Massie Says NBC’s Todd Living in Liberal ‘Bubble’ on Gun Control Debate

Kentucky GOP lawmaker claims many from New York, California, D.C. don't understand why rural Americans love concealed carry, defend Second Amendment

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) ripped NBC News’ “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd on Sunday for approaching the gun control debate through the isolated “bubble” of liberal coastal values.

After a gunman killed 17 victims at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, the debate over gun control legislation reignited across the country. Todd said that “a majority of the country disagrees with” Massie on some pieces of legislation, telling the congressman that “in general, the public would like stricter … regulation of gun sales in some form or another.”

“You’re proposing weaker,” Todd said. “I understand that. You’re from a rural state.”

“Well, you’re in a bubble. You’re in a bubble there,” Massie shot back.

Todd continued, saying, “Let me ask you this, though — 65 percent of the country disagrees with you. Do you have … an obligation to legislate on behalf of them at all?”

“You’re in a bubble,” Massie replied. “If you take out New York and California, eight percent of Americans have concealed carry permits. And the people watching this show right now? There are a lot of them getting ready for church in middle America. Putting their guns on. Millions of them — they’re going to be carrying guns to church, and to family dinner after that, and they’re going to be safe.”

“And so, you know all these things, these hypotheticals that come out of the bubble in D.C. or New York City or California — ‘What if this happens? What if that happens?’ We don’t have to ask what if this happens. People are carrying every day,” Massie continued.

Massie argued that many proposals that lawmakers are pushing are “trying to put lipstick on a pig” and wouldn’t prevent mass shootings such as the Florida massacre.

Although many lawmakers are calling for stricter and more comprehensive background check systems, Massie said such systems wouldn’t have prevented shooters from stealing other people’s guns.

“Look, you could put all the information you want in it, but the shooter in Connecticut who stole his mother’s firearms and shot her before he committed the crime … isn’t going to be stopped by a background check. Neither were the two perpetrators in Columbine who got other people to buy the guns for them,” Massie said.

“Look, people, criminals are going to get ahold of guns,” Massie added. “What we’ve got to look at is what’s the solution … And in 10 years, we’re still going to have school shootings, unless you propose real legislation, like President [Donald] Trump has proposed, that would allow teachers to be armed.”

Massie urged schools to invest in armed security while getting rid of the “gun-free zone” labels that “put our kids … in that 98 percent vulnerable category.”

Elsewhere on the Sunday morning news talk shows, the gun control issue dominated. Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said on “Fox News Sunday” that he “listened to a lot of people,” including law enforcement officials, educators, mental health experts, students and parents in the high school shooting’s aftermath before forming his own opinion on a proper response.

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“One, we have to make sure our schools are safe — law enforcement. Harden the schools. We’ve got to make sure we deal with the fact that there are people out there that have mental illness issues. They shouldn’t have access to a gun. If you threaten people or yourself, you shouldn’t have access to a gun,” Scott said.

“You know, I’m an NRA member. I believe in the Second Amendment,” Scott continued. “I think most members in the NRA agree with me — this is logical. I’m sure there’s going to be some that disagree. But I’m a dad. I’m a granddad and I’m a governor. I want my state to be safe. I want every child to be in a safe environment when they’re trying to be educated.”

Scott said the country must learn how to “weigh individual rights” while protecting its citizens.

“That’s what I’m trying to do with this,” Scott said. “I listened. I listened to law enforcement. I brought them up. I listened to educators. I listened to mental health people. I listened to students. I’ve talked to parents. And I believe what we’re doing … will stop this from happening. That’s my goal. I want to do everything I can in my job right now to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Related: NRA’s Dana Loesch and Florida Shooting Survivor Tangle

Even Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a strict supporter of increased gun control legislation, said he is looking forward to his meeting with President Trump at the White House this week.

“I’m looking forward to going over to the White House. I’m glad for the invitation. I introduced a piece of legislation with John Cornyn, who is an A-plus NRA-rated senator, that would mildly strengthen our background check system,” Murphy said.

“I’m willing to work across the aisle. And I was encouraged that President Trump said he’s in favor of comprehensive background checks,” Murphy added. “I’m hopeful that the president may be willing to take on the gun lobby.”

Trump tweeted last week, “I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health. Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks! Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue — I hope!”

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PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.

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PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected].