Gun Grab Debate: David French Tries to Talk Down Hysterical Chuck Todd

With the Las Vegas mass shooting just a couple days old, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd was eager to push the gun grabbing debate. So to satisfy his urge, he dedicated nearly all of Tuesday’s MTP Daily to talking about different proposals for gun control and hammering the National Rifle Association (NRA) for standing up for the Second Amendment. But Todd did bring on the National Review’s David French who attempted to calm the host’s hysteria.

Like I said, you are not afraid to engage on this issue,” Todd praised French, “When does someone's right to bear arms get to the point where it potentially infringes on someone's right to attend a concert in an outdoor setting and not feel like it is an unsafe experience?

In a calm and even manner, French explained just where a person’s gun rights end and a person’s safety begins:

I think there is an obvious answer to that. Someone's right to bear arms infringes upon my rights the instant they start to menace me with that weapon or threaten me with that weapon. And it's very difficult to use this particular shooting as some sort of paradigm with which to analyze the gun debate.

French elaborated by noting that is the exact time a potential victim should use their right to bear arms. “That's exactly why I should be entitled to carry a weapon, for example, to protect myself the moment that somebody else violates my rights in a life-threatening manner.

Todd demanded to know how far his rights extended when wanting other people to be subjected to additional regulations:

I'm fine with you having a gun, but I would find it in my rights that I want to make sure you are a responsible gun owner. So you know what, I want an extra amount of regulation, I want extra licensing, I want this or that. What about that line? I would argue it is a realistic ask of my—of our rights, that's for sure.

The realistic answer is the present level of regulation that we have particularly as applied to concealed carried permit holders gives that assurance,” French explained. “Because the available data says that a concealed carry permit holder is somebody who is actually in many ways safer than a police officer.

Todd then took up the tired-out liberal position that the Second Amendment only applied to muskets. “So then the question is, what about this idea that there was nothing in the Second Amendment that said what type of arm you could bear,” he argued to French.

After French accurately described the term “assault weapon” as “a fictional term” because it described weapons that only looked like they were for the military, he told Todd that we did already have gun control regulations in place. “I think one of the things that often gets lost in this debate is people will say well we need some regulation. Well, we do have some regulation. And actually, when it comes to machine guns it's been very, very effective without violating the second amendment.

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Later on in the show, after French had left, Todd looked into the camera and declared that mass hysteria should win the day! “If we wait to let cooler heads prevail in any of these we never talk about it. And in fact, if we applied the same logic to every other debate and every other crisis that this country faces that we do to the gun debate we never would have focused on any of those issues either.

But here’s the thing that Todd, the self-described political referee, didn’t seem to understand: Our political system was designed to slow everything down so that we weren’t dictated by the throws of fear and passion. By giving into hysteria is how the left wanted to pass gun control laws that wouldn’t actually stop any mass shooting. And that’s a fact.

Rushing to pass laws in the grip of hysteria is how the public become victims of unintended consequences. Like when New York State forgot to exempt their own police forces from their assault weapons ban. Heck, that’s how Congress passed the PATRIOT Act which led to NSA’s unconstitutional domestic spying program.

Transcript below:

MSNBC
MTP Daily
October 3, 2017
5:16:37 PM Eastern

(…)

CHUCK TODD: Like I said, you are not afraid to engage on this issue, and you are not afraid to push back at probably some of the thing that Mark Kelly is pushing. So let me ask you this, where do you see the line? When does -- it's a question I asked him. When does someone's right to bear arms get to the point where it potentially infringes on someone's right to attend a concert in an outdoor setting and not feel like it is an unsafe experience?

DAVID FRENCH: I mean, I think there is an obvious answer to that. Someone's right to bear arms infringes upon my rights the instant they start to menace me with that weapon or threaten me with that weapon. And it's very difficult to use this particular shooting as some sort of paradigm with which to analyze the gun debate. I mean for a lot of the reasons that you have been talking about in your show, this is an extraordinarily unusual event on ground after ground after ground.

But if you are talking about normal -- the normal life that we live in this country, your right to keep and bear arms infringes on my rights the instant you start to menace me. One of the things I would say in support of second amendment, that's exactly why I should be entitled to carry a weapon for example, to protect myself the moment that somebody else violates my rights in a life threatening manner.

So when you hear about that, a gun owner and a Second Amendment supporter, when you hear about that collision of rights, says well, I need to be prepared and I need to be able to defend myself and my family when someone crosses that line.

TODD: What about, though, the idea that says, wait a minute, I would like to know that you are a responsible gun owner. And I want to put regulations that make sure -- I'm fine with you having a gun, but I would find it in my rights that I want to make sure you are a responsible gun owner. So you know what, I want extra amount of regulation, I want extra licensing, I want this or that. What about that line? I would argue it is a realistic ask of my—of our rights, that's for sure.

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FRENCH: I think it is a realistic ask. And I think say we have a realistic answer. And the realistic answer is the present level of regulation that we have particularly as applied to concealed carried permit holders gives that assurance. Because the available data says that a concealed carry permit holder is somebody who is actually in many ways safer than a police officer.

(…)

The problem we have with gun violence in this country is by and large a problem of a -- of criminals who obtain guns unlawfully. That's the problem -- the primary problem we have. Las Vegas is different.

TODD: David -- frankly, all of the recent mass shootings, if you want to go over the decade-- a large majority of them, the shooter acquired the weapon legally, not illegally.

FRENCH: That’s absolutely right.

TODD: So then the question is, what about this idea that there was nothing in the Second Amendment that said what type of arm you could bear. And so there seems to be -- why is it that we can to draw a reasonable line on saying you know what, look, there is going to be an extra set of regulation on certain weapons. We outlawed machine guns a long time. We outlawed silencers except for people that could go through an extra process perhaps until we see what Congress does. What's wrong with that line? And why do you think we are not willing -- why does the gun lobby or the gun rights advocates not willing to try that?

FRENCH: Well, I had say that the line exists with machine guns, for example, truly automatic weapons, is a right kind of line to draw. That we have effectively and properly drawn that line. Other lines, I think it begins to get much more difficult. Let's talk about the so-called assault weapon. Which is a fictional term really. It's talking about semiautomatic rifles that look like military rifles.

You know, we tried an assault weapons ban, it had no desirable impact on gun violence. When you are talking about semiautomatic weapons you are talking about exactly the kind of weapons that millions and millions of Americans use for self-defense.

We do draw lines. I think one of the things that often gets lost in this debate is people will say well we need some regulation. Well, we do have some regulation. And actually when it comes to machine guns it's been very, very effective without violating the second amendment.

TODD: What do you make of the bump technology? If you can take a semiautomatic and essentially turn it into an automatic weapon you have certainly violated the spirit of the law?

FRENCH: Yeah, I have no problem with an extending a ban on -- extending regulations that apply to automatic weapons to weapons that have a bumpstock. I think that you are exactly right. You are evading the intent of the law. But I will tell you this, I don't think it will have much impact at all in the real world for a couple of reasons. One, again this Las Vegas shooting was highly unusual. You put a bumpstock on weapon it becomes horribly inaccurate.

(…)

5:32:27 PM Eastern

TODD: The NRA has not paid a price for fighting essentially most any gun regulation bills. They have not paid -- in fact, if anything it's gone the other way around, and its enhanced their power. Is there a point where they risk (…) Is there a risk their all or nothing approach is risky for them?

(…)

5:49:14 PM Eastern

TODD: This point is, this is exactly the time to start talking about any issue, gun violence included. If we wait to let cooler heads prevail in any of these we never talk about it. And in fact, if we applied the same logic to every other debate and every other crisis that this country faces that we do to the gun debate we never would have focused on any of those issues either. Then again, maybe that is the point. We'll be right back.

(…)

NB Daily Las Vegas Shooting Guns Labeling MSNBC MTP Daily Video David French Chuck Todd

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