MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, who had received an A rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) while he was in Congress, says that after last week's massacre of 20 elementary school children that "the ideologies of my past career were no longer relevant," and he is now backing a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity clips.


In an unusual commentary segment Monday on Morning Joe, Scarborough connected to the recent tragedy by noting that his own children were the age of those killed and one of his children has Asperger's syndrome.

"Politicians can no longer be allowed to defend the status quo," he explained. "They must instead be forced to defend our children. Parents can no longer take no for an answer from Washington when the topic turns to protecting our children. The violence we see spreading from shopping malls in Oregon to movie theaters in Colorado to college campuses in Virginia to elementary schools in Connecticut -- it's being spawned by a toxic brew of popular culture, a growing mental health crisis and the proliferation of combat-style weapons."

"I am a conservative Republican who received the NRA's highest ratings over four terms in Congress," he continued. "I saw this debate over guns as a powerful, symbolic struggle between individual rights and government control... I've spent the last few days grasping for solutions and struggling for answers, while daring to question my long-held beliefs on these subjects."

Scarborough concluded: "I knew that day that the ideologies of my past career were no longer relevant to the future that I want, that I demand for my children. Friday changed everything. It must change everything. We all must begin anew and demand that Washington’s old way of doing business is no longer acceptable. Entertainment moguls don’t have an absolute right to glorify murder while spreading mayhem in young minds across America. And our Bill of Rights does not guarantee gun manufacturers the absolute right to sell military-style, high-caliber, semi-automatic combat assault rifles with high-capacity magazines to whoever the hell they want. It is time for Congress to put children before deadly dogmas."

Watch the video below from MSNBC's Morning Joe, broadcast Dec. 17, 2012.

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