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Alex Jones is a Gun Rights Straw Man

After conspiracy-mongering radio host Alex Jones started a petition to have Piers Morgan deported because of his support for gun control, the CNN personality invited Jones on to debate the issue. Jones acted as insanely as you’d expect, and Morgan is now declaring victory on the gun control argument:

“I can’t think of a better advertisement for gun control than Alex Jones’ interview last night,” Morgan told CNN on Tuesday. “It was startling, it was terrifying in parts, it was completely deluded. It was based on a premise of making Americans so fearful that they all rush out to buy even more guns … the kind of twisted way that he turned everything into this assault on the Second Amendment is exactly what the gun rights lobby people do.”

At least one person agreed that Jones was a terrible spokesman for gun rights: Glenn Beck. Speaking on his radio show Tuesday, he said that Morgan had chosen well if his intention was to discredit the pro-gun movement.

“Piers Morgan is trying to have gun control,” Beck said. “He is trying to make everybody who has guns and who believes the Second Amendment to be a deterrent to an out of control government look like a madman. So now he immediately books the madman and makes him look like a conservative.”

Beck is right. That’s like bringing on an Adbusters editor to provide the counterargument to the GOP tax position, or Charlie Sheen to make the case for marijuana decriminalization. These people are not fair representatives for the debates. Jones is an anti-fluoridation activist who questions the “official account” of 9/11 and preaches about the coming One World Order. He is a cartoon of a fringe figure. The only thing Morgan proved by giving a platform to such a straw man was a lack of confidence in his own arguments.

“I can’t think of a better advertisement for gun control than Alex Jones’ interview last night,” Morgan said afterward. How about bringing on a serious gun rights advocate, debating him, and then winning?