A former Republican congressman from Florida who has voted to ban same sex marriage says that "you cannot legislate morality" when it comes to guns.


During a Wednesday panel discussion on CNN, host Soledad O'Brien said that she could understand NRA executive director Wayne LaPierre's point of view that the federal government would be punishing people if it kept a list of assault weapon purchases.

"It's a punishment because then the government uses it as a form of intimidation," former Rep. Connie Mack (FL) told O'Brien. "This is the first step that the Obama administration wants to do. They want to go much farther than this. And there's a lot of people, including myself, that don't believe the federal government should have this type of registry."

"I don't just believe this on the gun issue, I don't believe that the federal government should be keeping these types of records on citizens," he added. "My point is this -- and I've said this many times on your show -- is that bad people are going to do bad things, and you cannot pass a law that's going to stop them from doing bad things."

"So as much as it makes us feel better to pass legislation to say we did something, but all of us know -- sitting around this table, watching your show -- that you cannot legislate morality, you cannot legislate bad people to stop doing bad things."

But clearly Mack does believe that it's worth trying to force his personal morals on gay and lesbian Americans through legislation because he repeatedly voted against LGBT rights during his eight years in the House of Representatives.

He has voted for a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, supported an amendment that attempted to reaffirm the Defense of Marriage Act, opposed domestic partnership benefits in the District of Columbia, opposed hate crimes protections for LGBT people, voted against a measure banning employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and worked against the repeal of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell ban on LGBT service members.

Watch this video from CNN's Starting Point, broadcast Jan. 23, 2013.