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Monday, December 3, 2012
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Guns, football and murder
Guests: Juan Williams and Mary Katharine Ham

"Kansas City Chief football player Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend, the mother of his 3-month-old daughter, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in front of his coaches... Belcher used a handgun to commit his crimes. There are many different aspects to this case, but NBC sportscaster Bob Costas brought one of them into the arena last night when he quoted a Kansas City sportswriter named Jason Whitlock, who assigned some of the blame for the horrible crime on gun possession...
"The Constitution gives Americans the right to protect themselves... In many parts of the country, people need handguns in order to feel secure against criminals who might harm them. Talking Points has long felt that criminals who use handguns should be punished more harshly. In fact, all gun crimes in America should be federal crimes and that includes illegal possession... There should be mandatory federal prison time for any person convicted of having a gun illegally. And if you commit a crime with a gun, that mandatory should be 10 years...

"It is quite understandable that people are reacting emotionally to this terrible crime in Kansas City. But the problem America has is not law-abiding citizens possessing weapons... Crimes committed with handguns and out-of-control people, that's what's hurting the USA."

Juan started the conversation by saying he personally believes the Founding Fathers were worried about a militia when they wrote the 2nd Amendment, but he conceded that the Supreme Court disagrees. He pointed out, however, that you're more likely to shoot yourself, a spouse, or a child with your weapon than anyone who intends to do you harm.

The Factor opined that the federal government needs to send a message that Americans can't abuse this privilege: they won't restrict sale of handguns to people who are legally entitled, but you're going to jail if you commit a crime with a gun or you don't have proper paperwork.

Mary Katharine lamented that there's been very little desire by the NFL to put blame on the player for his heinous crime, thus obscuring an important discussion about domestic violence.

While friendly with the sportscaster, the Factor put forth that it was irresponsible of Bob Costas to bring this topic up without presenting solutions. Juan admitted that he doesn't have a solution either, but reminded viewers that other countries with stricter gun control have fewer deaths by guns.
Should The Factor tone down its defense of Christmas?
Guests: Father Jonathan Morris

Every year, the Factor has to deal with assaults on the Christmas holiday and traditional America. Schools replacing Christmas carols with secular songs, atheists trying to get the manger scene banished, and towns ceasing to call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree are all insulting. So the Factor promised not to back down from its campaign to protect the holiday, but Father Jonathan Morris sees it a bit differently.

Father Morris called it silly for people to try to diminish Christmas and take away our traditions. While he thinks it's important to speak out, he cautioned against getting upset to the point where our Christmas becomes all about the so-called war on the holiday.

The Factor defended his stance, saying this is about a larger assault on Christianity in America where you can now bash Christians in this country without consequence. He warned that if Christians don't start stepping up more forcefully, they're going to lose their traditions in this country.
Ann Coulter effectively banned from Fordham University
Guests: Jesse Watters

Last month, students in the Republican Club at Fordham University invited conservative commentator Ann Coulter to speak on campus. Some students who object to her ideology protested, the president of the university sided with them, and the conservative students rescinded their invitation. Yet radical Princeton professor Peter Singer, who says killing babies after they're born might be acceptable, is allowed to speak on campus.

Watters sampled some students at Fordham and found that most couldn't point to anything Ms. Coulter has said that personally offended them, yet they largely agreed with the decision to ban her speaking engagement.

Asked by the Factor about the university's justification for allowing Singer to speak, Watters reported that because Singer is a faculty member at Princeton, while Coulter is just a pundit, the university stood by its decision.
What are the best and worst run states in the U.S.?
Guests: Adam Carolla

An Internet survey found that California is the worst run state and North Dakota is the best-run state.

Carolla gave an example of why his state is last: while visiting Winnipeg, Canada, he discovered that actor Samuel L. Jackson, who lives in Beverly Hills, was in town shooting a movie. This is now par for the course, he said, as movie studios seek to avoid the unions and costly taxes that plague California.

Carolla: "California is like a hot blonde high school chick, getting by on her looks. She never had to study or exercise or eat right...she was just dealt a beautiful, genetic hand. And now she's 45 and she's falling apart."

The Factor agreed that California has been given everything and has mucked it up.
Bernie Goldberg weighs in on Bob Costas and the gun situation
Guests: Bernie Goldberg

Bernie and the Factor analyzed the Bob Costas controversy, where the sportscaster spoke about gun control as it relates to the Kansas City Chief tragedy.

Bernie had the opportunity to speak with Costas at length and relayed his views on the fallout from his rant: Costas told Bernie he wouldn't repeal the 2nd Amendment and that he has no problem with people having guns to protect themselves and to go hunting. Costas supports "reasonable gun control" and clarified that he wasn't talking about gun laws, but rather addressing a gun culture in America that creates attitudes where more bad things happen with guns than good things.

The Factor repeated his earlier assertion that the mistake Costas made was using an emotional situation to make a point about guns without putting forth a solution to the problem.

While the Factor doesn't believe there's a correlation between football/head injuries and the type of madness that made Jovan Belcher snap, he inquired about Bernie's opinion on the matter. Bernie, who has done extensive reporting on NFL head injuries for HBO's Real Sports, presented his view: the science is unequivocal that repeated hits to the head often lead to depression and the early onset of dementia.
Stephen Colbert challenging Killing Kennedy
* A new Gallup poll rated the ethical standards of various professions. It found that nurses received the highest marks with 85% of those polled calling the profession "very ethical," followed by journalists at 24%, members of Congress at 10%, and car salespeople at 8%.

* Last night in Washington, the Kennedy Center honors were given out. During that presentation, comedians Tina Fey and Ray Romano joked about how much taxes get taken from their paycheck, with President Obama in the audience.

* Starbucks is now offering a $7 "premium" cup of coffee. Jimmy Kimmel's show conducted a blind taste test, but actually just poured the same cheap cup of coffee in both cups.

* Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert released a book on the same day as "Killing Kennedy." So far, "Killing Kennedy" has outsold Mr. Colbert's tome by more than 5 times. Colbert has now launched a campaign called "Killing Killing Kennedy," telling viewers to buy his book.
Write it down!
Take your calendar and every day of the Christmas season, write down a nice thing you're going to do.
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