With all the zeal of a Joey-come-lately, gun-control convert Joe Scarborough clashed on today’s Morning Joe with Second Amendment defender Tom Cole, Republican congressman from Oklahoma.

When Scarborough lectured Cole about terrorists “who want to kill people in your district,” Cole shot back “Joe, I know something about terrorism. I lived through an incident in Oklahoma City.” And when Scarborough patronizingly instructed Cole to “read the Constitution,” Cole retorted “I think I’ve read the Constitution as often as you have.” Mike Barnicle waited until after the interview to take a cheap shot at Cole, claiming that he is “handcuffed to the top leadership of the NRA at the expense of ordinary people.”

One question that neither Scarborough nor any of the grandstanders sitting on the floor of the House can answer: which of their bills would have prevented the Orlando massacre? The simple answer is that despite the self-righteous stunts, none of the bills would have made a difference since Mateen had no criminal record, was on no watch list, and had passed a background check.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: If it’s so awful, maybe we should get rid of [the terror list.] It’s not complex. You’re saying this is a terrible list!

TOM COLE: No, I said the number of lists we have are complex.

JOE: So just get rid of the list. This is the same argument that I hear on background checks. We already have a background check system and it’s so terribly flawed so we can’t fix the background check system. I don’t get it. Does the terror watch list serve a useful purpose or not?

COLE: Yes, it does. But is it a 100% good list?

JOE: Does it make sense, then, if it serves a useful purpose that you do your job as a legislator and senators do their jobs as legislators and make sure it’s an even better list so we make sure that people that are on that terror watch list can’t go in and buy an AR-15 and mow down people in Oklahoma.

COLE: Do you know anybody that did that? The murderer we had wasn’t on the list.

JOE: I’m just asking you. No, it’s not the point. The point is we are in a war against terrorists who want to kill people in your district, that want to kill people in your state, that want to kill people across America.

COLE: Joe, I know something about terrorism. I lived through an incident in Oklahoma City, all right?

JOE: I know you lived through terrorism. Yeah, I understand that.

COLE: The largest domestic in American history.

JOE: Why don’t we try to prevent the next Oklahoma City instead of sitting back and acting like —

COLE: I think we are trying to prevent next Oklahoma City.

. . .

JOE: Fix the list! This is my point, congressman. Fix the list! If you say the terror list makes sense —

COLE: This isn’t just a legislative system, it’s an administrative system —

JOE: You fund the administration! You have oversight over the administration. You have the power to make sure that that list works right so the people that are on that list should be on that list.

COLE: Yeah, and we’ll get a lot of cooperation from the administration to achieve that. Hopefully we will.

JOE: Don’t fund them then. You’ve got the power of the purse. Read the Constitution! The constitution gives you the power.

COLE: I think I’ve read the Constitution as often as you have.

JOE: The Constitution gives you the power to —

COLE: I’m pretty well aware of that.

JOE: I understand that, Congressman. Then don’t act like you’re helpless. You’ve got the power.


JOE: All right, Congressman, we love having you on!

COLE: Always great to be here.

JOE: Always great to have you here.


MIKE BARNICLE: Tom Cole is a very good guy, he’s been on this show numerous times, he’ll be back numerous times. He described what happened in Orlando as part of a deep social, cultural problem. That’s an exact quote. You want to say: congressman, what’s your solution? But they never answer, they never answer. Because it’s so wrapped up in the top tier of the NRA. They are handcuffed to the top leadership of the NRA at the expense of ordinary people.


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