Show: The Ed Show
Host: Ed Schultz
Date: August 12, 2009
Ed Schultz: One protester at Obama’s townhall meeting got a lot of attention when he showed up at the rally with a loaded gun, a side arm. Quite an interview on Hardball last night with Chris Matthews. But he mentioned that he was a Ron Paul supporter and that piqued my curiosity.
I want an reaction from the congressman. He joins us on the line now deep in the heart of Texas. Congressman, thanks for your time tonight. I appreciate it. What’s your response to people showing up at a townhall meeting where the President is with a loaded gun?
Ron Paul: Well, I think it bruised a couple of points. One thing I think it really shows a remarkable restraint on the President and his Secret Service because they didn’t over-react. They recognized what the state law was and that this man didn’t break any laws and that he was just practicing a right that he has, so I think this is very good and Obama deserves credit for this.
But I also think what this demonstrates is that it’s the old conservative argument. It’s not the gun that’s the danger, it’s the person that’s dangerous. He’s a peaceful person, he obeyed the law. He was not a man of violence and it went quite well, so I think it was a remarkable demonstration when you compare it to what 19 individuals could do with razor blades versus one man with an armed pistol that happens to be a law-abiding citizen.
Ed Schultz: So Congressman, we know what the law is. He was perfectly legal. He was on private property, but doesn’t it somewhat defy common sense to show up where the President is with a loaded gun just to prove a point?
Ron Paul: Well, to him, and I I don’t even own a gun. So I wouldn’t be interested in doing he had. But no, he was expressing himself. Don’t you think sometimes people use the First Amendment and say terrible things, dumb things, and when the American Civil Liberty Union comes in to defend people [...], radical, violent people that who are saying bad things.
So I would think to demonstrate he has a right to do this and he believes, as many people believe that an armed society is a more peaceful society and he proved his point.
Ed Schultz: Well, he…
Ron Paul: I think he was remarkable in proving his point that he was a peaceful man and he caused no trouble.
Ed Schultz: Well, I don’t have a jaded opinion because I’m a gun owner. I don’t have a pistol, but I got deer rifles and shotguns and stuff like that, but we have had a situation in this country where a prisoner came up and overtook a guard and ended up shooting a judge and some other people in a courtroom. So I don’t know how good that guy was in defending the firearm if somebody wanted to go nuts in a crowd when they saw a gun and I’m not trying to replay this, I mean, because it has happened in this country. Here’s the point I want to make…
Ron Paul: Well, can I comment on that?
Ed Schultz: Sure. Sure.
Ron Paul: But you’re just describing something where the government was in charge of the courtroom. They should provide the safety. In a private property, the individual provides the safety.
Ed Schultz: That’s true.
Ron Paul: So you just demonstrated that the government failed on that part. The government had a chance to react here and I think they’ve reacted rather remarkably.
Ed Schultz: Okay, well, but the same situation was apparent here is that something could have happened if someone had seen that and decided to go off the handle and take the gun and do something. I mean, I’m surprised that… I mean, I understand the freedom of speech and all of this stuff and gun ownership, but it just defies common sense to pull a stunt like this to get some attention. Now, I want to move the discussion quickly…
Ron Paul: Now, I don’t think he was doing it for attention getting. I think he just did it all and that’s the way he lives. That’s the way a lot of people live up there.
Ed Schultz: Okay, all right. But I don’t know if he carries a gun to work everyday or not, but he sure showed up at that townhall meeting with the president with a firearm on.
Ron Paul: Well, I did a little campaigning up there and it was sort of a little bit of a surprise to me. I don’t think shocking, and I live in Texas, you know.
Ed Schultz: Sure.
Ron Paul: And there are a lot of guns hanging on gun racks [...]
Ed Schultz: And Congressman…
Ron Paul: But it was a little bit of surprising to me.
Ed Schultz: All right. Great to have you on, Congressman Paul. I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you so much.
Ron Paul: Bye bye.