After fellow panelists Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin both agreed that stricter measures should be put into place, McCain, 34, called out Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke for proposing a mandatory buyback of assault weapons.
“How do you think you’re going to come to somebody’s house, and what are you going to pay?” McCain asked. “It doesn’t seem like that’s rational conversation.”
Speaking more broadly, she said, “If you’re talking about going and taking people’s guns away from them, there is going to be a lot of violence.”
Behar, 76, interrupted McCain to say people “lived without them for many years during the ban,” referring to a federal prohibition on some semiautomatic weapons which expired in 2004.
“I’m not living without guns, it’s just that simple,” McCain said.
Hostin, 50, suggested restricting only guns such as the assault weapons which are commonly used in mass shootings and “killing our children.”
But McCain shot back, “I love being virtue-signaled at 20 minutes into the show,” suggesting the other women were being somewhat exaggerated in their beliefs.
They had been discussing the Saturday shooting in Texas where authorities say a gunman used an AR-15-style weapon to kill seven people and injure 25 others.
“If you keep voting for Republicans, you’re going to get nothing done, that’s basically the bottom line,” Behar said to applause from the audience.
Co-host Abby Huntsman‘s take was, “How about we live in a place [where] we can actually walk in a mall and not look around and be nervous that someone’s going to pull out a shotgun?”
McCain then insisted that she liked the safety of being armed and able to “protect myself” — before cutting herself off, rolling her eyes and telling her co-hosts, “Alright, welcome back.”
Whoopi Goldberg was the last to offer her “two cents,” focusing on what she said were existing loopholes in gun laws, such as the exception to background checks when weapons are purchased via private sales and at gun shows.
“But that’s a very different argument … saying, ‘I want to close this specific loophole,’ ” McCain responded.
The conversation ended with Goldberg, who explained that as a result of the recurring mass shootings, “everyone needs to sit down at the table and have this conversation.”
McCain, The View‘s most outspoken conservative, faced some backlash on social media for her comments. Newtown Action Alliance, a group formed after the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, tweeted at her, “Parents from Sandy Hook & too many other communities are living without their children & loved ones because some gun owners like you don’t want to live without your AR-15.”
Another user tweeted: “I don’t care she is a Republican it was her blatant disrespect to those who have been affected by gun violence. For her to have said what she said with such disdain! Awful @MeghanMcCaim your father would not be happy with you! @TheView.”
On Tuesday afternoon, McCain tweeted a GIF of Clint Eastwood winking with the caption “Walking back into season 23 @TheView defending conservative beliefs and our #2A constitutional rights like….”