Watch: Newly Elected NC Rep. Gets Grilled After Saying Mass Shootings ‘Couldn’t Possibly’ Be About Guns
Dan Bishop (R-NC), who won last night’s North Carolina special election, appeared on MSNBC where he spoke with host Ali Velshi about guns and gun laws.
Things got heated after Bishop suggested that mass shootings have nothing to do with guns.
“I think we can all kind of agree that the gun show and private sale loopholes are something that we can tighten up,” the MSNBC host offered, referring to background checks.
“Since you mentioned guns specifically, the right to keep and bear arms, which is to set forth as an explicit constitutional right in the Bill of Rights must always be born front of mind,” Bishop opined. “America’s always had the prevalence of guns throughout the country. But we haven’t always had the incidents of mass gun violence that we see occurring with horrific frequency now.”
The North Carolina Republican said that Velshi’s background check proposal was a “poor line of thinking.”
“It couldn’t possibly be the guns if the guns have been here all along,” Bishop insisted.
Velshi then blasted the new Congressman.
“And back in the day we didn’t have these assault weapons available to regular people that allow you to commit a mass crime with accuracy and with intensity of impact of the bullet that a handgun has,” the anchor said. “Most of these mass killings aren’t committed with a handgun.”
But Bishop was unfazed by the logic. He suggested that expanded background checks would be a “reflexive” attack on the Constitution.
“It has to do with mental illness and whether that’s being appropriately treated,” Bishop remarked. “It has a great deal to do with how we make community among each other, what our social values are, and how they’re evolving and whether people end up being excluded from community as a result. And I think we have to tackle all of those issues in our dialogue rather than having a reflexive attack on the constitutional right that’s embedded in the Bill of Rights.”
“I’ve been having covered a lot of these for a lot of years,” Velshi shot back. “I don’t know that wanting tighter background checks is reflexive.”
“We have seen not one, but many mass killings over the years,” he added. “I’ve been at many of them myself. I’m a gun owner, sir. I hear you. I’m saying I don’t think it’s a reflexive sudden response to say let’s tighten up background checks.”
Take a look at the discussion in the video clip below: