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Meredith Vieira Shoots Down Criticism of Open Carry Law

Meredith Vieira Shoots Down Criticism of Open Carry Law

Vieira informs open-carry critic Bianna Golodryga that at time of 1966 UT Tower shootings, students were permitted to carry and helped police

As soon as Yahoo’s Bianna Golodryga said she didn’t want to “turn political,” you knew that was precisely what she was about to do. But when Golodryga proceeded to criticize the Texas open-carry law this morning, you might be surprised that it was Meredith Vieira who—excuse the expression—shot her down.

Vieira was a guest on Morning Joe to discuss a documentary, for which she served as executive producer, about the University of Texas Tower shootings in 1966, in which Charles Whitman shot 49 people, killing 16. The gun-control shoe was bound to drop, and after her “not to turn political,” Golodryga launched into a criticism of the new Texas open-carry law, fretting that it could prevent UT from attracting “students and the top talent in teaching for fear of this law.”

Retorted Vieira: “It’s interesting. On that day, the students were allowed to carry on campus and the police relied on them. One of the police — they didn’t have SWAT teams back then and they didn’t have the equipment either to get to somebody who was up in the tower. So they were asking students: does anybody have a shotgun? The police themselves didn’t have shotguns. And the students helped them.”

There was no retort from Golodryga, whose alma mater happens to be UT Austin.

As my former colleagues at the Media Research Center have documented, Vieira has a liberal record on a number of issues. But despite her political leanings, I have found her to be fair and refreshing.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA: Not to turn political, but now with the new open carry law in Texas, it became a big issue on campus. Many professors and students were against it, they had the school board against it in fear that they wouldn’t be attracting the students and the top talent in teaching for fear of this law. And one of the reasons there’s this fear, obviously, is this haunting memory.

MEREDITH VIEIRA: It’s interesting. On that day, the students were allowed to carry on campus and the police relied on them. One of the police — they didn’t have SWAT teams back then and they didn’t have the equipment either to get to somebody who was up in the tower. So they were asking students: does anybody have a shotgun? The police themselves didn’t have shotguns. And the students helped them.


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Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. File this under “Strange Happenings”. Full moon?

Now returning to your regularly scheduled statist propaganda.

So Golodryga thinks UT might not attract top talent in professors and students? In the early 1970s the unwashing anti war crowd (of which Bill Ayers, FO Obama was part) bombed a physics lab in Madison. Uof Texas gained 2 VERY distinguished professors from that area who packed up LOCK Stock and barrel, grants, equipment and students and moved to U of Texas. A grad student of one was killed and millions in equipment was ruined. I think open carry might even make those transplanted libs feel safer than in Madison.

Henry Hawkins | January 5, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Vieira needs to be sat down pronto and reindoctrinated. We ain’t having this crap on cable news.

What is it with libs and their gunophobias? Who’s going to keep them safe from wackos and criminals until the police arrive?

    Dejectedhead in reply to showtime8. | January 5, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    It’s not just gunphobias…they invoke a phobia for everything. Fear is their currency.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to showtime8. | January 5, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    It devolves from the basic dichotomy of left vs. right. Who owns the guns? Those on the right. Then we’re against guns!

    Bob00 in reply to showtime8. | January 5, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Safe from fellow democrats? Shouldn’t the Hillary bumper sticker and the smug look protect them? UT is the source of CBS “journalists” since at least Cronkite. Being a student there must be like being a Korean war POW with more weed.

    Milhouse in reply to showtime8. | January 5, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    The word is hoplophobia

    Milwaukee in reply to showtime8. | January 6, 2017 at 1:36 am

    Mike Brown, former head of FEMA, a conservative, and David Sirota, a liberal-progressive-socialist, used to have a talk radio program in Denver. One time a crazy guy called in and claimed that his talking skills, his power of persuasion, were so wonderful that if some guy broke into his home, he was positive he could talk the guy out of doing violence. They didn’t drug screen callers.

    That Mike Brown served, and serves, our country honorably, and well. We owe him a debt for his fine public service.

For them…. “With individual weakness there is collective safety, with individual helplessness there is collective security.” A disarmed society is a cowardly society not willing or able to intervene to help a victimized fellow citizen. The “sheeple” are asking too much of law enforcement…. and Prog “law enforcement” is all to willing to disarm the public for increased power and influence. If it comes to prog law enforcement risking their lives for the populace… think marble slab for you and pizza for them.

Viera was mistaken. Tha Austin LEOs and TDPS DID have shotguns, which were ineffective until they got right up near the killer.

What students had that none of the LEOs had was rifles. With those, they were able to return fire such that the killer was far less able to kill or wound more victims.

This was largely the genius of the SWAT team.

    Mark Finkelstein in reply to Ragspierre. | January 5, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Interesting info: thanks for sharing. Although she didn’t have her facts straight, Meredith’s heart was in the right place, and Bianna was nothing less than a gun control propagandist.

    alaskabob in reply to Ragspierre. | January 5, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Correct… history is the great teacher….. Same with the Hollywood shootout…. the cops canvased the local gun shops for more firepower…. A quickly buried news item in the LA TImes…. BATFE was concerned as to who in Mexico could rebuild an semi-auto into full auto.. The semi-auto FN was apparently smuggled into Mexico … converted .. and smuggled (gee) into SoCal… I am (sadly) waiting for a black and white to be nailed with an RPG. The prog PDRK (Peoples Democratic Republik of Kalifornia) politicians could care less about true terrorism. Their goal is the perfect prog state….

      Ragspierre in reply to alaskabob. | January 5, 2017 at 4:06 pm

      It may have been the same incident…or another involving FBI agents…that saw them convert from pump shotguns (which take two hands and leave you helpless if you have a wounded arm/hand) to auto-loaders.

      That’s my primary “outside defense” piece for the small acres. Cheap. Effective. And produces volumes.

      With mixed OOO and slugs.

I lived in Austin at the time – though my elementary school was nowhere near the tower. But, I remember the pictures and films of average Texans pulling their deer rifles out of their rifle racks – standing behind their pickup trucks and shooting at the Tower Sniper.

Just regular people. Not deputized or anything.

    I have heard from some old timers in Austin that the area around the observation deck on the tower was a cloud of limestone dust due to the heavy rifle fire being laid down by civilians. Texas boys (and girls) like them some deer rifles.

Neither gun control, as practiced today, nor allowing firearms on campus would have stopped, or even shortened Charles Whitman’s assault from the tower of the U of T at Austin in 1966.

Whitman, despite his flaws and faults was still a competent Marine infantryman. He chose his sniper nest and planned his operation well. To dislodge Whitman required movement over open ground and maneuver vertically through the tower to engage him, something that most people are not trained or equipped to do. And, unless Whitman and his footlocker had been physically search by security, he would still have been able to import his weapons into the tower and engage his initial targets, even if possession of firearms was not allowed on the campus..

The debate on whether OC, in college classrooms, is a good idea or not will continue forever, as it is largely emotion driven on both sides.

    Shane in reply to Mac45. | January 5, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    I agree with your statement that gun control is largely emotion driven. This primarily is due to the fact that gun control i.e. self defense is even being debated. Looking at the English path you see that the slope starts with guns and doesn’t end with screwdrivers, as others have said it isn’t about gun control it is about control. So when you have one group trying to remove all recourse of self defense then the debate gets emotional fast.

    As to Whitman, first initiation and surprise will always win out. Don’t believe me, ask martial artists or boxers about the elements of winning a one on one confrontation with another human being … first blood is the usual response. An interesting note, at the time Texas did not allow hand guns in public spaces not that hand guns would have made a difference in this situation, but hunting rifles were and once enough people with long guns were on Whitman, his rampage was over. One of the police that stormed the tower noted that they had to keep low as they approached Whitman around the balcony because of all of the rifle fire from the ground.

    To me the most important lesson of the UT massacre wasn’t so much whether people are armed or not, but whether any gun control measure would have stopped a crazy like Whitman. I think that the answer is resoundingly no, which lays bare the real motives of those that advocate gun control.

      Mac45 in reply to Shane. | January 5, 2017 at 8:08 pm

      There were some rifles in vehicles on campus, but it took several minutes before any effective suppressive fire was brought to bear. Many people, including off-duty officers, responded from their homes with rifles. And, while the suppressive rifle fire was effective in limiting Whitman’s shooting angles, it did not stop him. In fact, if he had wished, Whitman could have simply fired a dozen rounds, killing or seriously wounding that many people, and slipped back down the tower and probably escaped. But, he planned to die there and that is what he did. In the course of a 1 & 3/4 hour shooting spree, he shot 49 people, killing 18.

      Yes, it is all about control. One side wants to control others by disarming them and other side wishes to control others by arming themselves. The problem with most of the advocates, in the gun control debate, is that they argue an all or nothing approach. It is either a person should be allowed to be armed everywhere, in case they are attacked, or nowhere, in case they are a potential attacker. Both positions are silly and ignore reality. Some people should not be allowed to possess deadly weapons, including firearms. There are some places where possessing a firearm poses a greater danger, to oneself and others, than not having a firearm. And, restricting the possession of firearms should be limited to specific places and situations based upon common sense threat assessments.

      As to whether there was any gun control measure that could have stopped Whitman, there was. We do it all the time at airports. It is physical screening. And, it is the strictest form of gun control. If the security guard, who spoke to Whitman when he was parking his car in front of the tower, had inspected Whitman’s footlocker, he would have been discovered. As a society, we have generally opted for the honor system, as we have done for virtually every other criminal law on the books.

      See, some regulation of weapons is necessary. Weapons were widely regulated, by the states, even after the 2nd Amendment was ratified. It was not until the 14th Amendment was ratified, in 1868, that the 2nd Amendment was applied to the states. And, even then, it was not ruled to be applicable until 2010, in McDonald. Also, the courts have held that certain regulations are not only allowable, but necessary, under the 2nd Amendment. The problem is always what those regulations should be.

        Tom Servo in reply to Mac45. | January 6, 2017 at 1:06 am

        We can’t be hard on the security guard for not searching the footlocker that day – this was a college campus, after all, and people are carrying bags, backpacks, footlockers, and any manner of carrier in and out and across campus all day long. With no apparent threat, no one would have stood for a guard that demanded to see inside everybodies stuff – he would have been run off as an over-officious nut.

          Mac45 in reply to Tom Servo. | January 6, 2017 at 12:18 pm

          You are missing the point. Shane said that nothing would have stopped Whitman from gaining access to the top of the tower with his weapons. My point was that if the guard, who Whitman encountered, had searched his footlocker, he would not have reached the tower undetected. You are correct that in 1966 and even today, we, as a society, will not stand for the inconvenience of in-depth personal searches.

          Now, one thing to consider is that Whitman would have been legally allowed to possess his rifle and shotgun on the UT campus. So, he could have carried it to the top of the tower and, presumably, would not have committed any crime, UNTIL he opened fire on the people below. This is one of the points that those opposed to firearms carry on campuses base their position on. That if you allow the instrument to be present, then there is a chance that someone will use that instrument in a deleterious manner. Where that argument breaks down, is when there is no mechanism in place to prevent a person from introducing the instrument in the first place. So, those in favor of carry on campus then argue that if a person is allowed to carry a firearm onto a campus, even if it is being done in violation of existing law, then another should be allowed to legally carry the same instrument on campus for protection. Both are valid. But, neither increases the safety to others from use of that firearm on campus. So, a person’s adoption of either argument boils down to the personal emotions of the individual. And, that means that neither side will ultimately win the argument, as both side’s position is flawed.

    Paul in reply to Mac45. | January 5, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Long guns on campus DID reduce the carnage. Suppressing fire keeping Whitman’s head down undoubtedly reduced the number of well placed shots he was able to get off. He was forced to stay down and fire through down spouts which severely restricted his range of fire.

Reminds me of an incident in Honolulu. Elephant broke lose from circus, killed thenrainer, injured others and went berserk, running down street. Police could do nothing with there .223s and 9mm. In Chinatown one police officer hid in a shop and the keeper walked out with a legal 30-30 rifle and said “use this”. One shot and the elephant was down.

Right and responsibilities. Religious/moral laws for self-moderating, responsible individuals and competing interests to keep others from running amuck.