MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Scarborough faced off with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) over guns this morning on his program.
In an impassioned discussion about AR-15 assault rifles, the 2nd Amendment, and Supreme Court decisions, the former congressman and the current Texas senator butted heads as Cruz, ignoring the groundswell of public opinion since the Parkland Florida School shootings calling for a renewal of the assault weapons ban that was in place during the Clinton administration, insisted that owning an AR-15 was every American’s constitutional right.
Scarborough, as both a lawyer and a former Republican congressman before he entered broadcasting, was knowledgeable enough about the issues at hand to go head to head with Cruz in the debate.
“Morning Joe” took the position that the Supreme Court’s 2008 Heller decision — which reinterpreted the 2nd amendment to mean that it gave every American, not just “well-regulated militias,” the right to possess firearms — does not necessarily mean that Congress can’t ban assault rifles like the AR-15.
Cruz, for his part, insisted that the A-15 is “indistinguishable” from other commonly used deer rifles and that the Supreme Court will determine whether Americans have the constitutional right to carry such weapons.
“Senator, there are a lot of people, lawyers right now, who are rolling their eyes at what you’re saying,” Scarborough said.
Cruz came right back at Scarborough with a withering reply:
“My career was litigating before the Supreme Court,” Cruz said. “I recognize this is not what you do.”
The conversation reached a boiling point with that condescending retort, and the MSNBC host shot back angrily at the Senator.
“I don’t need you to lecture me on what the Supreme Court does and what it doesn’t do,” Scarborough said. “You can talk down to me all you want to.”
“Even a dumb country lawyer like me understands that an AR-15 today is not recognized as a constitutional right of Americans under the Second Amendment,” Scarborough continued.
After a vigorous shouting match over the interpretation of the 2nd amendment and the intricacies of Supreme Court procedures, Cruz and Scarborough eventually cooled down with Scarborough giving the Texas Senator a final backhanded compliment.
“I give you credit for swatting away what is legal reality,” Scarborough said.
You can watch the entirety of Senator Cruz’s appearance on Morning Joe in the clip below. The discussion of about guns starts at about 13 minutes and 40 seconds in.