tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC January 12, 2013 2:00am-2:30am PST
it made a difference for countless families across america. and jean would later say, i considered myself such a traditional person. i didn't even cross the street against the light. but i wasn't going to let anybody walk over morty. that is the story of america. of ordinary citizens, organizing, advocating for change. of hope stronger than hate. of love more powerful than any insult or injury. of americans fighting to build for themselves, a nation in which no one is a second class citizen, in which no one is denied their rights. >> that was president obama speaking at the human rights campaign dinner in 2009. this week, jean manford, the families of parents, families,
friends of lesbians and gays passed away, she was 92 years old. and everybody cried, including me on tv. we're going into nut country. let's play "hardball"! ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this, paranoid america is climbing out of its bunker. the near possibility that the obama administration might stop the easy sale of the scariest guns to the scariest people has aroused the slippery slope crowd. these cousins of the grassy knoll folks believe that any limit on the wide open market for guns and ammo threatens their own hardware. any reasonable action by the american people to stop the carnage is to these paranoids the first unfaltering step to
mass confiscation of everything from shotguns to daisy rifles. well, tonight we let you hear from the craziest of the crazies. my question, are the regular gun owners of this country, the people who go out and hunt in hunting season, the people who shoot skeet or simply like to pack their own bullets, regular gun enthusiasts, are they going to listen to these nut cases or joe biden when he offers proposals next week on background checks and high capacity magazines? who are the people that are going to decide this issue -- i mean the gun owners -- going to go with, the wild bunch or the town posse? david corn is washington bureau chief for "mother jones." joy reid is managing editor of the grio. both are msnbc analysts. joy, your bet. do the pennsylvania-type guys who go out when they're supposed to shoot, practice shooting and get good at it with a couple shots, that's all you get with a deer, are they going to go with the nuts? >> you know what, chris? i mean, i grew up in colorado. i grew up around people who were military, ex-military, people who hunted.
you know, colorado is a big hunting state. and i don't think anyone that i have ever met that is a responsible gun owner can side with these, you know, for lack of a better word, these loony tunes who are out here because they're doing something different. they're stockpiling. they're getting assault rifles. these are not normal gun owners. what you're hearing from now is the absolute fringe, and, unfortunately, they're being allowed to speak for the pro-second amendment crowd. >> david, we're going to show the worst of the worst in a minute, but first your thoughts. will the regular gun owners, the people that are in the nra in pennsylvania and they vote, democrat or republican, are they going to go with the crazies like james yeager? we're going to show him and alex jones again. >> you know what's crucial to this is what clinton did back in '94. remember, he got an assault weapons ban through congress over the nra opposition and opposition to many republicans and some democrats, and the way he got it was by bringing the cops, the police -- >> but how many seats did he lose?
>> he lost a lot of seats. you have to keep the fight going after you win. so the way to get people to side with responsible gun control, gun violence prevention, is to make this a wide coalition to show them that, hey, you're with people who like to shoot, you're with people who care like cops. it's not just liberal dems -- >> i agree. >> that's the key here as we go forward. >> the raw story website got ahold of this threatening video from this fellow i mentioned, james yeager. he's ceo of a group called tactical response, and he's pledging actual violence as a result of the white house action on gun safety. take a listen. >> i'm telling you that if that happens, it's going to spark a civil war, and i'll be glad to fire the first shot. i'm not putting up with it. you shouldn't put up with it, and i need all you patriots to start thinking about what you're going to do. load your damn mags, make sure your rifle is clean, pack a backpack with some food in it, and get ready to fight. i'm not [ bleep ] putting up with this. i am not letting my country be ruled by a dictator. i'm not letting anybody take my
guns. if it goes one inch further, i'm going to start killing people. >> you got that. and the paranoid on the fringe right, it all comes down to being anti-tyranny. here was alex jones talking to piers morgan earlier this week. >> so we did it to point out that this is globalism, and the mega banks that control the planet and brag they've taken over in bloomberg, ap, reuters, you name it, brag they're going to get our guns as well. they're taken everybody's guns but the swiss and the american people. when they get our guns, they can have world tyranny while the government buys 1.6 bullets, armored vehicles, tanks, predator drones, armed in u.s. skies being used to arrest people in north dakota. the second amendment isn't there for duck hunting. it's there to protect us from tyrannical government and street thugs. >> so what do you make of that, joy? >> this is crazy, chris. i watched that video last night,
the yeager video, and i watched the alex jones interview this past week. these are not normal pro-second amendment people. this is insanity. these are people who are essentially arming themselves and stockpiling arms. saying they have more than 50 arms in their house against some sort of tyrannical government invasion of their personal homes. this is basically the paranoia in american society being brought forward and made to speak for ordinary gun owners. it's up to gun owners themselves to distance themselves from that craziness. >> well, let's keep listening to this. here is one from the -- i want to get all these in here tonight. ted nugent to world net daily. here is what he said, there will come a time when the gun owners of america, the law-abiding gun owners of america will be the rosa parks, and we will sit down in the front of the bus, case closed. and this morning on cnn the chairman or chair of the gun appreciation day suggested slavery wouldn't have occurred if guns had been available to everyone in america at the time. let's listen to this malarkey. >> i think martin luther king
would agree with me if he were alive today that if african-americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country's founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history. >> what a dumb, dumb nut. joy, you got to start on this. this is not only a nut, but a dumb nut. slaves didn't come to america as citizens. they came in shackles -- >> as property. >> -- in the bottom of a ship somewhere. they're lucky to be alive if they got here. the idea they would be armed by anyone -- you take it on. he's obviously patronizing, trying to act like he cares about the fate of black people. some sort of number he's playing here. who would believe this malarkey? >> and, chris, why is it every time the far right decides to make an argument that is insane, they jump on the civil rights movement or slavery and try to latch their argument onto the history of african-americans. >> yes, as if they would have given a damn.
as if they would have been up at the front for the fight. >> exactly. >> you don't remember ted nugent standing in front of everyone in the civil rights marches. >> i remember him refusing to go to vietnam. i remember him getting out of going to vietnam and being afraid to carry a gun when his country asked him to carry a gun. he was a coward. these guys always jump on slavery and the civil rights movement. this is offensive. yeah, if slaves wouldn't have been owned by other people, there wouldn't be slavery either. >> this is -- what's happening now is something we've been talking about for five years. that is the extreme right, let's call it what it is, has gone on about barack obama as a socialist, as -- conspiracy theories about secret plans to take guns and dominate the country, and now because biden comes out and talks about high-capacity magazines, they say finally, we finally have something -- >> nailed them. >> to nail on and they're just -- >> i don't want to make fun of these people because they're about 1% of the country, 5% or 10%. >> they're dangerous because they're armed. >> right. >> these are real cooks.
that is a problem. remember where i got that phrase from, we're going into nut country? that's what jack kennedy said the day he died. rush limbaugh said the president can't be stopped from getting what he wants. you don't think this is going to the mainstream of the right? here is rush. let's listen. >> obama will try anything and has, and nobody stops him, by the way. he has trumped the constitution's first amendment and religious liberty. he has trumped the constitution on immigration. he has essentially granted amnesty to a million kids without benefit of legislation. he'll do anything that nobody tries to stop him from doing. of course, an executive order legally doesn't trump the constitution. but if he issues an executive order to try to confiscate guns or something along those lines and nobody stops him, does he not get away with it? >> here is the point, rush has a brain. he's a smart guy. he's a marketer, he knows what he's doing. in many ways he's a showman, but
how can he honestly believe a president can issue an executive order confiscating guns? >> to be extreme in reaction to this extremism, i can hear less smart people -- i can imagine them listening to this and thinking there is only one way to stop this guy. >> david corn, joy reid, thank you. coming up, reality check. gun control advocates say this is the moment to pass new legislation. the pro-gun crowd says there no way they will accept an assault weapons ban. who's going to win this fight. also, exit strategy. president obama made it clear the united states is accelerating its withdrawal from afghanistan and plans to leave very few troops there after next year. this much is clear. gone is the goal of nation building. and u.s. congressman phil gingrey, who apparently felt two so-called rape candidates in the republican party, richard mourdock and todd akin, wasn't enough. he's come out defending akin's legitimate rape comments. once again republicans just keep it up. and finally, the city that's the star of oscar nominated films this year isn't new york or l.a. or rome or paris, it's
d.c., right here in washington. "lincoln," "argo," "zero dark thirty," the nation's capital ready for its close-up. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. power down your little word game. i think your friends will understand. oh no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance, pretty much access geico 24/7. sounds a little too good to be true sir. i'll believe that when pigs fly. ok, did she seriously just say that? geico. just click away with our free mobile app. or treat gas with these after you get it. now that's like sunblock before or sun burn cream later. oh, somebody out there's saying, now i get it! take beano before and there'll be no gas.
welcome back to "hardball." as vice president biden wraps up his week of meetings with stakeholders in the gun debate, outlines of biden's task force proposals are beginning to take shape. universal background checks for gun purchasers, limits on ammunition, stronger mental health checks for gun buyers, and even a report in today's "washington post" that senator barbara boxer presented a plan to the vice president to make federal funds available for schools that do want to hire police officers. next it will be president obama's turn to act on the recommendations of biden's task force. is the time now for big change, including a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban?
joining me is paul helmke, former president of the brady campaign to prevent gun violence, and eugene robinson, of course, pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the washington post" and an msnbc contributor. paul, you devote your time and life to this story. which way do you see it going in terms of how far the vice president's task force will go next tuesday and then how far the president will go and then how far the congress will go in terms of gun control and gun safety? >> i doubt if they're going to go as far as i'd like. i personally think they should present a comprehensive plan, deal with background checks, deal with military-style weapons, deal with trafficking, deal with the special protections the gun industry gets. deal with trigger locks. put them all into a comprehensive bill. it's going to be tough to get through. the problem with doing it single bill by single bill, people say this wouldn't have stopped this shooting or that shooting. do a comprehensive bill. then if you've got to negotiate to perhaps just keep the
high-capacity ammunition magazines and give up some of the military-style weapons, then you have trade-offs you can make, but put everything on the table. i think biden needs to -- vice president biden needs to do that. i think the president needs to do the same thing. the nra and their folks are going to fight everything tooth and nail. let's put the whole program out there if we can. >> do you think we could get something out of a more liberal judiciary committee? i just don't know which republican dominated committee in the house is going to do this. i mean, i hate to be particular -- let me go to gene robinson. >> i'm not sure which committee is going to pass this out of the house either. i mean, that's a problem. you know, you can look at it from the other side. i understand the point about a comprehensive bill, but you might actually be able to get bills with this piece or that piece out of committee and maybe that would be easier than -- >> who is going to ramrod it for you, paul? the pro-gun safety or gun control people, who is going to ramrod it in the house or -- you got to get particular here with me. i want to know who is going to
stand up, john dingell won't be there, a lot of guys in the congress are not anti-gun in any way. bobby casey is not going to be there. i don't think joe manchin is going to be there despite his conversations. is schumer going to do it? if it's a big city guy, you can kill the idea right up front. who is the country boy or country woman who will do this thing? let's get a majority vote for it? who's going to do that? >> you're right. i think the crucial thing, particularly in the senate, is we need some republicans or some none of the traditional characters, schumer and feinstein, boxer, you know, those folks will be there. we need mark kirk in illinois to make this an issue. he voted for closing the gun show loophole when he was in the house. we need dan coats back in the senate from indiana. he voted for some of these things in the early' 90s. if we can get a few republicans to stand up and say, this isn't taking your guns away, this isn't a second amendment issue, this is a public safety issue, a law and order issue, it will help our communities, then i think we can get it done. >> will you get any votes in the south?
>> but it's going to take illinois and indiana pushing. >> any votes in the rocky mountain states, any votes in conservative country, utah, idaho? >> yeah. we can get some in the rocky mountain states. i think we can get some of the folks in colorado, some of the folks, we can get bennett, udall perhaps. those are folks that in the past have been supportive. you know, the one i would really like to see is mark begich out of alaska. as mayor of alaska he is one of the signatories of mayors against illegal guns. i think those are people that, because of what they've done in the past, they might be responsive now. >> i like the way you talk. earlier on the "today" show, nra president david keene predicted congress would not back the gun group and pass an assault weapons ban. let's listen to him. >> we have a profound disagreement with this administration, first of all, on what would make a difference. we don't think that a ban on so-called assault weapons, which hasn't worked in the past, is going to work this time. >> do you have the support in congress to block any federal
ban on assault weapons in the coming year? >> i do not think that there's going to be a ban on so-called assault weapons passed by the congress. >> gene, can we go that far? we did it back in the '90s? >> that's obviously the highest hurdle. that's the toughest thing to get through, and my concern from the point of view of someone who would like to see legislation passed is that if that is the centerpiece of a big piece of legislation, it becomes easier to kill basically. >> yeah. >> and perhaps if you've got background checks and big magazines, which, you know, is a red flag for some people but not for -- perhaps not for everybody, and also you could vote on the assault weapons ban. that goes down maybe some of the other -- >> how do you do this, paul? you steam know how to do this. and i want to know tactically. people who want to see some reasonable gun control right now, they are looking at the magazines, these 30-round things. they are looking at the fact
that people who are dangerous, they may have a criminal record, they may be a mental, emotional problems, is there a background check system, let's start with something i think most people would agree with, keep guns away from scary people, criminals and people with mental and emotional problems that are severe. how do you get those lists? is there such a list of people -- well, maybe there's a criminal list. police officers have access to those when they stop you. but what about the mental and emotional problems of people that lead to these spree shootings in most cases? >> there's three basic things we need to do to strengthen the background check system. one is to look at the definitions. we need stronger definitions of drug abusers. we need a better definition of who is mentally dangerous, and i don't think that should be that hard to do. a lot of folks have worked on that issue before. >> would the aclu permit that? would the liberal groups, the civil liberties people, let you get a list out there? >> i think they would if you draw it the right way. right now with regard to the mentally dangerous, it's based on a court finding that someone is a danger to themselves or others.
i think perhaps there's some other things they could add to that if there are some protections built in. so get those good lists. number two, make sure the states are getting the records into the federal system. that was the problem at virginia tech. the virginia tech shooter had been found to be a danger to himself or others. virginia had not sent the record in. we got a bill passed after virginia tech that george w. bush signed. we need to strengthen that bill to make sure we're getting more records into the system. and the third is the crucial thing, do a background check on every sale. if we have agreed that felons shouldn't get guns, that dangerously mentally ill shouldn't get guns, if we have those records, they're in the system, if we don't do a background check on 40% of the sales, you're leaving the system wide open. i think everyone can agree with that. that's been the cornerstone for the brady -- >> sounds good. you know your stuff. >> that's going to work. >> one thing, point out one thing, very wise man, vernon jordan, told me if you don't ask for nothing, you don't get nothing. i think this is not the point where we start pulling back and saying, well, we can't get this, we can't get that. this is still the point where i think people who want to see
sensible gun laws should be making the case for sensible gun laws. >> this is where the republican leadership has got to get aboard. thank you, paul helmke. call me up if you learn something. eugene robinson -- >> happy to be on. up next, republicans can't get out of their own way. georgia congressman phil gingrey, the guy who had to apologize to rush limbaugh, remember that? is defending todd akin's legitimate rape comments. wait until you see this one coming up. this is "hardball," the place for politics. @ñ
rape was just, look, someone can say, i was raped, a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, you know, that's pretty tough and might on some occasion say, hey, i was raped. that's what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus nonlegitimate rape. i don't find anything so horrible about that. but then he went on and said that in a situation of rape, of a legitimate rape, a woman's body has a way of shutting down so the pregnancy would not occur. he's partly right on that. i'm an ob-gyn doctor. i have been an ob-gyn doctor for a long time, since 1975, and i have delivered lots of babies, and i know about these things. >> well, remember when alec baldwin said you know your party
is in trouble when people ask did the rape guy win and you have to ask, which one? we're going to add gingrey to the list of possibilities. finally, the late night comedians weigh in on jack lew getting nominated for secretary of the treasury. well, mostly his signature. >> there are big problems with this guy. >> many republicans really just don't get along with this guy. they don't agree with his philosophy. they think he's really hard to deal with in negotiations. >> no, no, no, jimmy, none of that, no, jimmy, no. no, we're talking about the big problem. >> there is jack lew's signature. we could have a pretty ugly signature on our dollar bill. >> our money should have nothing ridiculous on it, just old men in wigs and pyramids with eyes. [ laughter ] i mean, is this even a signature or did he start drawing charlie brown and give up after the hair? >> hey, lew, here is a tip, stop signing all your checks on the tea cup ride at disney world.
[ laughter ] the only way that you're allowed to have that as your signature is if your name is boing. >> that's "hardball" for now. coming up next, "your business" with j.j. ramberg. a condition that puts him at greater risk for a stroke. [ gps ] turn left. i don't think so. [ male announcer ] for years, bob took warfarin, and made a monthly trip to the clinic to get his blood tested. but not anymore. bob's doctor recommended a different option: once-a-day xarelto®. xarelto® is the first and only once-a-day prescription blood thinner for patients with afib not caused by a heart valve problem, that doesn't require routine blood monitoring. like warfarin, xarelto® is proven effective to reduce the risk of an afib-related stroke. there is limited data on how these drugs compare when warfarin is well managed. no routine blood monitoring means bob can spend his extra time however he likes.
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