Speaking to attendees at the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show on January 20, comedian Bill Engvall referenced making a mistake and going along with gun control pushes during an appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher in 2011. In a tone of utter seriousness that was a complete departure from his well-known comedic persona, Engvall said he was wrong and that he realizes he should have stood up for more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens, not more gun control.
Engvall’s earlier gun control statement amounted to support for banning assault weapons, particularly AK-47s.
He first made the statement during an November 2011 appearance on Maher’s show, after MSNBC’s Alex Wagner suggested we “get rid of the Second Amendment.” Engvall initially countered her by saying, “My belief is that if we take away that right to bear arms, the only people that are going to have them are … the ones breaking into your house.”
Maher then suggested there at least be a limit on the number of guns a person can own, and Engvall made the mistake of saying, “I don’t believe there’s any reason for a person like myself to own an AK-47. I’d be willing to meet you halfway. I think you can ban guns if you can just pull the trigger and 60 bullets fire out.”
In that instant, Engvall became persona non grata with many in his own comedy audience, an audience comprised of GOP and Second Amendment voters. And as he addressed this statement during his 2015 SHOT Show appearance, it was evident a cloud had been hanging over his head since making it.
Correcting the record, Engvall, looking out at the SHOT Show attendees near the end of his routine, said:
I want you to know something about me. … There’s a lot of things I believe in this world. I believe in God, I believe in the United States of America, and I support and believe in the Second Amendment. I made a mistake a couple of years back. I got asked to be on this stupid TV show … [that is] very political, very controversial. And they had me on … [during a discussion] to repeal the Second Amendment. And he had a woman on there who was all for it, and he invited me on because he knows that I’m against it. And I made the mistake of trying to please everybody, and you can’t do that; you have to stick by what you believe in. And I honestly … believe that every law-abiding citizen of this country has the right to own whatever legal firearm they choose to own, and you cannot take that right away from them.
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