Gingrey on guns at health care debates: ‘I have no fear’

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews today tackled the topic of weaponry that has begun to show up at health care events featuring not just Democratic congressmen, but President Barack Obama.

Speaking on behalf of gun-toters was U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta). On the opposing side was U.S Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville).

We couldn’t find an isolated clip from MSNBC, but here’s a YouTube version from Talking Points Memo, a liberal Web site:

Here’s a rough transcript:

Matthews: What’s connection between the Second Amendment and health care? I mean, this happened again today. This isn’t something cooked up by us. These are people bringing guns to public meetings. Why?

Gingrey: Chris, they may have every right to do that. These may be off-duty police officers

Matthews: We know that.

Gingrey: You don’t know, but if they’ve got a permit to carry, then absolutely they can show that and prove that they have the right.

Matthews: But why would you bring a gun to where the president is speaking? I know it’s a right, but why would you do it? Under what conditions would you choose to use it? You don’t bring a gun somewhere you don’t ever intend to ever use it. So why would you bring a gun into a situation like a public meeting? I’ve never seen this in my life before. People coming armed to public debates about health care?

Gingrey: Chris, it just so happens these very people would take that same weapon anywhere they go — anywhere they’re permitted to carry a concealed weapon. They have the right to do that….

Matthews: They’re not concealed. We’re looking at them….Gentleman, I have an advantage on you. I’m looking at gentlemen here that have guns on them, on their holsters. They’re not concealed, they’re basically displaying their weaponry. Armed weaponry at these public meetings. I’m just asking, why is it going on? What do you think?

Gingrey: If they have the right to do that, I have no fear of it. And I’ve had already five town hall meetings, I have six more planned. I don’t plan on wearing a bulletproof vest, in fact, I usually get standing ovations ….

Matthews: Would you discourage Americans, regardless of race, color, creed or political identification, not to come armed to public meetings?

Cooper: My answer is yes.

Gingrey: No, I would not.

Matthews: Congressman Cooper says he’s is a moderate. By today’s terminology, a moderate is someone who says please don’t come armed to public meetings. Mr. Gingrey, your opportunity.

Gingrey: I would think that they should exercise their rights under the Second Amendment.

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70 comments Add your comment

Bill White

August 17th, 2009
10:45 pm

The honorable Rep. Gingrey gets it. This is democracy in action. We have that God-given right in this country. Why are the lefties so upset over this?


August 17th, 2009
11:23 pm

suppose some whacko decides to shoot up the health care debate crowd. They have a right to arm themselves where the law permits. What is the big deal. I have not left my house unarmed in the past 20 years. It kept me from being robbed once.

[...] under the Second Amendment.” Yeah, that’s one way of putting it. (Galloway’s posted a rough [...]


August 17th, 2009
11:35 pm

Once again, we see that gun worshipers have no common sense whatever when it comes to guns.


August 17th, 2009
11:41 pm

God bless America and God bless the NRA!

Chris Mathews is covered in his own spittle

August 17th, 2009
11:42 pm

I would like to remind everyone that the only violence at any of these townhalls has been at the hands of Obama’s Union/ACORN thugs. Some of those beat up an African American man in MO because he opposed Obama. Obama’s media wh@res did not cover it, just google it.


August 17th, 2009
11:55 pm

The clown in MO started the fight in question, and he was barely touched by anybody. If anyone should have been charged with assault it was that a**hole. Hopefully fate will be kind and he’ll fall down some stairs.

Independent Thinker

August 18th, 2009
12:15 am

One of these nuts is going to aim for Obama, it is just a matter of time. I fear I’ll hear or read the news any day now. I wish he would stop going to those things and stop trying to convince the ignorant people who believe everything their pastor or idiot email friends or Rush Limbaugh tells them before he gets killed by one of these nuts.


August 18th, 2009
12:56 am

Independent thinker sounds like someone who believes anything Obama says. There is no defense for this healthcare plan, which is why Obama’s already in retreat on it.


August 18th, 2009
1:43 am

Chris Matthews never questioned their right to carry guns, he only ask why they would do so. Gingrey couldn’t even answer the question. All he could say was that had the right to do so! Well duh! C’mon Phil just answer the question. I just hope law enforcement at least checks to see if they have the necessary permit. My bet is most do but 1 or 2 might not!


August 18th, 2009
2:22 am

It’s too easy to get a gun permit. You guys know some unstable individual will show up at one of these meetings and set something off. That would be a blow to law abiding gun owners. Use common sense , a highly charged public meeting is no place to prove your point regarding 2nd amendment rights.

Warren Bonesteel

August 18th, 2009
2:26 am

@ Mr. Galloway:

Yeah… The guy carrying the ‘assault’ rifle in Phoenix? A black
man..or in politically correct parlance, an ‘African-American
male.’ Nice shirt, well dressed, good hygiene and all of the rest?

 Kinda does a number on that unwashed, whacko, hillbilly
narrative that your colleagues at JournoList keep going on about. (Notice that the rich, Republican, Brooks Brothers narrative didn’t fly, either.)

 Just sayin’.

This is a non-partisan, multi-racial, history-changing series of events that you’ve been trying to classify. The participants are from every demographic group. Extreme left-wingers are among the only non-participants.

 Whether you like it or not, or see it or not, the struggle is no longer about anyone’s ideology. It is now about freedom and The Constitution.

Chris Mathews is covered in his own spittle

August 18th, 2009
3:19 am

Warren Bonesteele just copied the Vice CopyCat in Chief. Wasn’t it Biden that said that Obama was clean, dressed nicely….

Lee Woford

August 18th, 2009
4:38 am

gatorman770 has forgotten the Patriot Act. If we never see some of these ‘toters’ again, they won’t
be missed at the rally!!!


August 18th, 2009
4:58 am

Queston: Do you even need a permit to carry a gun in a holster in plain view? Isn’t it only for concealed weapons?


August 18th, 2009
5:03 am

How about teaching newswriters that “semi-automatic” is not needed in their depictions of guns. A gun is either single-shot, automatic (shoots multiple times per trigger pull), or semi-automatic (shoots once per trigger pull). Only when a weapon is automatic does it deserve to be mentioned in a news article. I suspect the semi thrown into the copy is meant to inspire negative images among the anti-gun crowd. Describing 99.99% of guns as semi-automatic is like describing most of our cars as having 4 wheels. Unnecessary.


August 18th, 2009
5:19 am

I bet the collective IQ of these gun toters at public meetings doesn’t approach room temperature.

Will Jones - Atlanta

August 18th, 2009
5:34 am

Vietnam draft-dodger and Roman Catholic, Phil Gingrey’s pander to this contrived and conflated element of agents provacateurs is almost as pathetic as was his conduct during the Terry Schiavo abomination and pederast draft-dodger Limbaugh’s putting him in his “place.”

To John Adams
Monticello, Jan. 11, 1816

“Was it from the terror of monarchs, alarmed at the light returning on them from the West [the American Revolution], and kindling a Volcano under their thrones? Was it a combination to extinguish that light, and to bring back, as their best auxiliaries, those enumerated by you, the Sorbonne, the Inquisition, the Index expurgatorius, and the knights of Loyola? Whatever it was, the close of the century saw the moral world thrown back again to the age of the Borgias, to the point from which it had departed 300. years before. France, after crushing and punishing the conspiracy of Pilnitz, went herself deeper and deeper into the crimes she had been chastising. I say France, and not Bonaparte; for altho’ he was the head and mouth, the nation furnished the hands which executed his enormities.”

…and a few generations later Roman Europe committed the Holocaust, financed, in large part, by Roman Catholic collection plate funds deposited in the “Big Oil-created-by-murder-and-arson” Rockefellers’ family bank and funneled through Knight of Malta Prescott Bush to the author of “I Paid Hitler”: the “Rockefeller of Germany,” papal baron, and Bush’s fellow Knight of Malta, Fritz Thyssen.

The sectarian faction whose racist, fascist, “Divide and Conquer” proclivities mark it as the Roman Anti-Christ’s treasonous “Fifth Column,” whose efforts to extinguish that [monarch terrorizing] light, of the covenanted Whig Utopian vision of The Creed, and individual sovereignty of American Exceptionalism, can easily be catalogued: from the assassinations of Meriwether Lewis and Abraham Lincoln (”The Italian Solution”); to the illegal creation of the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Bank John Kennedy’s Exec. Order 11,110 temporarily disenfranchised; to Vietnam, after Prescott’s son, and hireling Nixon, “reversed” NSAM263’s order for military withdrawal from the papal fiefdom of French Indochina in Dallas’ Dealey Plaza with a team from the Roman Catholic CIA; to Bush2’s, and Nixon’s-apprentice Cheney’s committing 9/11 and bankrupting Our Nation on behalf of their false-elite.

None but a witting supporter of this Anti-Christ would carry a sign calling for “tyrants’ blood” with a pistol strapped to his thigh at New Hampshire’s healthcare “townhall” with our president. Papist Gingrey knows whose interests he serves and so should the rest of us who want Righteous America free of the satanic cancer identified by Our Founder as “an engine for enslaving mankind:” “the real Anti-Christ.”

Half measures won’t restore America. Bush and Cheney must hang and their faction’s false-elite expropriated to pay for the astronomical debt with which they’ve saddled us. Agents of confusion and division to whom Gingrey panders must be identified as the dead-enders they are: fascism must die that America live. Only We, the American People, can cast the “Beast” into the Pit.

Let’s start by helping the good and decent Americans in Georgia’s 11th Congressional District ax Phil Gingrey next November.


August 18th, 2009
6:32 am

“The Tree of Liberty must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Thomas Jefferson

People, if your government is afraid of you, that is a good thing.


August 18th, 2009
6:43 am

Very interesting.Lefties scared of honest,gun toting citizens.In my state a permit is not required for open carry,however,a hunting license is required for carry in the fields and forests of the state.


August 18th, 2009
6:46 am

I suggest that when people see others carrying guns at rallies that they join hands and form a circle of love around these people. Sing Kumbaya at full tilt. Give these people the attention they desire. Help a cop and keep an eye on these idiots for them.


August 18th, 2009
7:25 am

People who plan to commit violent crimes with a firearm generally don’t carry their guns in plain view of the police. Do they?


August 18th, 2009
7:30 am

“I bet the collective IQ of these gun toters at public meetings doesn’t approach room temperature.”

In that case, it would only slightly exceed the combined IQ of the Obama administration.

Independent Thinker

August 18th, 2009
7:37 am

<independent thinker sounds like someone who believes anything Obama says. There is no defense for this healthcare plan, which is why Obama’s already in retreat on it.

Because I don’t want a President shot? Are you people really defending these lunatics carrying guns to places where our President is speaking? I imagine your reaction would’ve been the same if Dems had stalked Bush around the country toting guns, right? I’m not affiliated with either party, I have voted both parties all my life, I vote for the candidate, not the party, but I gotta tell you, you people look stark raving mad right about now. There is a way to get your voice heard without being threatening, which is exactly what anyone who shows up armed at one of these things is trying to do…intimidate. Why don’t you just write “Mr President if you don’t stop this healthcare reform business we are going to kill you” on your signs? The message would be the same…


August 18th, 2009
7:39 am

I think this show of force by the gun owners is not only a good thing, but I hope it spreads. Both the politicians and cops NEED to know who, in reality, is the boss. It is NOT them.


August 18th, 2009
7:52 am

What a sad, little, fearful life it must be, trapped by ignorance to the point of needing a gun to settle yourself.



August 18th, 2009
8:06 am

“What a sad, little, fearful life it must be, trapped by ignorance to the point of needing a gun to settle yourself”

No, I think NOT settle, but to protect themselves. And a show of force. You know, the same thing the cops do, the ones WE pay to alledgedly protect us. I like the idea and hope it continues to spread. If the politicians and cops become scared of an armed public, well that’s a good thing. They should be frightened because their actions validate the action of the gun-toting citizens.

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar

August 18th, 2009
8:07 am

If guns are outlawed, how will the gunnuts here ever get their wives to have sex?

Animals. Scared little mice.

Any Time Is Good

August 18th, 2009
8:14 am

These are not republicans or conservatives, these are democratic thugs sent in by the democratic party to cause trouble. I have never seen so much hate from a party in my whole life. Someone is going to get hurt and guess who they will blame. Yes they will try to blame republicans or WE THE POLITICAL TERRIORISTS, but the person going to jail will be a democrate. Dont worry though, Obama and his thug friends will let the guy go. Its the way of the democrate party.

Road Scholar

August 18th, 2009
8:46 am

Sir Lipton Soup: So you want everyone to know who is in charge? The insurance companies and misinformed,stingy, lieing and hot headed yahoos are in charge on this one. Why can’t we have civil discussion of the facts, not the prolification of conservative misinformed talking points.

Socialism…a bunch of bunk! We already have socialist type programs.Are you ready to give yours up? Euthanasia…give me a break! Don’t blame the government when one of your family members die from swine flu or another disease caught from an uninsured infected person!


August 18th, 2009
9:48 am

If the Secret Service didn’t have a problem with people carrying guns near where the president was, why should you bed-wetters care? I realize your collective brain cell count wouldn’t be enough to power a gnat, but the Constitution also gives you the right to be ignorant. It does me good to see you continually use those rights.


August 18th, 2009
10:03 am

it’s interesting that no one answered the poster who asked what if these folks had taken their guns to a BUSH or Cheney speech. can someone come up with an answer for that? I’m also interested that NOW the cops are your enemies, when for the most part, you folks eat off the floor a cop walks on. NOW they’re the bad guys? You can’t have it both ways.


August 18th, 2009
10:06 am

The looters & moochers don’t understand that the folks carrying their weapons do so because our Constitution says they can. I am not surprised at the reaction from the left….they have voluntarily transformed themselves from the rugged, freedom loving individuals that our founding fathers envisioned to lemmings going over the cliff whenever the DNC dictates.

Will Jones - Atlanta

August 18th, 2009
10:10 am

The Second Amendment is sacrosanct. Throughout history false-elites have limited the legal use of weapons, whether a horse, sword or firearm, to preclude universal “power” beyond its control. Not so in American Exceptionalism. The individual is sovereign as The People.

The fact of the matter is we have a powerful sectarian faction, yet to be brought to justice, which has assassinated our leaders, debased our currency, sent us to false war, promoted illegal immigration by their co-religionists to usurp The Republic, committed 9/11 and was only recently removed from executive power in Washington. It is the Roman Anti-Christ’s minions which now approve the weasels openly packing heat and threatening Our President, perverting the words of Our Prophet Thomas Jefferson.

Read his and Adams’ “post-road correspondence” to see for yourself which faction serves “the few,” and which “the many.”

Credal America is, by definition The Many, and the fascist yahoos trying to compensate for an absence of manhood and integrity – as personified by the clown in NH with the pistol strapped to his thigh – with his unveiled call for Obama’s blood, are The People’s enemy.

Death for Treason

Hang Bush and Cheney and the rest of the Fifth Column will temporarily try to evaporate: Pursue and Destroy that America prosper under G-d once more!

Annuit Coeptis: Remember the Creed!

Pope Juan Busho Clintano XXXXXXVII, Rome, Italy

August 18th, 2009
10:24 am

Will Jones is nuts. Let there be no doubt. R U off the meds again, Willy J?

Will Jones is the affirmative action retard poster of the universe

August 18th, 2009
10:26 am

Word Up, RKS. Well said.

[...] with Chris Matthews,” holding forth on matters such as health care coops and the trend toward gun-toting at town hall meetings. (Cooper is in favor of the former, against the [...]


August 18th, 2009
10:59 am

This is America? Sounds more like a banana republic or the wild west. If you don’t like someone’s policies, don’t come packing pistols. Just work to have your own guy elected next time. That is why they call this a democracy.


August 18th, 2009
11:19 am

Folks who exercise their right to carry, even in places swarming with secret service, make me pretty proud, actually. It’s a good bet we’ll disagree on health care, though.


August 18th, 2009
11:21 am

Oh, yeah. After talking to several people, I’ve got to say that there’s “astroturf” on both sides. But also concerned citizens. Anyone who says either side is “thugs” is oversimplifying.

Steve Head

August 18th, 2009
1:09 pm

The rights granted under the US Constitution are not “god” given. They were granted by men. What does the Second Amendment have to do with health care? Nothing. It’s a distraction to incite the gun fetishists so we are no longer discussing health care reform but instead are discussing whether guns should be carried into public meetings.

[...] by atlmalcontent Georgia congressman Phil Gingreythinks it’s perfectly reasonable to bring firearms to health care town halls. It happened yesterday in Phoenix. Asked why he was [...]

Will Jones - Atlanta

August 18th, 2009
2:05 pm

Lucas, the people who committed 9/11 and now are now beating the drum against Obama to derail his administration to lessen the liklihood of prosecution are much worse than simple “thugs,” they are traitors and tools of the identified Anti-Christ among us and must be extirpated. There is no reasoning with evil…it must be swept from Our Land. downloads a free copy of the proof of Bush’s and Cheney’s treason. We must separate the “sheep” from the “goats,” and the “goats” in this case must be “slaughtered” for they support treason. Written by a scholar of proven integrity, read it and know the truth.


August 18th, 2009
2:11 pm

I think this is an unbelievable debate in 21st Century America. Most people would agree that someone has the right to own a firearm for self-defence in the home. Maybe even one for target practice/hunting. But carrying around a gun to a town hall on health care with the President? Crazy people. The far right of Gingrey, Westmoreland and Gingrey wins by fear and money – they don’t represent the average Georgian. It is too bad that moderates can’t fight the money machine against these nuts!

Will Jones - Atlanta

August 18th, 2009
2:59 pm

veronica – If We, the People, all come to realize that Bush and Cheney committed 9/11, that their evil must be swept from Our Land, and that Obama’s election is proof that our covenant has not be forsaken by G-d, the “Beast” shall be “cast into the Pit.” The Roman Anti-Christ has come this far, it won’t be sending itself to destruction. It is We, hundreds of millions strong, who must make it so for the tens of thousands of fascist, racist traitors stealing our substance and shedding innocent blood.


August 18th, 2009
3:19 pm

While rightwing nutjubs (bill smith) and communist leftists(will jones) continue their idiotic rants, the truth remains. The public needs to be armed and SHOULD be armed at all political rallies.

Will Jones - Atlanta

August 18th, 2009
3:43 pm

That the Second Amendment be observed and exercised makes American Exceptionalism, but Truth and Justice must rule in Our Land, that the People be sovereign in Righteousness and evil is swept away. Bush’s and Cheney’s having provably committed 9/11 is the touchstone by which all who would be Patriot can wrench The Republic from the Roman Anti-Christ now flooding our economy with fresh printed money – doing injury to the eighty percent Middle Class – to shore-up the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Bank John Kennedy ended before it’s faction ended him, and bring to justice Bush and Cheney and the false-elite who “brung him.” Thomas Jefferson called Rome “the real Anti-Christ.” Would some moron call him a “communist leftist,” too? Slide back under your anonymous rock, LTSV.


August 18th, 2009
3:57 pm

As anyone can plainly see, the communist-leftist (will jones) chides in with garbage that is neither relevant nor sensible. Will, I would have to guess you are a raging alcoholic or a drug abuser. Nothing you say makes sense. I am sorry for you and pity your family as the mental care you
require must be expensive.
As previously stated, whackjobs like bill smith and will jones are looking for the politicians who represent THEIR interests, not the interests of the people. Beware their are many like them on both sides so be cautious with your vote!

Will Jones - Atlanta

August 18th, 2009
4:13 pm

Any who deny that Bush and Cheney committed 9/11 is a lying traitor.

Those who fail to confront, or submit to, evil are neither American nor Children of G-d.

Will Jones - Atlanta

August 18th, 2009
4:14 pm

errata – “Any who denies…”