Married “Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski went head to head Wednesday in a squabble about illegal gun sales and police reform.
Scarborough pivoted from a discussion about illegal guns to the real reason he believed murder rates and overall crime rates were spiking, prompting a quick reaction from Brzezinski. (RELATED: ‘Destabilizing For You’: Joe Scarborough Claims Some People Have ‘Forgotten What It’s Like To Be Americans’ Because Of Trump)
The panel discussion included Steve Rattner and Rev. Al Sharpton. It centered on crime spikes and the fact that most crimes were not being committed by people who had walked into a sporting goods store and walked out — after the requisite background checks — with a handgun or a hunting rifle. They argued that most crimes were committed by people who had purchased their firearms on the black market.
“Can I give you this assignment? Back in our community, can we find out what percentage of crimes and of deaths do police believe are committed by people who illegally purchased a gun?” Scarborough asked.
“I will find that out. But remember for there to be an illegal guns there have to be guns around,” Rattner replied. “You have to have a country in which there’s a gun culture and a huge majority of guns floating around and I don’t know the answer, it’s not a statistical answer, why are murder rates going up now? We have had guns for a long time floating around.”
“People don’t want to know the answer. You can give them — they don’t want to know the answer. Why the crimes is going up. I give them the answer and they get really mad. You know why. We won’t answer it though,” Scarborough said.
Brzezinski interrupted then, saying that Scarborough’s ending to the segment was “awkward.”
“Nobody wants to hear this,” Scarborough insisted, but went on to say, “Cops are back on their heels … Good cops are back on their heels.”
Brzezinski continued to talk over him, prompting Scarborough to say, “This is retro ‘Morning Joe’!”
“We’re back!” Willie Geist agreed.
Scarborough steered the discussion back to police reform, arguing that there had to be a balance between calls for police reform and reassurances to good police officers that they would be allowed to do their jobs.
Brzezinski wrapped up the segment a short time later, saying, “if we don’t go to break, we’re gonna need a marriage counselor in the morning.”
“Mika, you were triggered,” Scarborough laughed.