Politics & Policy

Ted Cruz in Intense Gun-Control Debate on ‘Morning Joe’

(MSNBC screengrab via Mediaite)
Cruz and Joe Scarborough debated whether owning an AR-15 is a constitutionally protected right.

Ted Cruz and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough traded barbs over gun control Wednesday morning on Morning Joe.

The senator argued that the now-expired 1994 assault-weapons ban did not lessen violent crime and said that the feared AR-15 is no more dangerous than a deer rifle.

Host Joe Scarborough pushed back, saying the AR-15 is “lighter” and “designed to kill more effectively, more efficiently.”

“If somebody takes a deer rifle into a high school in Parkland, that deer rifle is going to be as lethal as an AR-15?” Scarborough asked.

The host then brought up Supreme Court rulings on Second Amendment rights, including District of Columbia v. Heller, which ruled that citizens have a constitutional right to keep a handgun in their homes for self-defense.

“You know though that every American doesn’t have a constitutional Second Amendment right to carry an AR-15? Yes or no?” Scarborough asked Cruz.

The senator argued that “under the test of Heller, it is clearly protected” since the AR-15 is a popular gun.

“Senator, there are a lot of people, lawyers right now, who are rolling their eyes at what you’re saying.”

“Remember, my career was litigating before the Supreme Court,” Cruz clapped back. “I recognize that’s not what you do.”

“I don’t need you to lecture me on what the Supreme Court does and what it doesn’t do,” Scarborough said.

“There is not a constitutional right, and you know it, and you can talk down to me all you want to,” Scarborough said. “Even a dumb country lawyer like me understands that an AR-15 today, is not recognized as a constitutional right under the Second Amendment.”

“Who’s talking down to who?” Cruz responded. “You say lawyers are rolling their eyes at me.”

“I give you credit for swatting away what is reality, what is legal reality,” Scarborough told him.

The fired-up conversation continued to address court rulings on the Second Amendment.

Cruz swept the Texas Republican primary yesterday in the first vote of the 2018 midterm elections. His much-hyped Democratic opponent, Representative Beto O’Rourke, won the Democratic primary but performed weakly against the other Democrats.

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