During an interview with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough this week, former President Bill Clinton said American children can’t continue being victims of school shootings so long as Americans insist on keeping their Second Amendment right to own guns.
During the interview, Scarborough bought up the latest gun control debate by pointing out that Clinton was the president at the time of the Columbine school shooting. He suggested that at the time, the Columbine shooting was viewed as a “one-off,” but now school shootings are a “regular occurrence.”
The MSNBC host reminisced with Clinton noting that both he and the former president were raised in a culture where everybody went to church and went hunting together, but now “it’s gotten so extreme.” He asked Clinton what he thinks needs to be done about school shootings.
Clinton suggested that whatever is done, the one thing that is “pretty clear” is that “we need to do it more together.” He said people need to find a way to bridge the cultural divide.
Clinton recounted discussions he had with lawmakers in passing the 1994 assault weapons ban. He said he was told by Democrats in Congress that they would lose the House if they included an assault weapons ban in the 1994 crime bill.
Clinton said the Democrats did lose seats in 1994 in large part because the NRA terrified people. But he said it was also because “we were beginning to lose touch” with people “across cultural divides.” He conceded that those cultural divides always existed, but said there “hadn’t been barriers you couldn’t breach.”
Clinton argued that it is irrational for the country to have a higher death rate from gun violence among children than other countries in the world. He said the problem with the current debate is that there are people who are “compelled” to let children die just so they can keep their freedom.