The View co-host Meghan McCain on Monday pushed back against Kelly Clarkson’s emotional plea for “action” on guns in the wake of last week’s deadly Santa Fe High School shooting, expressing skepticism that the pop star had any particular change in mind.
While opening Sunday evening’s Billboard Music Awards, which was dedicated to the 10 victims of the Houston-area school shooting, Clarkson said: “Once again, y’all, we’re grieving for more kids that have died for just an absolute no reason at all, they also wanted me to do a moment of silence, and I’m so sick of moment of silence. It’s not working like obviously so… sorry.”
The singer continued, her voice breaking and eyes welling up with tears: “Why don’t we not do a moment of silence, why don’t we do a moment of action? Why don’t we do a moment of change? Why don’t we change what’s happening, because it’s horrible.”
McCain shot down her liberal View co-host Joy Behar’s assertion that stricter gun-control measures could have prevented massacres such as the one in Santa Fe, and then pivoted to questioning Clarkson’s plea for change.
“I admire anyone who wants to go out and take a platform and speak on this issue,” the conservative co-host said, “but for me I was like, okay, what is change mean to you?”
She then continued to question Clarkson’s public moment by citing all the times the pop star has talked about her own avid gun ownership. Clarkson told NPR in 2012 that she owned nine guns (“More than me,” McCain noted) and slept with a Colt .45, saying that, without a firearm, she “got no chance [sic] if some man breaks into my house.” The singer then told People Magazine in 2015 that she possessed a concealed handgun license.
McCain read both accounts aloud for The View audience, and then asked: “So are you now—I’m curious, someone like that—are you now for repealing the Second Amendment?”
Co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Sunny Hostin jumped in to say, “I don’t think she’s saying that.”
“Or whatever. But I didn’t understand,” McCain continued. “I get it, a call to action, but okay. What do you mean, Kelly?”
Sara Haines suggested Clarkson simply meant for people to come together instead of “running to their own corners” and either suggesting more gun laws or ardently resisting any new rules.
Ultimately, McCain concluded, the real solution may be a conversation on mental health. “What is it about young boys in our culture who are rejected by girls?”
As to what specific change Clarkson may envision, the answer may already exist. The New York Times reported that Clarkson tweeted to comedian Amy Schumer in 2015 that she was for people taking “a gun course” and “background checks” before purchase “as a gun owner.”
“Mommas and daddies should be able to send their kids to school. To church. To movie theaters. To clubs. You should be able to live your life without that kind of fear,” Clarkson said at the end of her Billboard Awards opening. “We need to do better. We need to do better because people are failing our children, we’re failing our communities, we’re failing their families.