On Face the Nation, yesterday, Bob Schieffer went after Rick Santorum on the issue of gun control. I think Santorum did a fine job defending his principles. I’m not a Santorum fan and hope he isn’t the 2016 Republican nominee, but on the “gun issue” he’s correct. Via NewsBusters, here’s part of the transcript:
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, we`re going to answer the question now, what has Republican — former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum been doing lately? Well, he has just published a new book. It is called “Blue Collar Conservatives.” And he joins us from Austin, Texas. But in the immediate past, you were at the NRA convention, the gun owners` convention, and I wanted to start there, because I want to ask you about this gun law that they just passed down in Georgia, which, as I understand it, allows people to take guns into airports. Do you think that`s a good idea, Senator?
RICK SANTORUM (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I think a — I said this at the NRA. I think a well-armed family is a safe family, a well-armed America is a safer America. I think if you look at anything from all of these attacks that had taken place, is if people actually had been — had weapons there, those attacks would have been thwarted and peopleâ€™s lives would have been saved. In fact there are millions of lives that are saved in America every year — or millions of instances where gun owners have prevented crimes and stopped things from happening because of having guns at the scene.
SCHIEFFER: But isn`t there also a possibility that a lot of people could have been killed in a cross-fire if a gunfight had broken out? I mean, as I understand it, you can`t go through the security for a…
SANTORUM: Sure, of course not.
SCHIEFFER: But you can walk up to security with a gun. Does that mean you could take like an AK-47 into the airport?
SANTORUM: Well, I don`t know who wants to take an AK-47 into an airport unless you`re going there to cause some harm. And, of course, they don`t really care if they break the law or not. I mean, that`s really the point. This is where the law-abiding people are going to have the right to defend themselves. And, you know, my wife and I both have concealed carry permits. And we do so, why, because we believe that we have an obligation to protect ourselves just like everybody else does. And, so, no, I don`t think this is going to do anything to encourage some bad guy to cause harm in an airport. But it`s going to create an opportunity that if something maybe bad does happen in an airport that maybe someone will be there to be able to stop it.
SCHIEFFER: Does it bother you or does it worry you that we may be going backwards, that we`re going back to the day of the OK Corral and the Old West where everybody carried a gun? Is that where we`re headed here?
SANTORUM: You know, everybody romanticizes the OK Corral and all of the horrible things that happened. But gun crimes were not very prevalent back then. Why? Because people carried guns. And the folks who use guns in the commission of crimes are cowards. They do so — and if you look at the — going to theaters, they went to a theater in Aurora, Colorado, that they knew, you know, you could go there and no one else was going to be there with a gun. If we are a country where the criminal doesn`t know whether someone has a gun or not, they`re going to think twice about whether opening fire or not because they won`t be able to accomplish what they want. It`s a wrong-headed approach that somehow or another that we if we take guns away from people — law-abiding people who want to protect themselves that the world is going to be safer. In fact, just the opposite is the case.
SCHIEFFER: Well, you know, I would just say one thing. Some of these most horrible crimes we`ve recently had were committed by people who had severe mental problems. Do you think it would bother them to know that people might have guns? I`m not sure they would know about that.
SANTORUM: You know, just because someone has a mental problem doesn`t mean that they don`t look at the situation and make an assessment. I don`t think they completely lack capacity.
So, no, I think people do analyze the situation and if they want to accomplish something, they want to kill a lot of people, they`re not going to go into place that has someone who`s going to shoot back.
Besides which, if a mental case DOES decide to commit a mass shooting, at the very least there is a chance of an armed, law abiding citizen stopping him from doing the maximum carnage.
Update: I misread the transcript this morning when I wrote the following paragraph: Schieffer’s question about someone at a Georgia airport bringing their AK-47 onto a plane is simply uninformed and inane. The new expansion of civil rights in the Peach Tree State means that you can be in an airport with a CCW firearm, not that you can violate federal law by proceeding up the loading ramp of a jet. *Sigh*
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