MSNBC host Al Sharpton claimed Sunday that the Second Amendment does not protect the right of Americans to bear “AR-15s or assault weapons” because such weapons did not exist when the Constitution was written.
Sharpton appeared to be referencing Colion Noir, an NRATV host who, during his show on Friday, discussed the National Rifle Association’s response to the “March for Our Lives” protest in Washington, D.C. and across the country on Saturday. Students organized the rally in the nation’s capital in the wake of last month’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, to demand tougher gun restrictions.
“To all the kids from Parkland getting ready to use your First Amendment to attack everyone else’s Second Amendment at your march on Saturday, I wish a hero like Blaine Gaskill had been at Marjory Douglas High School last month because your classmates would still be alive and no one would know your names, because the media would have completely and utterly ignored your story, the way they ignored his,” Noir said.
Sharpton dismissed Noir’s argument about the students using the their First Amendment rights to go after Second Amendment rights.
“No they’re not. The Second Amendment doesn’t give you the right to bear AR-15s or assault weapons. They didn’t even exist then,” Sharpton said. “They are standing up for sane and common-sense gun laws that many of us have [inaudible] for years.”
Sharpton went on to say that Noir’s argument is “an old trick” that the NRA is using and that the organization is “flipping the script” like President Donald Trump has on other issues.
Sharpton is not the first MSNBC host to make this argument; Ari Melber spent an entire segment last month arguing that the Second Amendment does not apply to AR-15s or assault weapons.