Peter King has been a firm proponent for gun safety — at least, for a Republican. He did, after all, introduce a bill at one point to ban carrying a firearm within a 1,000 feet of “certain high-profile officials.” That was in the aftermath of the Gabby Giffords shooting. More recently, while on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, he stated that he “really doesn’t know why people need assault weapons.”
Here’s the video:
SCARBOROUGH: Don’t you hear from Republicans, don’t you hear from conservatives, “hey Congressman,” do you know what I hear? “Hey Congressman, you know what, I want a handgun to protect my family. I want a shotgun.” But do we really need assault weapons all across America?
KING: I, uh, Joe, I fully agree with you. I voted for the Assault Weapon Ban back in 1994. My father was a police officer. I really don’t know why people need assault weapons. I’m not a hunter, but I understand people who want to hunt. I understand people who live in rough neighborhoods or have a small business and want to maintain a pistol to protect themselves, as long as they’re properly vetted and licensed.
But an assault weapon? Uh, listen, I’m sure 99 percent of people with assault weapons are good Americans. But to give that potential to a mass murderer who would be able to out-arm the police, who, as we saw, could carry out the worst devastation? And, I agree with you, as a Republican! There is so many issues in the world. [sic] Joe, you and I would agree on some and disagree on others, but why the issue of an assault weapons should even be on the table, why we want to identify with that when it’s a vocal minority, but it is a a minority who support these weapons?
Good question, King. That’s one of the few intelligent things I’ve heard from you.
And it is a question that must be asked. Why are assault weapons even on the table? You can’t hunt with them. They aren’t good for home defense. Every debate I have on the issue comes down to the same principle: “This is ‘Merica, and we have the right to do whatever the hell we want!” I’m sorry, those of you that love your assault weapons, but the fact is that some of those weapons are used in killing sprees, and your right to possess something “just because you can” ends when it comes face-to-face with a child’s right not to be shot.