Joe Rogan: We Have a 'Mental Health Problem Disguised as a Gun Problem'

Joe Rogan: We Have a 'Mental Health Problem Disguised as a Gun Problem'
AP Photo/Gregory Payan

In the aftermath of the Uvalde school shooting, uber-popular podcaster Joe Rogan spoke recently on guns and mental health on his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, saying:

It’s like, how do you stop that? No one knows how to stop that. What is the answer? Is the answer to take everyone’s guns? Well, they’re not gonna give their guns up. Only criminals are gonna have guns

This country has a mental health problem disguised as a gun problem.

Rogan describes himself on his website (ignoring capitalization) as “a stand-up comic, mixed martial arts fanatic, psychedelic adventurer, host of the joe rogan experience podcast.” He continued:

I don’t think it’s wise to take all the guns away from people and give all the power to the government. We see how they are with an armed populace, they still have a tendency towards totalitarianism. And the more increased power and control you have over people, the easier it is for them to do what they do.

And it’s a natural inclination, when you’re a person in power, to try to hold more power and acquire more power.

That’s as good a summation of the problem of power-hungry politicians as you’re likely to see. Simple, but dead on.

Rogan’s audience is hard to measure because he’s a podcaster, not a broadcast or cable news host, but some estimate it’s as high as 11 million listeners. If that’s accurate, he would easily dominate the top cable show, Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” which has a viewership of around 3.24 million:

The majority of Rogan’s fan base is young white males, but their political ideology spans the parties: of “avid fans,” 23 percent describe themselves as Democrats, 31 percent Independent, and 46 percent Republican. Interestingly, Rogan himself refuses to be labeled, saying in 2021:

I don’t give a f*** if you’re a Republican or a Democrat. I share ideas from both sides. I’m kind of a hybrid in a lot of ways. I’m a big supporter of the 2nd Amendment, I’m a big supporter of the military. But I’m very liberal, I’m socially very liberal. I don’t buy this idea that I have to be a part of one party or another party.

He may refuse to be labeled, but let’s be honest, many of the things he says—like his comments above—sure sound like conservative viewpoints. Leftists certainly think so, as they spend an inordinate amount of their time trying to get him taken off the air. As the New York Times points out, however, whining about Joe Rogan probably won’t get you very far. A headline in their story from July of last year reads: “Joe Rogan Is Too Big to Cancel.” They go on to explain:

He’s now one of the most consumed media products on the planet. His Spotify deal, estimated at $100 million, speaks to the allure of making audiences feel they’re in on something subversive.

Rogan’s comments on guns and mental health come as the nation’s politicians grapple with how to react to the rash of recent mass shootings. In May alone, we’ve had the Taiwanese Church shooting, the Buffalo shooting, and the Uvalde shooting. Calls for more gun control laws started even as the tragic events in Uvalde were still unfolding, with President Joe Biden “going there” almost immediately, and attention-seekers like Beto O’Rourke pulling grotesque stunts.

While there have been many rebuttals—Texas Governor Greg Abbott pointed out that Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York gun laws are among the strictest in the nation, yet they all have obscene levels of gun violence—Rogan’s may have been the most succinct:

Freedoms lost are rarely regained.

He didn’t drop the mic, but he certainly could have.

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