After former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly—ousted from his nightly show earlier this year following allegations of sexual harassment—described the blood-soaked massacre at a Las Vegas music festival on Sunday night that left 59 people dead and hundreds wounded as "the price of freedom," the good people of the nation had a simple response: No, you heartless and mindless idiot.
"Once again," O'Reilly wrote on his personal blog Monday, "the big downside of American freedom is on gruesome display." Later, he argued that mass murder at the hands of people with automatic assault rifles is simply "the price of freedom" because "violent nuts are allowed to roam free until they do damage, no matter how threatening they are."
Though a classic construction of right-wing demagoguery, that thinking is betrayed by serious academic research which shows that when strict gun control laws are put in place, these kinds of attacks are incredibly rare compared to what the United States—hostage as it is to the nation's gun industry lobby and the NRA—has been forced to experience in recent decades.
Meanwhile, on social media, O'Reilly (aka, "Satan" and a "POS") was told in nearly countless ways to simply STFU and go away:
No, Bill O'Reilly, having to listen to you is the (high) price of freedom. Gun massacres are the price of weak gun laws.
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) October 2, 2017
Mass shootings are not the price of freedom, they're the price civilians pay so that GOP blood stained pockets remain full from the @NRA.
— Francis Maxwell (@francismmaxwell) October 3, 2017
"Not today, Satan. Not today…" https://t.co/2MtLz3Jqzb
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) October 2, 2017
Dear Bill O'Reilly...
Go to the funeral for anyone that died needlessly in Las Vegas.
And tell them it is the price of freedom.
— Frederick Douglass (@gettinnoticedmo) October 2, 2017
A sexual predator has the nerve to call mass shooting horror "the price of freedom".
— Nicki (@nickiknowsnada) October 2, 2017
When Bill O'Reilly equates mass murder with the 'price of freedom' and MMs believe him, we have a mass mental illness problem in the USA. pic.twitter.com/X3MWOLQWnq
— No Foxnewstoday (@NoFoxnewstoday) October 3, 2017
— Col. Morris Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) October 2, 2017
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) October 3, 2017