By MACKENZIE WEINGER | 12/17/12 Politico
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough launched today’s “Morning Joe” with a ten-minute address in response to the shooting in Newtown, Conn., last Friday.
“Today as a nation we grieve and today we as a people feel helpless,” he said. “Helpless to stop these random acts of violence that seem to be getting less random by the day. You know it may be the geographic proximity of Newtown to my hometown, or the fact that my children’s ages average those of the 20 young children tragically killed on Friday, or the fact that my second son has Asperger’s, or the fact that too many other facts associated with Friday’s nightmare strike so close to home — for me, just like for you, there is no escaping the horrors visited upon on those children and teachers at Sandy Hook.”
And “every American must know from this day forward nothing can ever be the same again. We’ve said this before after Columbine, after Arizona, after Aurora, after so many other numbing hours of murder and massacre. But let this be our true landmark.”
Scarborough said “Friday changed everything and it must change everything.”
“Politicians can no longer be allowed to defend the status quo,” he said. “They must instead be forced to defend our children. Parents can no longer take no for an answer from Washington when the topic turns to protecting our children.”
The MSNBC host told viewers the gun violence in this country has been spawned by “violent popular culture, a growing mental health crisis and the proliferation of combat-styled weapons.”
“I say good luck to the gun lobbyist, good luck to the Hollywood lawyer who tries to blunt the righteous anger of millions of parents by hiding behind twisted readings of our Bill of Rights,” he said.
While noting the NRA’s approval of him during his terms in Congress and saying he long saw the debate over guns “as a powerful symbolic struggle between individual rights and government control,” Scarborough said that has been shattered.
“The symbols of that ideological struggle, they’ve been shattered by the harvest sewn from violent mind-numbing video games and gruesome Hollywood movies that dangerously desensitize those that struggle from mental health challenges,” he said. “And then add in military-styled weapons and high-capacity magazines to that equation, and tragedy can never be too far behind.”
“There’s no easy ideological way forward,” Scarborough said, adding that “I come to you this morning with a heavy heart and no easy answers.”
But, he said, “it’s time for Washington to stop trying to win endless wars overseas while losing the war at home.”
“I choose life, and I choose change,” Scarborough told viewers