On Tuesday's Hardball, during a discussion of how Republicans are responding to calls for more gun laws in the aftermath of the Las Vegas attack, host Chris Matthews mocked several GOP U.S. Senators as "ballsy bastards" after playing a clip of them recommending against debating new gun laws.
And at one point, Matthews and allegedly right-leaning Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin showed their lack of basic knowledge about guns as they declared that "semi-automatic" guns should banned as they suggested that it is somehow unusual to use a semi-automatic to hunt.
At 7:43 p.m. ET, Matthews recalled that laws were enacted long ago to restrict civilian ownership of automatic weapons: "Legally, you can't buy a tommy gun -- you can't buy a machine gun. And that was outlawed back in the days of Machine Gun Kelly in the '30s or whatever, Al Capone."
He then added: "So there was a common sense -- just move that line over to semi-automatics."
Faux-conservative Rubin griped about the NRA as she agreed: "Correct. And that's something that the NRA will not have, and it's gotten worse actually since --"
Matthews jumped back in to suggest that it is unusual to use a semi-automatic gun for hunting with Rubin voicing agreement:
MATTHEWS: Do you need a semi-automatic to hunt? What kind of hunting are you doing?
RUBIN: That's kind of a pulverized animal.
In fact, many hunters prefer semi-automatic hunting rifles because they have less recoil and can be fired more quickly, making them popular with many hunters.
Additionally, a majority of guns in the U.S. are semi-automatic.
A few minutes later, the MSNBC host introduced a montage of clips of Republican Senators Mitch McConnell, Thom Tillis, John Kennedy, and Dean Heller resisting talk of new gun laws. Matthews: "When asked whether or not they would consider gun legislation, several Senate Republicans offered the same answers. Let's watch them in action here."
After the clips had played, the MSNBC host cracked: "Ballsy bastards, aren't they? I mean, these guys are paid to write the laws for saving this country. They're supposed to look out for the domestic welfare, and all they are [sic] is dodging it."
After NPR's Geoff Bennett dismissed Republican comments as "talking points," Rubin complained that there was "hypocrisy" coming from Republicans: " And, you know, Trump never has a problem leaping in on a terrorist attack to raise the Muslim ban or any other issue, so the hypocrisy is, you know, beyond the --"
Later in the show, fellow panel member Erica Werner of the Associated Press declared that the NRA "used to be much more reasonable" before complaining that the NRA had been "primaried" by Gun Owners of America
Back on the gun issue, the NRA that we've been talking about -- their political power -- they actually used to be much more reasonable. They supported background checks. They essentially got primaried by groups to their right, including Gun Owners of America, that calls itself "the only no-compromise gun group in Washington."