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Hardball guest: NRA supported gun control in the 1960s because of Black Panthers

By Samantha Kimmey
Friday, January 11, 2013 21:58 EDT
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On Hardball with Chris Matthews on Friday, the host criticized the “slippery slope crowd,” or people who believe that gun control or limits to the Second Amendment are “the first unfaltering step towards mass confiscation” of all guns

“My question, are the regular gun owners of this country, the people who go out and hunt in hunting season, the people who shoot skeet or simply like to pack their own bullets, regular gun enthusiasts, are they going to listen to these nut cases, or to Joe Biden when he offers proposals like last week on background checks and high capacity magazines?”

Joy Reid, managing editor at The Grio and MSNBC political analyst, said she did not believe most gun owners would side with those on the “fringe” who are stockpiling assault rifles.

David Corn of Mother Jones said that in the 1990s, Clinton managed to pass an assault weapons ban by enlisting law enforcement’s support, creating a “wide coalition.”

Matthews then showed a clip of James Yeager, who the Raw Story reported on Thursday said he would “start killing people” if Obama continued to push gun control. The host also spotlighted Alex Jones, who said, “the Second Amendment isn’t there for duck hunting. It’s there to protect us from tyrannical government and street thugs.”

Reid said that these were not “normal pro-Second Amendment people” and that paranoid individuals were attempting to speak for all gun owners.

She also seriously questioned a claim from the chair of the Gun Appreciation Day: that slavery might not have happened if everyone in America had been allowed to have a gun and that Martin Luther King Jr. would probably agree with him.

“Why is it that every time the far right decides to make an argument that is insane, they jump on the civil rights movement or slavery and latch their argument onto the history of African Americans?” she asked.

Matthews then mentioned a proposed law in Wyoming that would charge federal officials or agents with a felony who “attempts to enforce an act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the United States government” on a person’s firearm or ammunition.

“We’re not making this up, ladies and gentleman,” Matthews said.

Reid then said that when the Black Panthers in the 1960s advocated for an individual right to arms, “It was people like Governor Ronald Reagan who pushed for gun control. He signed the Mulford Act, which essentially made it illegal to carry guns in public, illegal to carry guns in a car,” which she said tha NRA supported because it was aimed at curtailing the Black Panther movement.

Watch the video, via MSNBC, below.

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