Video: Jack Kingston spars with MSNBC host on gun control

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Let no one say Savannah Republican U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston hides in a conservative media bunker. Today he had a tough interview with MSNBC host Thomas Roberts on the subject of gun control in light of Friday’s tragedy in Connecticut. Kingston said gun control laws should be under discussion, but the discussion should also include mental illness and other aspects of mass shootings.

A key moment comes around the 7:30 mark, after Kingston describes mass shootings in Europe that occurred in spite of strict gun laws:

Roberts: So there’s nothing we can do? …. We need to just be complacent in the fact that we can send our children to school to be assassinated?

Kingston: Thomas, I think one of the problems we have on the gun control debate is it immediately starts dividing people into: ‘You disagree with me, therefore you are the enemy.’ I’ve opened up by saying let’s put gun control up for discussion. Let’s include mental health. Let’s put video games, let’s put home background in there. And I think where there is some common ground you could say the storage of weapons. But when we immediately start saying, ‘Well, you want this, therefore you dislike children,’ it’s not productive to the debate.

- By Daniel Malloy, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

136 comments Add your comment

RomeGaGuy

December 18th, 2012
3:10 pm

Shocked that Kingston still doesnt wear a flag lapel pin after making such a big deal out of Obama not wearing one

Trolls Bane

December 18th, 2012
3:14 pm

Interesting to see the “its for the children” argument used here. Good technique to stop any reasoned debate or discussion. Who wants to see children hurt right, so if you disagree with my position, it means that you want to hurt children ….

Nice classy argument there …

kreedham

December 18th, 2012
3:15 pm

Sure video games and mental health need to be in the discussion but a ban on assault rifles and extended magazines is needed now. I’m waiting to see who the 1st Georgia Republican who as the stones to say…Yes we need to make some changes now! Bueller? Bueller?

Rifles and shotguns if you’re a hunter, handguns if you feel it will make you safer but NO on assault weapons and extended magazine clips.

Silver Creek Dawg

December 18th, 2012
3:18 pm

Kreedham, there is no such gun classification as “assault weapon”.

Don’t believe me? Walk into any gun store and tell the owner you want to buy an assault weapon. He’ll open up his arms to the entire store and say, “Pick one.”

RGB

December 18th, 2012
3:19 pm

Democrat politicians (and the fawning journalists in the media) will “solve” this problem just as they’ve “solved” the poverty problem. Or the education problem. Or the debt problem. Or the social security solvency problem. Or the medicare problem. Or the healthcare problem.

And as long as voters feeeeel that the politicians are hellllping them, we’ll have fewer freedoms.

Kingston pointed out that none of the solutions the journalist proposed would work. Therefore he must be evil.

Liberalism beats having to think or use logic.

RGB

December 18th, 2012
3:24 pm

Silver Creek Dawg,

You beat me to the punch.

Libs define assault weapons as any firearm–or at least that’s the way it will ultimately be defined.

“Who needs a 30 round magazine? Who needs a revolver that holds five rounds? Let’s have one-round revolver and a limit of one bullet purchase every other year.”

And you bloggers and journalists who write about “clips” and “magazine clips”–if you have absolutely no idea about that which you are writing, don’t.

the cat

December 18th, 2012
3:27 pm

RGB-tell us which guns are not assault weapons.

jd

December 18th, 2012
3:28 pm

Why, sir, there isn’t any gambling going on at this establishment… just some games, that’s all!

DJ Sniper

December 18th, 2012
3:35 pm

I consider myself to be on the liberal side of the spectrum, but I have no issues at all with gun ownership, and that includes high powered rifles like AR-15’s, AK-47’s, and the like. What kills me though is when people swear up and down that situations like this could have been avoided if the teachers had been armed. There’s no guarantee of that.

Solve the Problem

December 18th, 2012
3:35 pm

How would more gun control laws have prevented the attack in Conn?

Solve the Problem

December 18th, 2012
3:36 pm

There is the possibility that an armed teacher or teachers could have saved lives in Conn.

Question

December 18th, 2012
3:37 pm

If you want to play with a gun which shoots 100’s of bullets in a minute join the army. If you are too scared to join the army but you want to stay in a suburb with a high power riffle.. Tough luck you sissy..

gadem

December 18th, 2012
3:42 pm

The Republican argument is that there are not enough guns in the market place…arm the teachers…arm the students…arm the janitors. Too many bullets shot in distress is just as bad. Ban large capacity magazine clips.

I had someone argue me today that the shooter only used handguns…and not the bushmaster which was found next to his body.

Solve the Problem

December 18th, 2012
3:42 pm

Question:
How do you get all the current rifles, magazines, etc. off the streets? Don’t you think shooters will steal from other people just like the shooter in Conn. did so how does this prevent another school shooting?

Solve the Problem

December 18th, 2012
3:44 pm

gadem
How do you get the large capacity magazine clips off the street that are already out there?

Question

December 18th, 2012
3:45 pm

Solve the problem:

Check what Scotland did after their school shooting. They have not had one school shooting in 16 years..

DJ Sniper

December 18th, 2012
3:45 pm

Solve, there’s also the possiblity that lives would not have been saved had the teacher been armed. Let’s be real here: not every gun owner out there is a responsible one. There are plenty of gun owners out here who have not taken any sort of safety class, have never spent any time at the range, etc etc. As I said before, I have no issue with gun ownership, but allowing everybody to be armed everywhere isn’t the answer.

Also, I do agree that more gun control laws won’t make a difference. People who want to commit acts like this will find a way to get their hands on a gun, laws be damned.

ED

December 18th, 2012
3:47 pm

So, should the teachers have been trying to hide the children or looking for their gun and hoping that they could get their one shot off before being mowed down? I don’t think they had time for both. Their first job is to take care of the kids and keep them calm. I don’t know how these teachers would’ve been prepared for what was coming at them. Teachers are told they aren’t trusted enough for tenure, but are told they are expected to be trained to come to schools with firearms? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Solve the Problem

December 18th, 2012
3:50 pm

Question:
So how do you propose getting around the 2nd Amendment in America? I don’t think Scotland is an option that will work in America.
Why did the gunman go to a school and why did he shoot himself? Is it possible that he knew there would be no one to challenge him at a school and he did not want a shoot out with the police? Why wouldn’t he have shot it out with the police?

MoFaux

December 18th, 2012
3:51 pm

@ Solve the problem: We only need one gun control law: outlaw guns period except for law enforcement and military. Eventually (it won’t magically happen overnight), this will bring down the number of gun homicides significantly. Mere gun control laws that simply restrict certain types of guns probably won’t do much…so, you’re half-right. The only people who really need a gun are law enforcement, military, and criminals. So, that means trying to remove the entire gun population from civilians. That’s a tough sell, and I doubt it will ever happen. But, this is what needs to happen imo. Will this mean America will turn into a rainbow-filled dreamstate, devoid of homicide? No, but utopia is not the goal here. It’s time to stop clinging to your guns, stop being paranoid of being carjacked and raped, and find a new hobby besides hunting.

DJ Sniper

December 18th, 2012
3:53 pm

This gunman had a specific agenda, and even if the teachers were able to carry, I’m sure he still would have carried this thing out.

BARON DEKALB

December 18th, 2012
3:54 pm

“Solve the Problem”: I don’t know how to get all the weapons and magazines off the streets that the gun freaks have managed to spread through our society. To start with, we could collect and destroy all of the registered guns, then start gathering the outliers during traffic stops, airport security checks, etc. I do know that it is foolish to use the fact there there are already a lot of guns and magazines out there as an excuse for inaction. The notion that teachers should be armed just goes to show the insane depths that the gun freaks have sunk to. They are out of touch with mainstream America on this issue and the rest of us need to stop letting them turn our society into a shooting gallery in the name of “freedom.”

Solve the Problem

December 18th, 2012
3:55 pm

MoFaux:
I am just looking for a solution and I don’t see making gun ownership illegal in America as an option. I would like to see some ideas on what would or could have prevented the shooting in Conn. and so far I haven’t heard any.

BARON DEKALB

December 18th, 2012
3:57 pm

“how do you propose getting around the 2nd Amendment in America”

There’s no need to get around it. Let’s make sure that all of us are allowed to own (not carry around) a weapon of the type that were available at the time the Constitution was written–one-shot, muzzle-loading rifles. Gun freaks have been deliberately twisting of the meaning of the 2nd Amendment, and we have all been paying the consequences. It’s time for common sense to come back into the picture.

Solve the Problem

December 18th, 2012
4:00 pm

Baron Dekalb:
Why do we have the 2nd amendment?

MoFaux

December 18th, 2012
4:00 pm

Solve the Problem: I just gave you a solution. There is no perfect solution, but the one I gave is the closest thing to it. But, it takes time to execute, so it’s not something that can be done overnight. Do you see this as not an option because of the politics involved or because you don’t like it? It’s a tough pill to swallow for some folks, but I think it’s time to see the doctor.

BARON DEKALB

December 18th, 2012
4:01 pm

You are never going to “Solve the problem” unless you are willing to take the basic, obvious first step. It’s like trying to change a flat tire when you don’t have a lug wrench. It’s not going to happen, and that’s why you throw up your hands–because you really don’t want anything to change.

Trolls Bane

December 18th, 2012
4:01 pm

Dear Baron, The right honorable justices of the Supreme Court of the United States would beg to differ. Fortunately, their learned and august opinion carries weight, and yours does not.

Junior Samples

December 18th, 2012
4:01 pm

Let me see if I understand this correctly.
Some people are proposing we arm the teachers.
Are these possibly the same who suggested earlier we pay them less?
Strip their union and bargaining rights?
Now that’s shooting from the hip.

Solve the Problem

December 18th, 2012
4:02 pm

You would have to eliminate the 2nd amendment and I don’t see this happening in America regardless of my personal opinion.

Question

December 18th, 2012
4:02 pm

Solve the problem:

Why can’t we change the 2nd Amendment? Remember the 18th Amendment?

BARON DEKALB

December 18th, 2012
4:02 pm

Solve: We have the 2nd Amendment to make sure that ordinary citizens’ rights to keep muzzle-loading, single-shot hunting rifles at home is not infringed. Got it?

Nada_Chance

December 18th, 2012
4:02 pm

@MoFax — kinda like “outlaw crack cocaine and meth … period”

(Yep, that really worked, didn’t it?)

C. Tampa Ironworse

December 18th, 2012
4:02 pm

3 topics that collide with this tragedy:

1. Too many guns out there

2. Too many single parent (fatherless) homes out there

3. Too many parents not getting their creepy, loner, weirdo kids the mental health help they need…including institutionalizing them

Solve the Problem

December 18th, 2012
4:04 pm

People who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.

BARON DEKALB

December 18th, 2012
4:04 pm

Trolls Bane: I’m sure the proponents of slavery showed similar “respect” for the legal establishment when it supported their abominable practices. You and the justices are on the wrong side of history, I wonder how many more horrific firearms tragedies it’s going to take for that to sink in.

Solve the Problem

December 18th, 2012
4:07 pm

Baron:
Again, why do we have the 2nd amendment?

Why do we have specific powers assigned to the Executive Branch, Legislative Branch & Judicial Branch of our government?

bucket

December 18th, 2012
4:07 pm

It is so funny how some people want “original intent” when it furthers their agenda, but not when it doesn’t.

BARON DEKALB

December 18th, 2012
4:08 pm

“People who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Yes, I agree completely. And those of us who do know history and are honest with ourselves about the tragic effects of the gun culture know that we are going to be repeating this kind of horrible event until we deal with the gun problem like responsible adults.

BARON DEKALB

December 18th, 2012
4:08 pm

“People who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Yes, I agree completely. And those of us who do know history and are honest with ourselves about the tragic effects of the gun culture know that we are going to be repeating this kind of horrible event until we deal with the gun problem like responsible adults.

MoFaux

December 18th, 2012
4:08 pm

Nada_Chance: Cocaine and meth are easy to make (one coming from a plant). Finding or making bullets to fit your gun when they are no longer in production is a bit harder to do. Eventually, criminals will run out of ammo. Like I said, there is no perfect solution, but clearly doing nothing has not helped at all. Plus, I don’t recall a single instance where cocaine or meth killed 20 children in a matter of 5 minutes. Nice straw man argument.

DJ Sniper

December 18th, 2012
4:09 pm

Oh joy. An 11 year old in Utah, at the urging of his parents, brought a gun to school, and was waving the thing around, showing it off to people. His parents are obviously not responsible gun owners.

Trolls Bane

December 18th, 2012
4:10 pm

My dear baron, the constitution was amended after the civil war to make all persons born in the US full citizens and to outlaw slavery. Remember the 13th and 14th amendments?

The 2nd amendment has not been repealed, and remains in force. Are you a constitutional or legal scholar? Do you have a law degree? How many years did you spend on the bench as a judge? Sorry to burst your bubble, but basic rights, including the right to defend your life and the life of your fellow man, and your freedom are non-negitiable.

Complex

December 18th, 2012
4:12 pm

This is an amazingly complex issue, therefore there aren’t any simple solutions. What’s pretty amazing is that even what most of the politicians and media pundits have been touting as “immediate action”….tougher background checks, smaller clips and tighter gun bans probably wouldn’t have had any impact in this instance. The guns weren’t the shooter’s (background checks wouldn’t have mattered) and he had multiple weapons at his disposal. In fact, 2 of the 3 were ordinary hand guns….just as capable of killing the children. Sadly, our society is degenerating. 99%+ of our population can handle graphic violence on tv and video games, can live peacefully with or without gun control laws and are relatively non-violent. But, a very small segment is negatively impacted by all of this, including the media obsession/sensationalism of these tragic events.

BARON DEKALB

December 18th, 2012
4:12 pm

Solve: Each constitutional freedom that we enjoy comes with some limits. That’s why the First Amendment doesn’t allow you to yell “Fire” in a crowded theater. Those of use who would advocate for a reasonable interpretation of the 2nd Amendment would like to see the limits on firearms ownership brought in line with common sense and the current technological context. We could make a lot of positive changes without getting rid of the 2nd Amendment, although like the 18th I would not be saddened to see it go away completely. The gun freaks need to stop hiding behind the constitution and take responsibility for the damage that has been done to our society by their twisted interpretation of a 200+ year-old document.

Solve the Problem

December 18th, 2012
4:14 pm

The reality is gun sales are through the roof because of the talk of outlawing guns and I am sure NRA contributions are up dramatically also.

BARON DEKALB

December 18th, 2012
4:15 pm

Trolls Bane: Oh, I’m sorry–I have somehow stumbled into a forum where only a sitting jurist or constitutional scholar can express their opinion. What court do you preside over, by the way?

smitty

December 18th, 2012
4:16 pm

There’s no argument that we need to keep guns out of the hands of crazy people. We also need to stop creating gun free zone that end up really being killing zones. Imagine if the teachers and administrators had more than just their courage to protect them, many more children would be alive. Concealed carry permit holders statistically are less likely to commit crimes than police officers.
It seriously take less than a few seconds to reload from an empty magazine to another full one. Legislating the capacity will have little to no effect.
Those who think an outright ban is good, are you volunteering to be the one who knocks doors down and gets all the guns? There will be another civil war if there is an outright ban. The 2nd amendment gives us to right to keep (own) and bear (carry) arms. To change this would require amending the constitution and that just will not ever happen. BTW we don’t “register” guns in Georgia or in many states.

BARON DEKALB

December 18th, 2012
4:19 pm

“The reality is gun sales are through the roof because of the talk of outlawing guns and I am sure NRA contributions are up dramatically also.”

And you have no problem with this, no shame for the selfish, reactionary mentality that this response represents. The gun freaks don’t get it, they never will. There’s no point in having a conversation with extremists, let’s get the reasonable people in our society together and stop letting those on the radical fringe hold us hostage to their twisted beliefs.

DJ Sniper

December 18th, 2012
4:20 pm

Let’s not get started on the NRA, especially Wayne LaPierre. This fool is trying to convince people that Obama is trying to lull people into a false sense of security so that he can repeal the 2nd Amendment. Nothing like some good old fear mongering to whip your base up into a frenzy.