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The Second Amendment in the Context of the Parkland Shooting

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HUGH HEWITT: Morning-glory, America. It's Hugh Hewitt. Thank you for listening. That music signifies that we are indeed in the last radio hour of the week. That is the "Hillsdale Dialogue," the hour set aside for talking about the most important issues, the timeless ones, with someone from Hillsdale College, the lantern in the north.

All things Hillsdale are collected at Hillsdale.edu, including must-see courses on the Constitution, which are absolutely free. Wonderful course on Churchill. You ought to see it before Gary Oldman walks away with the Oscar for his performance in The Darkest Hour.

And all of our conversations with usually President Larry Arnn of Hillsdale, as it will be today, are collected at HughforHillsdale.com. Dr. Arnn, good morning to you.

LARRY ARNN: Good morning. How are you?

HUGH HEWITT: I'm great. CPAC gets underway. The president just tweeted he is off to talk to it soon. And no doubt he will be talking about gun control. So I thought we would diverge. We were at Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution in our Constitution Series.

And skip forward, if we could, to the Second Amendment. Because that will be the text and subtext of every conversation at CPAC and every conversation on every Sunday show this weekend. Have you been following closely the town halls and the listening sessions in the aftermath of the slaughter at Parkland?

LARRY ARNN: I've been reading reports of them.

HUGH HEWITT: All right. So let's begin by setting the table. The Second Amendment reads, "a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." This was decisively interpreted by the Court in an opinion by the late Justice Scalia on June 6, 2008. We are approaching the 10th anniversary of Heller. What's it mean, Larry Arnn?

LARRY ARNN: Well, they have in mind-- there's a really great resource people should go and read called The Founders' Constitution. Just Google that. It's a University of Chicago Press publication, and it's online for free. And it's one of the great scholarly apparatus for understanding the Constitution.

And so what it does is each clause, an amendment to the Constitution, it presents a bunch of documents from that time about what people thought they meant. Each part of the Constitution. And the Second Amendment is a particularly clear part, and it just has to do with two things. Our individual and natural right to defend ourselves from harm when we're faced with it, and the other is the prudence or good judgment of having an armed people, who are trained, who can either substitute for or stand up to a standing army in case the government becomes oppressive.

HUGH HEWITT: Given those two-- I'm looking right now at Amendment Two. And Joseph Story's commentaries on the Constitution at the Founder's Constitution, which is really quite remarkable. "The importance of this article," wrote Justice Story, in his legendary magisterial commentary, "will scarcely be doubted by any persons who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia's a natural defense of a free country against sudden foreign invasion, domestic insurrection, domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is, again, sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies." I want to skip down to-- "the right of citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as a palladium of the liberties of a republic, since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."

So there is clearly intended more than simple defense of your home, though it does include the Story Constitution-- the object of defense of yourself.

LARRY ARNN: That's right. And the government itself goes from our right to defend ourselves. And if you couple these two things together, that it's for personal defense and it's for citizens defending the republic, the freedom of the republic against oppression, including political oppression, think what an attitude about government that-- which runs everywhere in the Constitution and all through the founding. This is our government. And we are supposed to manage it. And we are supposed to defend it. And so we must have the means to do that. And this idea that only experts should do almost everything, including citizen defense is foreign to the American Revolution.

HUGH HEWITT: Now, the aftermath of every shooting is difficult. This, about teenagers, is very difficult. You love young people. You run a college. You've run a college for how many years? 25 years?

LARRY ARNN: 18.

HUGH HEWITT: OK. And so you love young people, and you've had children of your own. And so there's nothing as heartbreaking. And so I put aside the emotion of the week, and I give everyone a lot of space to say even the most irrational of things, because grief does that to people, right? It can lead to anger, and that anger can be misdirected.

But eventually we will come back to consider how to protect schools in the context of the Second Amendment. And our friend, Mark Levin, likes to say this is a Bill of Rights, not of needs. He likes to emphasize that. People say, you don't need an AR-15, and Mark replies, this is a bill of rights, not of needs. How important is that to remember at the beginning of the conversation?

LARRY ARNN: Yeah. You know, it's so large, you could miss it, the way you could lie on your back and almost miss the sky, because you can't see anything else. So the purpose of the American government, and it's the first in history with this purpose, is for each one of us to have a right and an opportunity to live a fully human life. And human lives are threatened and fragile and end, but we have a right to defend our lives and our persons and our property.

And so the idea that it's not an individual right or that we wouldn't be responsible and also that responsibility extends to our whole republic. So you have to get yourself into that frame of mind. You have to understand this is supposed to be a government run by the people.

HUGH HEWITT: Now, in all fairness the Heller decision, which firmly declared the Second Amendment to be an individual right, is only 10 years old, and it was a five-to-four decision. And we have seen previous bad decisions decided by five-to-four overturned. So there is no certainty that Heller and its progeny, McDonald, will not be overturned.

But we, for the moment, have settled law which holds that the District of Columbia handgun ordinance provided that you basically couldn't have guns. If we get down to the bottom line, you couldn't own an assembled weapon in your house. And that was unconstitutional. And the Court further said not.

Mostly they got-- most of this, it's massive. I have an inch of opinion here. Two dissents, one majority by Scalia. And McDonald, they basically got to the point that it's an individual right. Not a right to have militia existing with armories around them, but individuals owning weapons in their house.

But now we have to put that into the modern context, Dr. Arnn. And how do you approach that project?

LARRY ARNN: Well, so there has to be a weighing. So I'll give you another example. Tell you about how you think about what weapons can people own. So the founders believed overwhelmingly that religion was a good thing and should be encouraged.

Madison and Jefferson were sometimes the radical two who didn't think that, but only sometimes. Because they said things on both sides. So you need to encourage religion, they thought. You should have public prayers. You should teach religion in schools. It had to be a broad religion, so as not to discriminate against anybody.

And on the other hand, we have freedom of religion. And that is no one is to be compelled to worship against his conscience. So can you tax people to support the church of their choice? The founders overwhelmingly agreed that you could, although Madison and Jefferson, who were so powerful, got it stopped in Virginia. But you couldn't make anybody go to service or pray or exclude them from citizenship on the ground of their religion. So you have to protect both things, see?

So now we live in the age of nuclear weapons. And does the Second Amendment mean we each get one? I have not only children, but dogs in my house, and so we don't want one.  

LARRY ARNN: Lord knows what would happen. And one mistake is a be all and end all. So of course it doesn't mean that. And that means we're in the area of prudence. And there's a long train of cases and decisions and laws in America that draw the line at automatic weapons.

And an automatic weapon is one where you hold down the trigger, and it shoots till it's out of bullets, and you only have to pull it once. And a semi-automatic, which will shoot pretty quickly and which is not at all difficult to make. Not one of them is actually difficult to make. That you have to pull the trigger each time a round discharges.

And so since the 1930s, it's been illegal for individuals to own automatic weapons without a license, and that usually goes to collectors. The college is going to inherit a Thompson machine gun eventually, and I have actually fired that gun. And--

HUGH HEWITT: As has Churchill, I believe, right?

LARRY ARNN: Oh, yeah. He used to hold one and took a picture with one. So the point is you can draw a line, but that line would not be no weapons.

HUGH HEWITT: And when we come back, we'll talk about the lines that are being proposed, the amendment that exists, the cases that have elucidated it, and where the conversation goes next. Stay tuned, America. It's the Hugh Hewitt Show, The Hillsdale Dialogue, with Dr. Larry Arnn, all things Hillsdale at Hillsdale.edu.

Welcome back, America. It's Hugh Hewitt with Dr. Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, for our weekly conversation about something that really matters. This week, it's the Second Amendment. Dr. Arnn and I have been working through the United States Constitution. We're all the way up to Article I, Section 8, but we're jumping ahead of the Second Amendment in the aftermath of the slaughter at Douglas High School and the ongoing explosive and bitter debate over weapons and what ought to be done.

I want to play for you, Dr. Arnn, President of the United States, Donald Trump, talking about arming teachers. And he had this sort of matter-of-fact way about him. Cut number seven.

DONALD TRUMP: You can talk about your gun-free zones. We had a case three years ago at a military base where five Marines, I believe, three of whom were world-class shots and experts at guns, they were told there was a gun-free area within a military base, if you can believe it. If we can't trust our military, who are we going to trust? You know what I'm saying.

Five. They were putting away-- they put away their guns. Their guns were in a different section. Totally gun-free. Their guns were 250 yards away from them, where they had to store them.

And they went in for lunch, and a wacko came in and shot the five of them. He wouldn't have lasted for one-- three of these people were world-class marksmen. He wouldn't have lasted for a second. But they stood there, there was nothing they could do. All five were killed. You know the instance I'm talking about. That was in a gun-free zone on a military base.

Well, a school is, frankly, no different. I want my schools protected just like my banks are protected, just like everything else. And I get a kick-- I was watching a politician. Weak, ineffective effective politician last night. I'll tell you a name, but I don't want to embarrass anybody.

And he was talking about no guns, no this, no that. And yet he's surrounded by three guys carrying guns. I said, well, when are they going to give up their guns? They're not going to give up their guns, but he wants everybody else to have no guns, all right? And you have plenty of them.

So we have to harden our sights. We have to be very careful. And these people, as adept as they may-- they have to go to training, I would say, every six months or every year.

They have to have a fairly-- really, a rigorous course in what they're doing. And they should be paid extra money. Those teachers should be paid extra money. So they get a bonus, and they love getting that bonus, too.

And it would be much less expensive than the guards. It wouldn't look bad. We have guards. It looks like you have an armed camp. That would look terrible. Because people are talking about we're going to put a lot of security guards in the building. It would look terrible. And it would be much more effective.

But I'll tell you what. If you harden these sites in that way or some other way in a similar fashion, not only teachers, coaches, it could be other people that work in the building. If you hardened the sites, you're not going to have this problem. Because these guys who lack courage will never go into those schools. Those schools are going to be safe.

But when you say a school is gun-free, it's got no guns, no nothing, it's gun-free, boy, they start-- that's what they want to hear. So I agree with you, Patrick.

HUGH HEWITT: Dr. Arnn, your reaction to the president's comments.

LARRY ARNN: I think he's really got the root of the matter in him right. I don't want to say everything we do at Hillsdale College, because why advertise. But an approach like that is our approach. Michigan law forbids the carrying of guns in all kinds of academic buildings, but what if people are around who have some training and understand what their duties are in the event of a shooting, well then they're there, right?

And you have to remember, Trump said something about having too many guards. There was a Sheriff's deputy assigned to that school and on the scene. And he's been just dismissed yesterday, effectively for cowardice, because he was ordered to go in and put a stop to that, and he didn't go.

HUGH HEWITT: He didn't run. He froze. And I have sympathy for him. Who knows what lurks in every man's heart when the moment comes, but he didn't go in. And the Sheriff is deeply embarrassed. And they won't show us the video, which I think is a telegraph of what it might show, cowering. But why humiliate the man.

On the other hand, it is an answer to the critics of guards with guns and teachers with guns. Why do so many people react so negatively? He's not asking anyone not to be trained or who isn't a volunteer. But this excites the left more than anything else.

LARRY ARNN: If you look at these episodes, like that Virginia Tech shooting, you have to remember that the government knew a lot about this young man, Cruz. Dozens of reports to the Sheriff's office and the FBI, and they didn't do anything. And they knew a lot about that guy at Virginia Tech. Nobody had a weapon to shoot that guy.

HUGH HEWITT: Yeah. And he rampaged. I'll be right back. Dr. Larry Arnn and I will talk about the Second Amendment as opposed to the propositions being put forward. Will it accept them? Stay tuned.

Welcome back, America. I'm Hugh Hewitt. The last radio hour of the week is The Hillsdale Dialogue, when I sit down with Dr. Larry Arnn or one of his colleagues on the faculty or staff of Hillsdale College, all things Hillsdale collected at Hillsdale.edu.

If you go there right now, you can, in fact, sign up for Imprimis, the speech digest of the college. Absolutely free. You can also sign up free for extended, wonderful, short segment lectures on the Constitution, on Winston Churchill, on many of the progressive movement's worst ills, and all of our previous conversations, dating back to 2013, are all collected, beginning with Homer, up to the present day. Our march through the Constitution at HughforHillsdale.com.

Dr. Arnn, David French. Wonderful guy. Writes for National Review. Good lawyer, bright man, wonderful guy. Wrote a piece that's somewhat alarming last night. "The Gun Control Debate Could Break America" he wrote yesterday afternoon. And the first paragraph reads, "last night--" he was referring to the CNN Town Hall on Wednesday night-- "last night, the nation witnessed what looked like an extended version of the famous Two Minutes Hate from George Orwell's 1984.

During a CNN Town Hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second Amendment. They mocked the notion that rape victims might want to arm themselves for protection. There were calls of murderer. Rubio was compared to a mass killer. There were wild cheers for the idea of banning every single semiautomatic rifle in America. The discourse was vicious."

He goes on to conclude that this just can't go on. Quote, "it takes more than a Constitution or a government to hold a nation together. The ties that bind us as Americans are strong and durable, but the great challenges that formed them are receding into the past.

Geographic differences create cultural differences, and cultural differences hasten ever greater geographic change. Like clusters with like, and it results in the fury we saw last night, when one of the bluest communities in America vented its rage at the red emissaries in their midst. A nation cannot endure forever when its people are consumed with such hate." What say you, Dr. Arnn?

LARRY ARNN: Well, this kind of bitterness is typical of ages and times when the country is deeply divided. This is not the first one. You know I mean before the Civil War, who was it, the Massachusetts senator who was beaten half to death on the floor.

HUGH HEWITT: Everett. Everett whatever his last name was. I'll think of it.

LARRY ARNN: Sumner. Sumner.

HUGH HEWITT: Yep. Everett Sumner. There you go.

LARRY ARNN: So Lincoln said of that time, we're living in a house divided. And that means we're not really in the same house anymore. And he said he didn't think that the house was going to fall, he said that it would become one way or the other. And that was about slavery.

But this is in general, isn't this just questions of the vast administrative state, and the idea is that the reason we have so many problems, like people shooting people, is we haven't delegated enough authority to that state? And so you've got to choose between those two directions.

That clip that you played from Donald Trump, he is talking about self-government. About the public participating in the defense of the nation and themselves. And these people are saying that if you suggest that, you're a murderer. And so, yeah, that's a vast gulf between the two people.

I don't think it's geographic I think it's principled, right? In other words, there's a new set of ideas, and they have been growing for a long time. And they've intensified of late because they're also under threat. You know? There's a massive effort at deregulation underway in Washington. So there actually is a big argument now about which direction we go. And that's why it's so bitter.

HUGH HEWITT: I also would-- I don't for a moment begrudge the students their anger and their grief. And they are traumatized, and they are speaking. But I do note that the adults in the room do not appear to be constitutionally literate. I mean, they propose things which you simply can't do immediately.

There's a legislative process. And as you've said often on this program, legislation requires persuasion, as did the Constitution. Persuasion cannot proceed from condemnation and rage. I've made that point again and again on MSNBC this week. And I think it just goes over the head of everybody. They want to argue about the specifics, but the moment you get the yelling, you've lost the opportunity to legislate.

LARRY ARNN: Yeah, I was once on a panel with Mike Roos. You will remember him. He was an important member of the California legislature. And it was the Southern California Association of Philanthropy, and we had a debate. And it was kind of wild because he started with a story which he seemed to assume I would agree with, that there had been a shooting in California, and they had seized that moment, with the help of all the rich people in the room, who were giving away a lot of money, to ram through a law through the legislature and get some controls on guns of some kind or another.

And so I happened to have my trusty Federalist Papers with me. And I read to him--

HUGH HEWITT: As only you would.

LARRY ARNN: I read to him two passages that had to do with the essence of legislation being deliberation. And the reason we have bicameral legislatures in America, and the reason we have two levels of government is so that we can think before we act, which is the hallmark of good judgment. And that is the spirit.

The spirit of the executive branch is to move. To make a decision and act. And the spirit of the legislative branch is to deliberate. And as you rightly say, sanely, civilly, however bitter the disagreements. And so we actually denounce people, like you, on MSNBC who call for that.

HUGH HEWITT: Now let's talk civilly about the proposals that have been put forward, against the backdrop of understanding the Second Amendment is individual. And we know, at a minimum, it bars both the federal government, state and local governments as well, in the subsequent decision known as McDonald, the original decision was Heller, which held it to be an individual right. McDonald applied that through incorporation of the states and local government.

You cannot ban all weapons from a house. That's what we know. We don't know the standard review for any other restriction. So this is all open for conversation. The president has proposed raising to 21 the age at which an individual can buy a rifle. That is presently federal law with regards to a pistol.

I believe that is constitutional, I also think it is wise. What say you on both of those issues, Dr. Arnn?

LARRY ARNN: Think about two broad approaches. We have to do something about these school shootings, which have become very common. Two is way too common. There are a lot more than that now.

So you can do one of two things. You can regulate everybody, or you can regulate in the most targeted way to solve the problem, that leaves everybody as free as possible. And so raising the age to own a gun, people get more mature as they mature. And so they might be better fit, and on average, would be better fit to make judgments about what to do with a weapon. So of course that's a good idea.

HUGH HEWITT: All right. There is a move. There is a symbolism about the AR-15. A Bushmaster variant of it was used at Sandy Hook, an AR-15 was used at Parkland. AR-15s were used in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs. They are semi-automatic weapons, and they're sinister looking. They look a lot like an AK-47, which I know was seized in Los Angeles yesterday with the help of a police dog. There are illegal AK-47s which are fully automatic in the country, and we might want to get rid of those first.

But the AR-15 is legal. It was illegal for 10 years, 1994 to 2004. Then the law sunset, and Democratic Congresses and Republican Congresses alike have refused to bring it back. What do you think of the AR-15 and, again, the constitutionality of banning and possibly confiscating and the wisdom of doing that?

LARRY ARNN: Well, it isn't different in principle from many deer rifles, right? So it's just styled. You know. It's a wicked looking thing.

HUGH HEWITT: Yeah.

LARRY ARNN: And so that's why attention focuses on it. But to make a law, you need to make a law that makes sense. So you ban that particular one, and somebody changes the styling just a little bit, and then calls it the AR-16 or the RA or whatever.

And so you're going to end up banning a class of weapons that are A, good for home defense, B, good for hunting, and C, good if we ever get into civil unrest around here, and we need weapons.

HUGH HEWITT: I believe it would be constitutional, but unwise. That's what I came down to. It's constitutional but unwise. However, states might want to go about trying to regulate who buys them by virtue of expanded background checks, and especially things called GVROs, Gun Violence Restraining Orders, meaning you cannot buy weapons, AR-15s or anything, if you've been involved in domestic violence or a gun crime or have had anyone enter your name onto a list who has the authority to enter your name onto a do not buy list.

For example, I would think Dr. Arnn ought to be authorized to call up the Sheriff of the Hillsdale County or whatever the county is in--

LARRY ARNN: Hillsdale County.

HUGH HEWITT: That state up north. And say about a student. We have some problems with student x, and it is my recommendation that you place his name on a do not buy list for the county when it comes to weapons. And I think you ought to have that authority. I don't think anyone else in the college ought to have that authority, but you ought to. And district superintendents, maybe principals of high schools. What do you think about that?

LARRY ARNN: I don't know that we have ever done that, but we talk to the cops all the time. The cops are very helpful around here, and we rely on them.

HUGH HEWITT: I thought Michigan was rather lawless, actually.

LARRY ARNN: Yeah, no. Well, it is on Saturday night at 2:00 in the morning once in a while, and then we stop it.

HUGH HEWITT: But you know that Billy Graham preached his first crusade in Michigan?

LARRY ARNN: It stands to reason.

LARRY ARNN: He wanted to start out with a literate crowd, then he went south to Ohio.

HUGH HEWITT: He's a great man, isn't he? He's only the fourth American to lie in state who is not a military officer or an elected leader.

LARRY ARNN: I miss him. I've missed him in his illness. But he's just an awesome human being. He's appointed by God to tell us something. I really miss him.

HUGH HEWITT: Boy, did he ever do it. I've heard him preach twice, at Mrs. Nixon's funeral for 100, and President Nixon's funeral nine months later for 10,000. He preached the same doggone thing, which is the gospel. OK, back to our specifics.

A 10-day cooling off period. California adopted this law. The Ninth Circuit upheld it as constitutional. The Supreme Court this week declined to review that holding. So if you want to buy a gun, they say, fine, we'll run a background check. Come back in 10 days. What do you think about that?

LARRY ARNN: I have mixed feelings about that. I don't think it's unconstitutional. I don't know that it's a good idea. I think that--

LARRY ARNN: Not going to help you if there's a riot going on.

LARRY ARNN: Yeah, that's right. And just think, the background-- it's the computer age, right? And all of the information that was needed to deny young man Cruz, the murderer, buying a weapon was available, many times over, to various law enforcement agencies, at various levels of government. And he wasn't on the list.

And so that's a problem. And Homer Jenkins wrote a good article in The Wall Street Journal. He's very smart.

HUGH HEWITT: Oh, it's a very good piece.

LARRY ARNN: Yeah. And his idea was, rightly or wrongly we know a lot about the citizens, including extensively where they are.

HUGH HEWITT: Yes. A great piece. When we come back, we'll talk about that and about how to talk about talking about this, with Dr. Larry Arnn of Hillsdale College. Everything at Hillsdale.edu.

Welcome back, America. 51 minutes after the hour. Dr. Larry Arnn is my guest. Hillsdale College has all of its many resources available at Hillsdale.edu. Dr. Arnn, of course, the president of Hillsdale College. All of our conversations dating back five years now, collected at HughforHillsdale.com.

Dr. Arnn, in the context of the Second Amendment, two other ideas are out there, and I profess to like them both. One is the accrediting of officers, the military, honorably discharged, to teach in schools, junior high and high school, at least for a period of time, while they get their other credentialing, or they're tested out and found to be wanting, probation, of course. But that we need those sorts of people in schools. They are leaders. They react. They mold good young men and women.

And the second, in 1951, Estes Kefauver chaired a committee on organized crime in America that was a revelation to Americans because it was civil, and it was thorough, and it was conducted in a parliamentary sort of way. People talked about what they believed, and people listened, and it was televised, and it was deliberate, and it worked. What do you think about military officers getting a jump start on teaching, and what do you think about a select committee on school violence and guns?

LARRY ARNN: Well, Congress is-- so the second thing first. It's fine if they do that. And they should deliberate, and they should debate. It's a very divided time right now, and so of course, it will be largely a partisan exercise. But not entirely, so I don't object to the idea, let's say.

The second idea I like a lot. You and I have in common, Hugh, that we are not qualified to teach in the Michigan public schools.

HUGH HEWITT: I know.

LARRY ARNN: You couldn't teach law, and I couldn't teach the Constitution.

HUGH HEWITT: Or Plato. Or that fellow Aristotle, who you seem to have committed to memory. Or Churchill, for that matter, right?

LARRY ARNN: That's right. So this whole idea of-- the way schools work today is in any state that requires certification, that places control on the preparation of teachers in the education departments of the big teachers colleges in the state. Which is a rule of the highest standards in the department or in those colleges, and they're very bureaucratic and modern in what they teach them to do.

There's a focus on process more than content, because of course, the content is changing all the time under the influence of social science. So teachers are reduced to deliverers. And so in my daughter's school, one of our charter schools, she's got an ex-military guy who is a qualified teacher, and an excellent teacher, but he's the assistant headmaster.

And my daughter is, as she will say, a girl, and Doug is a man. And it's a tremendous division of labor, right? And he's a big guy. And so you would imagine that he would be a good guy in a crisis. So people like that. And female soldiers too would work. And so I think that's a good--

And in general, if you could locate judgments over teaching in the schools where the parents and the teachers are gathered and where the greatest concern is available for the students, then you'd, in general, get pretty good judgments, right?

HUGH HEWITT: Yes.

LARRY ARNN: Whereas today, it's all centralized, right? And so yeah.

HUGH HEWITT: It's an instrument of coercion. Credentialing is an instrument of coercion.

LARRY ARNN: That's right. And so yeah, I cheer for that one.

HUGH HEWITT: Well then, at the end of the day, and in a week that saw Billy Graham leave, we're really talking about moral leadership and the ability to calm tense people and to comfort the grieving. And I don't know where that comes from. That's where you lose a Graham, and nobody really steps up. Right? It's a job of many people. But how does that proceed?

LARRY ARNN: Well, I think it's easy to see. So what you and I want, we want a calm society where we can argue and have fun and read good books and talk about Homer on the radio. And so in a disturbed time, when everything is so partisan and so violent, it makes one gloomy.

But it's also true that just right now, you know, I mentioned in the break, I interviewed Don McGahn, the White House counsel, at CPAC yesterday. That's a tremendous human being. Right? He doesn't want any limelight. He's a thinking man. He just wants to serve.

And so he's a hero, and I admire him very much. And he wouldn't like me saying that on the radio. He keeps his head down.

HUGH HEWITT: He's the president's lawyer. And you wouldn't see him ever on television. You might see him at CPAC, because he'll go talk to the eggheads and to the activists. But you wouldn't see him on television. He's doing a good job lawyering for the president.

He is Fred Fielding's successor in both temperament and effectiveness. And that's a big set of shoes to fill. And presidents need people like that. And they don't need drama. I like John Kelly. I like Don McGahn. I think that it's a good team. I really do. And I think these 400 days have been monumentally significant.

LARRY ARNN: I do too. And so we mustn't forget that. And the divisions are deep. We mustn't forget that either.

HUGH HEWITT: Dr. Larry Arnn at Hillsdale College. All things Hillsdale at Hillsdale.edu. Thank you.  

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