Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough on Wednesday got into a heated discussion about the intricacies of the Second Amendment and the constitutionality of owning a weapon like an AR-15.
Asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” about the “lethality” of an AR-15, Cruz argued that such firearms are only perceived as more deadly because they are “scary-looking.”
“The lethality of an AR-15 is indistinguishable from many deer rifles,” he claimed.
“So deer rifles are just as lethal? If somebody takes a deer rifle into a high school in Parkland, that that deer rifle is going to be just as lethal as an AR-15?” Scarborough asked.
“Going after the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, it doesn’t work,” Cruz fired back.
In response, Scarborough cited Cruz’s argument in the 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, where Cruz represented 31 states and opposed a ban on handgun possession.
“Heller was about a semi-automatic handgun which the Supreme Court said the Second Amendment protected and the District of Columbia couldn’t ban,” Cruz said.
“But you know, though, that every American doesn’t have a constitutional Second Amendment right to carry an AR-15. Yes or no?” Scarborough replied.
“I’m not going to debate that,” Cruz replied, and then cited his own history of litigation before the Supreme Court, adding of Scarborough: “I recognize that’s not what you do.”
“Wait. I don’t need you to lecture me on what the Supreme Court does and what it doesn’t do,” Scarborough, who was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and a lawyer before becoming a journalist, fired back.
He accused Cruz of talking down to him, and continued, over Cruz’s interjections, “Even a dumb country lawyer like me understands that an AR-15, today, is not recognized as a Constitutional right of Americans under the Second Amendment.”
Watch the full exchange below: