Pants-on-Fire Matthews: GOPers Are Fanatics, Believe ‘Any’ Gun Is a ‘God-Given...Right’

On Thursday’s Hardball, the MSNBC panel showcased how the left will never be interested in compromise on gun control and will move the goal posts toward gun confiscation, all the while pushing fake news about Second Amendment advocates. 

As usual, host Chris Matthews was at the center of it all, falsely smearing Republicans as “a fanatic party on guns” who believe “[i]t’s a God-given, sort of theological right” for anyone to own “any kind of gun they want, any — a bazooka, a tank.”

 

 

Machine guns and other military-grade weaponry are and have been banned in the United States and gun-rights advocates haven’t disputed that fact. But facts are such stubborn things for Matthews plus guests former Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and Columbia Law Professor Alex Carter.

Matthews kicked things off by mocking to Rendell how the NRA and others are concerned about a “slippery slope” on guns. Turns out, such a “slippery slope” is a real thing, seeing as how Rendell discarded any notion that Democrats would compromise on bump stocks but instead demand expansive gun control: 

Bump stocks, solving that problem by making them illegal will solve maybe 1 percent of the problem. What I hope our Democrats do and some progressive Republicans do is amend that bill and make them vote on reinstating the assault weapons ban, which never should have been allowed to sunset....Secondly, we ought to put universal background checks, which, as you pointed out on your show last night, 90 percent of the country believes ought to be enforced. And we ought to limit magazines to 10 shots a magazine. Imagine if that guy had to reload after every 10 shots. Imagine the difference it would have made. And I don’t care if they say it won’t stop it from happening. Sure, it won’t stop it from happening. But it would get the death count down dramatically. It would get the wounded and injured down dramatically and one person is too many. Let’s get real in this country. You don’t hunt with semiautomatic or automatic weapons. You don’t need a magazine that has more than 10 shots to shoot a deer or an elk. Let’s get real. Let’s do something to protect our people.

Matthews agreed, turning to Carter by praising her mention in The New York Times in which she argued that it doesn’t so much matter about the shooter’s motives or psyche but his guns. He also seemed to assume that “automatic weapons” exist in large quantities in America, arguing that it’s all but guaranteed some percentage of gun owners will snap and commit mass murder.

Carter agreed, declaring that the gunman’s cruel motives and what drove him to commit this atrocity are “a distraction and at worst a diversion from the real issue, which is, how are we going to prevent this and other tragedies like this from happening again.”

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

“And even if, you know, some of the sensible regulations that the governor proposed, right, universal background checks, or even an assault ban or a limit on the total number of guns that one can purchase, even if it wouldn’t have prevented all of the carnage in this prior incident, it might prevent the next one. Isn’t that reason enough?” Carter added.

After Rendell mocked the NRA as “a paper tiger” (so why attack them, but that’s another debate), Matthews denounced Republicans as defending “everything” concerning guns seeing as how they’re no more than a “a fanatic party on guns.”

Carter replied that “the Constitution, and not the platform of either party, was the supreme law of the land and we know that other constitutional rights, like the right to free speech, are subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions.”

What’s amusing is that the Supreme Court and the Constitution have established gun ownership and most gun owners believe in restrictions, but it’s a matter of where that line is. Any notion that gun owners, as a whole, crusade for endless restrictions on any type of firearm and ammunition is a lazy strawman.

Matthews then drove the crazy train over the cliff, making the asinine assertion that Republicans believe “the right to bear arms precedes the Constitution,” which doesn’t make any sense since that’s already, you know, in the Constitution. He then continued, spreading lies that gun-owners have a deranged belief that owning firearms is “a God-given, sort of theological right.”

“They treat this like religion, Governor. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s a religious, essential notion to them that everybody should have any kind of gun they want, any -- a bazooka, a tank. They never put a limit on it, ever,” Matthews concluded.

Drunk on righteous indignation and Jimmy Kimmel’s ad hominem attacks on people who don’t support their gun control agenda, Rendell summed this segment up quite well:

And which is ridiculous and, look, Chris, I have a message to everyone out there who’s a commonsense person. Don’t get fooled by this willingness to do something about bump stocks. Bump stocks will take care of 1 percent of the problem. We need them to do something about assault weapons, semiautomatic assault weapons. We need them to do something about the capacity of magazines. And we need universal background checks. Come on, America. You know what’s right. This is a time to stand up and give them a loud and clear and deafening message.

These attacks on the Second Amendment were brought to you by Hardball advertisers ExxonMobil, Febreze, Mitsubishi, and Wayfair.com.

Here’s the transcript of the segment from MSNBC’s Hardball on October 5:

MSNBC’s Hardball
October 5, 2017
7:22 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Governor, thank you so much. You ran against the NRA on issues like this in Pennsylvania, a real gun state. Now, what do make of this by Paul Ryan? Do you think he is serious about anything that sounds like the slippery slope to the NRA?

ED RENDELL: You know, I think the heat is so great from around the country. People are saying, this is it, enough is enough, finally, that they’re going to do something. They’re going to throw us a bone.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

RENDELL: Bump stocks, solving that problem by making them illegal will solve maybe 1 percent of the problem. What I hope our Democrats do and some progressive Republicans do is amend that bill and make them vote on reinstating the assault weapons ban, which never should have been allowed to sunset, because semiautomatic weapons, if that guy had semiautomatic, as opposed to automatic, if he had no bump stocks, he would have hit at least 400 people, maybe not 600 -- 400 people is 400 too many. Secondly, we ought to put universal background checks, which, as you pointed out on your show last night, 90 percent of the country believes ought to be enforced. And we ought to limit magazines to 10 shots a magazine. Imagine if that guy had to reload after every 10 shots. Imagine the difference it would have made. And I don’t care if they say it won’t stop it from happening. Sure, it won’t stop it from happening. But it would get the death count down dramatically. It would get the wounded and injured down dramatically and one person is too many. Let’s get real in this country. You don’t hunt with semiautomatic or automatic weapons. You don’t need a magazine that has more than 10 shots to shoot a deer or an elk. Let’s get real. Let’s do something to protect our people.

MATTHEWS: Okay, well, in a letter to the editor of The New York Times today I happened to read today, Alex wrote today, Alex Carter — she’s a professor of law at Columbia Journalism — you have to understand why this shooting happened. It’s much less -- much more important than how -- less than it happened. Anyway, find how it happened, not why this guy did it. “When we feel we understand why someone did something terrible, we can blame that why and understand how we are separate from it. The critical question, the more difficult one to ask is, how? How does someone like Stephen Paddock obtain 47 guns and bring 23 of them into a hotel suite?” Professor Carter, I love that argument, because it’s the heart of this issue. If you can hand out 100 automatic weapons to somebody or modify 100 automatic weapons, someone is going to use one in a crazy way. It’s just a number of -- it’s about selection and random nature and the way people are. If guns get in the hands of people, someone’s going to use them. We have got to figure out how to keep the guns out of the hands of people. Your thoughts?

ALEX CARTER: Yes, absolutely, right? Asking why, I think, is at best a distraction and at worst a diversion from the real issue, which is, how are we going to prevent this and other tragedies like this from happening again? And even if, you know, some of the sensible regulations that the governor proposed, right, universal background checks, or even an assault ban or a limit on the total number of guns that one can purchase, even if it wouldn’t have prevented all of the carnage in this prior incident, it might prevent the next one. Isn’t that reason enough?

MATTHEWS: Well, it sounds like it. Republican lawmakers have voiced varying degrees of support for a ban on these bump stocks that create actually automatic weapons. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin told Politico that, “If that actually gets on the Senate floor, I would vote for it.” Isn’t that nice? Congressman Bill Flores of Texas told The Hill that: “I think they should be banned.” That’s soft too and Congressman Senator Tom Rooney of Florida called for leadership from the President, telling Politico that: “Trump needs to take the lead on this bump stock issue. He’s the only one that can.” Sarah Huckabee Sanders also signaled today that the White House is open to regulating or banning bump stocks.

(....)

MATTHEWS: Governor, let’s talk about the politics, because there’s so many states, as I said last night, from New York, all the way across the middle of the country, until you get there, like California, that are pro-gun. Pennsylvania is well known to be pro-gun. Yet you have been elected twice governor in that state by pretty comfortable margins by being a gun control guy. How do you do it?

RENDELL: Yes and, Chris, remember, Pennsylvania has the second highest number of NRA members of any state in the country. And, by the way, the majority of NRA members don’t agree with the NRA on a number of positions, as we know from universal background checks. Look, I won three elections where the NRA was against me by 10 points, 12 points, and 21 points. Those are considered landslides, particularly in a purple state like ours. The NRA is a paper tiger. What they do is, they pick on one state representative or one congressman, and they pour all their money into that one race and defeat that one person and say, see, we can do it to you, but if everyone stands up and has the guts and the courage of their convictions and everyone votes the right way, the NRA will be powerless to do anything about it. And any senator, Democrats included, any senator who doesn’t support this commonsense gun legislation ought to be ashamed of themselves. How much more does it take? What will it take to get Congress to act?

MATTHEWS: Professor, I looked at the Republican platform today. You don’t have to be partisan. I know you’re a professor, but let me tell you, the Republican platform protects magazines. It protects AR-15s. It protects everything that is even discussed. They haven’t gotten to this bump thing yet, this thing that changes the gun into an automatic, but they clearly -- when they hear something’s coming their way, they put it in their platform and say, leave it alone. They are fanatics. The Republican Party, as a party, is a fanatic party on guns.

CARTER: Well, Chris, last I checked, the Constitution, and not the platform of either party, was the supreme law of the land and we know that other constitutional rights, like the right to free speech, are subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions.

MATTHEWS: Well, you know what the Republicans say in their platform? That the right to bear arms precedes the Constitution. It’s a God-given, sort of theological right. They treat this like religion, Governor. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s a religious, essential notion to them that everybody should have any kind of gun they want, any -- a bazooka, a tank. They never put a limit on it, ever.

RENDELL: And which is ridiculous and, look, Chris, I have a message to everyone out there who’s a commonsense person. Don’t get fooled by this willingness to do something about bump stocks. Bump stocks will take care of 1 percent of the problem. We need them to do something about assault weapons, semiautomatic assault weapons. We need them to do something about the capacity of magazines. And we need universal background checks. Come on, America. You know what’s right. This is a time to stand up and give them a loud and clear and deafening message.

MATTHEWS: Thank you so much, Governor Rendell of Pennsylvania and, professor Alex Carter, I loved your letter to the editor today and I really tuned in on it. That’s why you’re here tonight. Thank you so much.

CARTER: Thank you, Chris. I appreciate it.


Please support NewsBusters today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

DONATE
CyberAlerts Las Vegas Shooting Guns MSNBC Hardball Video NRA Chris Matthews Ed Rendell
Curtis Houck's picture