Brokaw: Silence On Gun Violence Akin To Failing To Oppose Segregation in 60s

January 17th, 2013 7:51 AM

Talk about your strained analogies . . . Tom Brokaw has analogized people unwilling to support measures aimed at limiting gun violence to those during the 1960s who were unwilling to speak out againt the likes of Bull Connor.

Brokaw made his remarks on today's Morning Joe.  While asserting that he favored a "holistic" approach to gun violence, including addressing video games and the coarsening of the culture, Brokaw did remark that "guns are the endgame." View the video after the jump.

There was no real moral ambiguity surrounding segregation.  It was a undeniable evil.  But that same Manichean divide does not exist when it comes to issues surrounding gun violence.  The desire to limit such violence competes with authentic, legitimate concerns about First and Second Amendment rights.  For Brokaw to conflate the two issues is absurd. Watch Brokaw at work.  

JOE SCARBOROUGH: But on your argument that you made earlier about a holistic approach, which we've all been saying around this table from the very beginning, the polls also show that Smericans don't think that guns by themselves are the main driver of violence. That it does have to do with violent culture. That it does have to do with mental health issues. That it does have to do with the coarsening of American culture.

TOM BROKAW: Well, guns are the end game.


BROKAW: And all these component parts claim it's not their responsibility. NRA says it's not about the guns. It's about violence. It's about mental health. Mental health people say we can't share information because we have privacy issues here. The video game industry says we have a right under the First Amendment. Reverend Al, it reminds me a lot of what happened in the South in the 1960s during the civil rights movement. Good people stayed in their houses and didn't speak up when there was carnage in the streets and the total violation of a fundamental rights of African-Americans as they marched in Selma, and they let Bull Connor and the redneck elements of the South and the Klan take over their culture in effect and become of face of it. And now a lot of people who I know who grew up during that time have deep regrets about not speaking out. There were a few brave souls who did and they were knocked down pretty hard within their own communities for coming out and speaking out in a moderate way, not even in a liberal way about the right of African-Americans to be able to vote, for example, and to walk into any restaurant they wanted to. But there was a lot of silence at the time. Now it's time for the people who do have strong feelings, who are feeling that they can't do anything about it, to kind of band together and have something to say here. And again, it's got to be the whole approach.