Former President Bill Clinton said Monday during an interview with MSNBC that children cannot continue to be victims of school shootings because Americans want to keep their Second Amendment rights.
MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” panel were discussing gun control when they played a clip from host Joe Scarborough’s interview with Clinton.
“You were president when Columbine happened, and at the time, obviously, we were all horrified, but almost thought of that as a one-off. That’s now become a regular occurrence,” Scarborough said. “You and I grew up in a culture where everybody — we went to church with everybody that was in the neighborhood, they all went out hunting, you’ve talked about shotguns growing up, same here. But it’s gotten so extreme. What do we do?”
“Well, one thing’s pretty clear is whatever we do, we need to do it more together,” Clinton said. “And I think we need to start talking across this divide. I remember when Jack Brooks, who was a congressman from Texas, had enjoyed the support of the NRA in every election he was ever in, and Tom Foley, the Speaker of the House from Washington, they both told me that when the Senate put in the assault weapons ban into the crime bill, which I wanted, that if I signed it, we would lose the House.”
“And we did,” he continued. “And they lost their seats because of the ability of the NRA to terrify people, but also because we were beginning to lose touch with each other across cultural divides that had always existed, but hadn’t been barriers you couldn’t breach.”
“It is not rational that we should have a dramatically higher death rate among school-aged children because of gun violence than any other country in the world,” Clinton added. “And, you know, a lot of people get mad about this ‘thoughts and prayers,’ but if you believe that you have to — if you believe you are compelled to let kids die in order to keep your freedoms, that’s sort of the way this debate is.” (RELATED: ‘Call It Fate Or God’: Nashville Officers Say They Entered School ‘Without Hesitation’)
Clinton’s comments come weeks after transgender 28-year-old Audrey Hale shot and killed three students and three staff members at a Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee.