Living in the DC area, Chris Matthews has surely been stuck in traffic more than once behind someone sporting the classic NRA bumper sticker: "If Guns Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Guns." Was Chris was listening too intently to NPR to consider the the truth of that pithy aphorism? You might think so, considering his anti-gun rant that seemed to assume that criminals, rather than law-abiding citizens, will obey restrictions on gun ownership.
On this evening's Hardball, riffing off Mitt Romney's Second Amendment defense during last night's GOP debate, Chris took aim at National Review's Deroy Murdock, a Giuliani backer.
View video here.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Go ahead Deroy, you live in the city. I don't understand how we want to get on the subway at night knowing that everybody else in the subway is armed, and because I have a gun I'm OK.
DEROY MURDOCK: Well, there have been studies that have shown that in cities where there are concealed-carry laws, the gun, rather, the crime rate goes down because criminals are afraid that people may retaliate. As for this particular --
MATTHEWS: What do you think of that? What do you think of that? What's your view?
MURDOCK: On this race, what's interesting is that Romney --
MATTHEWS: You don't want to give me your view because it requires you to actually say what you think, because I'm asking you Deroy --
MURDOCK: I happen to agree with that. I think that --
MATTHEWS: You think we should have a concealed gun law in New York?
MURDOCK: Yah, I think that would probably be helpful. There are people who do conceal guns here, and to the extent that people think that criminals might be retaliated on, I think that helps keep the place safe. I would point out that Romney, who claims to be Mr. Second Amendment now, actually increased the cost for gun permits, and he claimed when he ran for governor that he wasn't a man of the NRA, and now that he's running for president he claims to be a lifetime member of the NRA -- lifetime being defined as joining in August of 2006. So even on the gun issue he's sort of all over the map.
MATTHEWS: You know what I think? In big cities they ought to check people on sidewalks like getting on airplanes. And why an airplane should be safer than an American sidewalk is crazy to me. Why you can walk down the sidewalk of an American city carrying a concealed weapon without a license is wacky.
MURDOCK: I think [you should have to have] a license.
MATTHEWS: But that's what's going on. I'm talking about a different point here. I want to see people disarmed. I want people disarmed in our major cities. How's that for a plan? I don't think we should all be armed, and I don't think more guns is the answer. I think it's wacky to say that the solution to armed robbery and killing in our streets in big cities is to put more arms in the streets. Anyway, thank you Deroy.