AM Joy’s Joy Reid asked Kurt Bardella if having a country musician who was playing at the Las Vegas massacre say he changed his mind on gun control will have any effect.
“You are in a unique position here,” Reid said.
“Does that kind of thing start to move sort of, the Republican base on this issue? Or are they just fixed in place? Bannon already said it’s a non-starter.”
“I think when you have people who are cultural figures to a lot of people who are a part of the gun community, you can move their opinion and say it’s okay to change your mind,” Bardella said.
“It’s okay to want sensible reform. It has nothing to taking away rights. It’s about protecting gun owners rights, it’s about making sure crazy people don’t have guns. As I talk to different artists in the country music community this last week, there’s an appetite to have a thoughtful conversation about it. The idea that we have to choose between having the Second Amendment and being safe, why do we have to choose? Why can’t we have both of those?
“That’s what we should be striving for. A lot of artists are talking amongst themselves about expressing a desire for change to happen. Every single person in that crowd could have had a gun. It would not have affected the outcome. This strikes closer to home. All of us know what it means to be at an entertainment event, we can visualize being in that situation. That’s terrifying to realize. Why can’t we all get together and agree we need to do some common sense things? And it has nothing to do with taking away guns or infringing on Second Amendment rights.”
“If more artists came out, would they get Dixie Chicked?” Reid said. “Would they get shunned?”
“No, they have to do it together. They have to get together and have a show of support and force and do it in a way where it’s impossible to blacklist a bunch of these artists all at one time,” Bardella said.
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“Howard Dean, similar question to you,” Reid said.
“You come from a rural state that has lots of gun owners. Will it take people who are gun owners to come out and start being public, the way that Gabby Giffords and her husband have, in order to have Congress have the courage to act?”
“That’s the best way to do it,” Dean said.
“Having people appealing to the folks who are so concerned about their own gun ownership, that’s one way. There’s another way, that’s votes. Congress is afraid. That’s the problem and the reason why Congress is a failure, they’re afraid of their own leadership and their own extreme ends.
“Let’s have the Democrats run on a reasonable form of gun control. The numbers nationally are 60%, 70% that this is ridiculous, what’s going on. If we pick up a lot of seats on that issue, suddenly the Republican party will stop listening to the far right extremists.”