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Alex Jones rant great for ratings, not much else

January 12, 2013|By Joseph Serna
(CNN )

In the debate over gun control, as shown through Piers Morgan’s interview with Alex Jones on CNN this week, I declare the winner -- Alex Jones.

And Piers Morgan. And CNN. And heck, even gun control advocates and gun enthusiasts.

While much of the even-tempered world was witnessing Morgan passively attempt to regain control of his interview with Jones as the conservative radio host unraveled in front of the camera lens, Jones’ ilk were surely galvanized, gun control advocates felt validated and bloggers salivated (including yours truly) over the “did you see that?” nature of the entire exchange.

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It seems everyone can capitalize on that essentially pointless few minutes of television except the people hoping to see a meaningful discussion about new methods of gun control.

Some in the media wrote that Jones’ wandering, paranoid outburst hurt gun enthusiasts’ position in the debate. I may be an optimist in this regard, but I think most rational people watching don’t believe that all, or even most, gun owners are like Jones and believe any semblance of increased gun restrictions is equal to the dictatorship of Stalin or the first step toward another Revolutionary War.

But to the survivalists out there, to the folks who say they’re “protecting” the 2nd Amendment and claim gun control is on par with government agents going into every home and taking away every firearm, Jones’ volatile responses were music to their ears. Same goes for gun control advocates who point to Jones and argue: “See! We can’t work with these people.” It was like catnip for some on the right and left alike. I’d bet Jones got quite the spike in listeners after that interview.

But relax. Though there are some radical members of Congress who seem to believe that President Obama is a Kenyan and Big Brother is watching us all, there’s not enough of them to wholly control the debate. Just as there aren’t enough on the other side who would abolish the 2nd Amendment.

The Jones interview provided plenty for both camps to stew on, and probably gave CNN’s website a welcome dose of traffic, but not much else. In the end, it’s going to be the people sitting at the discussion table in Washington -- and who they think will turn out to vote in future primary and general elections -- that will decide this debate.

Let’s just hope there are fewer Joneses than the rest of us when it’s time to hold our lawmakers accountable.

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