On his Thursday MSNBC program, “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough explained that he has heard from those on the right who seemed to have a common message: Something has to be done in the wake of last week’s shooting tragedy in Newtown, Conn.
“I think the biggest shock to me is, this week — I haven’t been hearing from a lot of liberals,” Scarborough said. “You know, ‘Hey, good job.’ Conservatives, NRA members, hunters, my friends from across the South, Republican Party chairmen from the Deep South, calling me up, saying, ‘We’ve got to do something.’ They say it, not me. ‘The crazies have taken over the NRA. The crazies have taken over my organization. They have taken over gun ownership. No, I’m the gun owner that the NRA was made for. I hunt. I have a gun to protect my family.’ And I can’t wait to hear what the NRA says tomorrow. I hope it’s positive. They say they’re going to be constructive, and I salute them. But they’d better be because the world’s changed.”
The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein said that people are deluding themselves if they think the NRA would agree to an assault weapons ban. Stein was hopeful, however, that the group would agree on restricting high-capacity magazines.
“The NRA has to come forward with that immediately,” Scarborough said. “They just do. They’re going to fight on assault weapons. But I wonder, Mark Halperin, and I’ve been talking to my Republicans over the past year, warning them of the loss that came in November. I wonder how many swing voters in the suburbs of Philadelphia think you should be able to get an assault weapon online. I wonder how many swing voters in the I-4 corridor of Florida think you should be able to get assault weapons online. I wonder how many swing voters in Columbus, Ohio, think you should be able to get an assault weapon online. That answer — this is a 90/10 proposition, what I always say in Congress — 90 percent for, 10 percent against. The Republican Party better understand, they’d better understand — I’m telling them the same thing I told them throughout the year — this is going to put them in a horrific position moving forward if they stand in the way of these common-sense reforms.”
Time magazine’s Mark Halperin put the onus on the Obama administration’s gun task force under the leadership of Vice President Joe Biden, explaining that it was up to them to piece together a coalition if they want to get anything done. But in the end, the “Morning Joe” consensus was a pushback against arming everyone and to close so-called loopholes that make it difficult to enforce gun ownership laws.