Republicans have to figure out soon where they stand on semi-automatic weapons or face strong public criticism, Joe Scarborough said Tuesday during a discussion about the Bushmaster .223 rifle authorities say Adam Lanza used when he killed 26 individuals Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
"I think Republicans are going to have to figure out: Do they…want to be seen two years from now—which they will—and four years from now as the party of glocks, the party of Bushmaster’s, the party of combat-style military weapons, rapid-fire magazine clips? If they want to go around and debate that for the next four years, good luck," he said.
Scarborough's comments come just a day after he delivered a monologue on how the Newtown shootings caused him to reconsider his long-held belief about gun rights. They also come a day after pro-gun Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia told the Morning Joe he believed everything should be on the table when it came to gun legislation reform.
Several pro-gun Democrats have waded into the discussion and have come out in favor of stricter laws, but the GOP has remained largely silent thus far on the issue. However, Virginia's Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell has indicated now may be the time to have a discussion about arming school officials.