Joe Scarborough: “Friday changed everything. It must change everything.”

by David Safier

Ask Ron Barber to lead on sensible gun policies.

Joe Scarborough gave a 10 minute talk on today's Morning Joe. Very emotional, very personal, very moving.

"From this day forward, nothing can ever be the same again. . . . Let [the shooting in Newtown] be our true landmark . . . I am a conservative Republican who received the NRA’s highest ratings over four terms in Congress. . . . I’ve spent the past few days grasping for solutions and struggling for answers — while daring to question my own long-held belief on these subjects. . . .

I knew that day that the ideologies of my past career were no longer relevant to the future that I want, that I demand for my children. Friday changed everything. It must change everything. We all must begin anew and demand that Washington’s old way of doing business is no longer acceptable. Entertainment moguls don’t have an absolute right to glorify murder while spreading mayhem in young minds across America. And our bill of rights does not guarantee gun manufacturers the absolute right to sell military-style, high-caliber, semi-automatic combat assault rifles with high-capacity magazines to whoever the hell they want. It is time for Congress to put children before deadly dogmas.

I'm ambivalent about the role of movies and video games in the flurry of random violence, but not about having a full-throated discussion of the issue. I wish Scarborough didn't end his statement about selling semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity rifles by saying gun manufacturers shouldn't have the right to sell them "to whoever the hell they want." I want those items taken out of the gun stores and off websites, period. But this was a strong statement from a conservative whose libertarian strain makes him something of an absolutist in his interpretation of the First and Second Amendments. The tipping point continues to tip further.

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