because one person misused one of these magazines Bill would outlaw all of them?! Lets apply this to another inanimate object, lets say small statues, the table type variety, so if someone bludgeons someone to death with a small statue should we outlaw all statuettes? I mean as many people enjoy shooting guns as looking at statuettes maybe more, and billions of rounds of ammo are shot each year at paper targets and no one gets hurt, I don't know how many statuettes are enjoyed each year but I doubt it's in the billions, in short people should stop trying to outlaw something they don't understand, I don't understand statuettes nor do I own any but I certainly wouldn't call for them to be banned because someone got bludgeoned with one, I would call for the punishment of the criminal who committed the crime.

I remember wondering why Rosanne Barr was hired to sing the national anthem at a sporting event, and thinking that the controversial result should have been anticipated. She's a comedian. So is Bill Mahr. He's going for laughs.
I'm just suggesting that we view his political comedy as exactly that. For serious political analyses we might want to look to sources that have a record of basing their analysis on reliable information. I look to other sources for comedy too, but that's just me.

Bill Maher is an idiot. I don't understand why he even gets on the air, maybe something for the radical left to look at. His points are so looney left he becomes more of an idiotic the more he talks. This was evidenced by the silence in the audience on most of his statements.

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