MSNBC's Chris Matthews had quite a heated debate Thursday with Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America.
At the end of a highly-contentious Hardball segment, Pratt told his host that he's against all background checks "because we don't trust people like you" (video follows with transcript):
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I'm left with the idea we live in an imperfect society with some people who are violent and the people who are known to be violent shouldn't get guns. Do you agree with that?
LARRY PRATT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA: Yes, and as long as you don't take my guns away from me, I can handle the guy with the gun.
MATTHEWS: See, this is pure rhetoric. I’m sticking to one point tonight.
PRATT: Oh, I see. My linear logic is pure rhetoric and you're jumping from…
MATTHEWS: No, you’re changing the topic. I'm talking about do we want background checks? You don't want them?
PRATT: The ACLU tells me this is a dangerous proposition.
MATTHEWS: You. You don’t want them.
PRATT: The ACLU.
MATTHEWS: Can we speak for ourselves here?
PRATT: Can you take an answer other than forcing one?
MATTHEWS: No, I want to know, Larry Pratt, where do you stand on background checks?
PRATT: I told you where I stand.
MATTHEWS: Are you against background checks?
PRATT: From the very beginning, Chris, we were against them.
MATTHEWS: Are you against the ones we have now?
PRATT: Because we don't trust people like you.
MATTHEWS: [Laughs] Okay. Thank you. Actually, a lot of people do. They're watching. Anyway, thank you, Larry Pratt. You’ve explained yourself perfectly. You’re against all background checks.