Morning Joe
updated 2/14/2013 9:21:27 AM ET 2013-02-14T14:21:27

The NRA head wrote an apocalyptic editorial in which he argued that owning guns isn't about paranoia, but survival.

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre is leading unsmart Republican leaders around by their nose, and it’s time for them to get smart or lose future elections, Joe Scarborough declared Thursday morning during a discussion of LaPierre’s latest act: An apocalyptic jeremiad penned for the conservative site The Daily Caller called “Stand and Fight.”

In it, LaPierre lays out what he considers his case for why owning a gun isn’t about paranoia but survival, citing post-Sandy violence in the highly-unspecific locale of “south Brooklyn.”

“After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia. Looters ran wild in south Brooklyn. There was no food, water or electricity. And if you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies, you better get back before dark, or you might not get home at all…Meanwhile, President Obama is leading this country to financial ruin, borrowing over a trillion dollars a year for phony “stimulus” spending and other payoffs for his political cronies. Nobody knows if or when the fiscal collapse will come, but if the country is broke, there likely won’t be enough money to pay for police protection. And the American people know it. Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face—not just maybe. It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival. It’s responsible behavior, and it’s time we encourage law-abiding Americans to do just that.”

LaPierre doesn’t pinpoint where in south Brooklyn—Gravesend, the Ukranian enclave of Brighton Beach, maybe the bucolic stretch of Fort Tilden—the looting took place. But perhaps LaPierre was referring to Sheepshead Bay, one of the only neighborhoods to report looting in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. However, even in that case, residents of the neighborhood said they didn’t use firearms to defend themselves.

“Looters ran wild in South Brooklyn…really? What’s he suggesting there?,” Scarborough asked Thursday morning.

The Morning Joe host took umbrage with the bulk of LaPierre’s missive and, in particular, his assertion that “Latin American drug gangs have invaded every city of significant size in the United States.”

Scarborough continued:

I don’t know where to start…yeah, it’s responsible to own a gun; it’s responsible to protect your family; it’s responsible to have a handgun in your house; it’s responsible to have a shotgun; it’s responsible to have a hunting rifle, but Wayne LaPierre is suggesting if you are against Americans being able to own assault weapons with 30-round, high-capacity magazines…and he said, Hispanic drug gangs are coming to America. And those terrible people in Brooklyn. Don’t go out after dark. I mean, this is so laced with racial overtones…the Republican Party, if they were smart, their leaders today would condemn it, but they’re not smart; they’re scared, and if they keep running scared they’re going to lose more votes, they’re going to get hammered in future elections if they allow this clown to continue to lead them around by their nose. They’re shameful; they need to be leaders.

Video: Scarborough: Wayne LaPierre op-ed is 'so laced with racial overtones

  1. Closed captioning of: Scarborough: Wayne LaPierre op-ed is 'so laced with racial overtones

    >>> let's get to what is going on in washington . even though it's snowing, still things happening there. a party line vote in the senate will send to the white house a clean bill that increases the nation's borrowing limit. president obama is expected to sign it later today but rival factions of the republican party clashed yesterday as senators mitch mcconnell and john cornyn ended a filibuster to block the legislation. they would not allow the debt ceiling raised with a simple majority vote but tuesday's vote that passed the house the party's leaders who pushed the bill through the legislative process. while no republican was willing to cast the critical 60th vote to end the debate and others saying they wouldn't vote yea without the leadership's backing mcconnell and cornen rallied the floor. they are facing tea party challenges in this year's midterm elections. in the end their gamble paid off with 12 republicans joining all 55 democrats to end the filibuster by a procedural vote of 67-31. orrin hatch said i didn't want this to come down to be a criticized vote for a few of our people. it just wasn't right. senator bob corker defended the minority leader saying, quote, hopefully people will understand that mcconnell in an incredibly tough race, the toughest republican race in the country had the courage to vote the way the vast majority understood needed to occur. senator cruz , however, did not hide his disappointment, calling it a classic victory for washington establishment interests. when asked if mcconnell should remain a leader of the republican caucus , he replied it's ultimately a decision for the voters of kentucky. joe , after our discussion about speaker boehner yesterday, i wonder what you think of what transpired here.

    >> i think mitch mcconnell did what the majority of people in the senate wanted him to do on the republican side . obviously, you know, people like ted cruz and mike lee and even mike self was disappointed the way this was set up. i thought it was horrific strategy. once again, republicans setting themselves in a position they have two choices and both of them end in failure. but, mark halpern, i don't think anything happened to mitch mcconnell yesterday inside the senate that will do anything but strengthen mcconnell 's hand in his own caucus in the senate, with obviously some conservative concerns. i still think, though, the fallout from this vote politically is going to happen on the house side, where you actually have john boehner who maybe is tipping his hand on the fact he may not run for speaker again next year. i think the significant story here. a lot of pundits in washington and new york aplued him for what he did but i'm not so sure that this isn't a move that is going to signal that he may have a real problem staying in control next time.

    >> you know, i think he is actually playing this pretty smart , because boehner and mcconnell have one thing in common which is when the inevitable happen prepare for it and let it. i agree they may have stage crafted a little to get something more out of it but this was going to happen. republicans have a unified strategy which is make this election about the affordable care act and they had to get this monkey off their back and i think the two leaders took risks because, again, they knew this was inevitable and it was bad for the republican party to have an extended fight against the debt ceiling problem.

    >> listen to what the " wall street journal " editorial board said calling it the minority maker. the 60-vote threshold was reached after mcconnell and cornyn and ten others voted to let the final debt-ceiling vote proceed. all 12 then opposed the increase on final passage. but thanks to mr. cruz they had to walk the plank with democrats on a procedural vote. we are all for holding politicians accountable with votes on substantive issues but mr. cruz knew he couldn't stop a debt increase the house had already passed. he had no alternative strategy if the bill failed other than to shut down the government again and take public attention away from obamacare and make republicans even more unpopular. democrats beat the odds and retained their senate majority in 2010 and 2012 in part because they stuck together. if republicans fail again this november, a big reason will this their rump kamikaze caucus. joe ?

    >> i think that was a lot more applicable four or five or six months ago when we were talking did -- why not now?

    >> because what we were talking about now is actually not just sending a signal out to the base, that we have completely surrendered overnight. there is a big difference as jon meacham said yesterday between nuclear war and abject surrender. there are gray areas. what disturbs me and a lot of activists and a lot of leaders i've been talking to the past week, this wasn't prepared for any better is that fact. so, yes, we weren't going to see this republican party allow another protracted showdown over a fight where they were going to lose at the end. but we don't want to relearn all of the lessons of the last war and we don't want to send a signal on you -- out to our republican base we are going along with everything. i remember in '98 a lot of republicans that lost and john enson was one of them. he said his poll numbers were shot down the second republicans passed this massive spending bill that newt gingrich and a lot of people thought was required to get us out of town as quickly as possible and go back and campaign. the base noticed and paid attention and they are paying attention now too. it is a balancing act, okay? you don't want what we had in the fall but i suggest you don't want the complete and total surrender without any fight at all that we had this past week either. it sends the wrong signals. you need main street republicans and you need the base. i think this hurts the base. you know who can handle this, donny?

    >> who?

    >> leaders, leaders. i mean, that have some nuance. that have strategic thinking . i don't see strategic thinking and certainly on capitol hill with the republicans . i see a circular firing squad .

    >> let me pick up where halpern was, joe , on the other side. with the sense if you want to set up for the big fight, if you want to set up to read the republican party as not the party of no, but the party that is going to be pointing at obamacare and how it is destroying small business , how it is taking too much government into your life, how it is hurting the economy, how it is costing 2 million dollar drops you have to get this argument behind you. yes, they did not have their gl gladiator out but what is the other side of the argument?

    >> i don't think them to get their gladiator swords or torches out and charge the hill and get shot down like republicans always do in these type of battles. because you and i were focusing on this fight the past 48 hours , doesn't mean john boehner and leadership on the hill didn't know this debate was coming the past six months or at least the past four months.

    >> what should they have done?

    >> set up alternatives. not in a hush capitol meeting but they should have been working the past four months. the fact they knew this was coming meant they could have set up several votes that would have embarrassed the democrats and made them take tough votes and you attach it along with the debt ceiling. would they all failed? yes but would that have strengthened the republican party and send a message not only to the base but to the independents on key issues like military retiree health care reform or talking about the most unpopular parts of obamacare, would that have sent the right signal? yes. nancy pelosi , masterful at doing this. democratic speakers have always been masterful doing this. democrats were masterful doing this when they were in the minority when i was in congress. there is no strategic thinking on capitol hill when it comes to the republican party . if john boehner doesn't have the competent of the majority of the caucus to get together and strategize and make sure it's a fight between republicans and democrats, maybe john boehner needs to retire. job well done. john, thank you for your service to america but maybe somebody else needs to step in.

    >> but just remembering what peter king said yesterday. this is not the caucus of 1994 red hot .

    >> king doesn't -- peter king doesn't represent the middle of the caucus either.

    >> come on. it's not the first time we have heard this is an impossible team to work with. i'm just saying.

    >> it's an impossible team to work with if you don't talk to the team. this is about communication. i think we have talked enough about it.

    >>> i got a couple of more stories to get in, joe . including very exciting big comcast news. i don't know if you heard this. 3.3 million people have signed up for coverage under the affordable care act .

    >> yesterday, politically, was the best day in the history of the affordable care act .

    >> i'm sorry. what was that?

    >> yesterday was the best day in the affordable care act . the report is not all great news but they are now in a stronger position to get this implemented effectively than they ever have been.

    >> one headline. the first time it meets expectations.

    >> and on the front page of most papers. i know that alex wanted me to get to on chris christie , but i just wanted to --

    >> did he have a good day yesterday, chris christie ?

    >> don't ask that question.

    >> night has passed. as we reflect back on the day, joe , how do you summarize --

    >> we talked about it on "the view." and i think we talked about it well when we talked about it on "the view", right, joe ?

    >> no, they didn't want to talk to me on "the view." i was just a potted plant . they just wanted to talk about your white.

    >> you were the most on adorable potted plant i've ever seen. you were so good on "the view." wasn't he, guys?

    >> he was.

    >> that was josh elliott .

    >> josh elliott did well.


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