An on-air spat between Tucker Carlson and an ex-cop running for congress spiraled out of control after the Fox host tore apart the candidate’s dubious claim that an AR-15 can fire 150 rounds in 15 seconds.
Carlson, a conservative firebrand known for his lively interviews, invited Pat Davis – a former police officer running for congress in New Mexico – onto his show to discuss Davis’ provocative anti-gun campaign ads.
The interview begins with Tucker showing one of Davis’ ads, which features Davis stating rather bluntly: “F*uck the NRA [National Rifle Association].”
“So… that’s the ad? F the NRA? Kind of moronic, no?” Tucker quipped after the 15-second ad finished.
“That’s it, just 15 seconds, but it got a whole lot of attention and started a new conversation about guns, and I’m grateful for that,” the Democratic candidate responded.
Carlson, clearly still skeptical of the conversation-starting qualities of the ad, then moved on to Davis’ second, perhaps even more provocative, anti-gun segment, in which he implies that an AR-15 – the apparent weapon of choice in recent mass shootings – is capable of firing 150 rounds in 15 seconds.
“Is that true? How would that work, exactly?” Carlson asked his guest.
“That’s right,” Davis replied. He then said that AR-15 owners can buy a “legally-available add-on, like a bump stock,” which would allow them to achieve this Herculean feat of gun-handling.
It was at this point that Carlson took the proverbial gloves off.
“So would it have a 150-round magazine? What would that magazine look like? … So you can fire, it’s physically possible to fire – it’s not. I mean, these are rhetorical questions. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
With Davis stammering and attempting to get a word in, Carlson continued: “No AR-15 can fire 150 rounds in 15 seconds. That’s untrue, and if you believe it is true, then you’re not qualified to have a conversation about guns. People are laughing at you because you’re ignorant.”
The rest of the segment involved Carlson and Davis talking over one another, with the Fox host eventually ending the on-air anarchy with: “Learn something about guns, and then get back to me. Interview over!”
So how many rounds can an AR-15 fire in 15 seconds? There are a number of important factors to consider – including the size of the magazine being used – but the general consensus seems to be that the spectacular rate of fire that Davis attributes to the gun is highly unrealistic.
“Is it really possible to fire 180 rounds per minute from a semiauto? Perhaps using a belt-fed gun with an endless supply of ammo, operated by a top competitor. But I doubt it. Certainly not in any real world context,” read an answer to “How many rounds does a semi-automatic rifle fire per minute?” on Quora.