Chris Matthews talked to Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips today, and grilled him on second amendment issues and the “history of violence” in America. Referencing the fondness of tea partiers for bringing guns to political rallies, Matthews asked: “Why are guns talked about so much, especially on the right?”
Phillips replied that “guns are talked about on both sides of the political spectrum,” and “liberals talk about it all the time. Usually in terms of taking the right to bear arms away from us.”
Matthews got a bit worked up when Phillips asserted that leaders have town hall meetings all the time and “nothing ever happens to them.” Matthews began to list a number of leaders who have been shot and killed, like Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and others who have been the targets of assassination attempts, like Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and Harry Truman.
There’s “a history of violence in this country. I don’t know how you haven’t noticed it,” Matthews said. He later asked: “Are you concerned that people bring guns to political rallies. Yes or no.” Phillips replied that he’s not, and Matthews followed up: “Why would a person bring a gun to a political rally?”
“Because they have the right to,” Phillips said, adding: “You’d carry a gun for safety. Just like you do for any other thing.”
“They bring it to make a statement against the political people in this country they don’t like and they use it as a threat,” Matthews shot back, then asked: “Do you think it would be better off if people didn’t bring guns to political events?”
“I would rather people not carry guns in occasions where you might get tempers flaring. I think that’s probably prudent. But as far as just a general political rally, I don’t have a problem with it,” Phillips replied.