CNN host Alisyn Camerota challenged Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Chair Matt Schlapp to a debate on gun control and asked if he thinks critics of the Second Amendment hate freedom.
“No. I actually think there’s a lot of people, including these victims’ families, who their heart is in the right place,” Schlapp said. “The whole question of gun control feeds into this whole question of the bigger political fight. The left is in versus the right. And I think that’s unfortunate. I think this is a time for us to listen more, for us to try to work together. I think what the president did at the White House with these families is the right next step.”
Camerota then brought up National Rifle Association (NRA) Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and his speech to CPAC, asking why LaPierre was “stoking division.”
“I don’t think he’s stoking that division. I think he’s defending the Second Amendment,” Schlapp responded. “It’s a cherished right, chiseled in our Constitution. It’s in the Bill of Rights. The Constitution would be nothing without our Bill of Rights and I think that’s an important thing for us to remember.”
Camerota pivoted back to LaPierre.
“I think if you understand the antecedent, it makes more sense. There are people who stoke the push for gun control because they think it is good politics,” Schlapp said. “And the sad thing is, it’s false hope for people. Where we have the most gun control, we have the highest crime. We’re not talking about the violence. We’re not talking about simple security steps that could be taken.”
Camerota interrupted and noted after the Newtown shooting, Connecticut’s gun control measures were responsible for lowering the crime and homicide rate.
Schlapp fought to respond to her point on Newtown and said, “I live in Washington, D.C., I read those statistics in Chicago and they have the highest incidents of gun control and it’s not controlling crime.”
Camerota claimed Chicago’s gun issue is directly linked to the relaxed gun laws in neighboring Indiana, but Schlapp wouldn’t stand for it.
“It’s coming from Indiana where the gun control is lax. You know that,” she said.
“You’re blaming Indiana for the crimes in Chicago. That’s not fair,” Schlapp said. “[Chicago guns] come from the a criminal element that has their guns, even though they might be illegal to obtain.”
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