The panel on MSNBC’s “Now with Alex Wagner” got caught up in a heated argument about gun control Thursday afternoon, which eventually turned into a contentious one-on-one debate between The Blaze and GBTV’s S.E. Cupp and Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
The discussion began civilly enough about the proposed legislation in New York that would “encode” shell casings on bullets so that law enforcement could track down guns more easily. Pro-gun groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA) have strongly opposed the measure.
Wagner accused the NRA and other second Amendment advocates of fiercely opposing any measure to regulate guns, even when they are reasonable.
“It seems like a fairly good idea and yet there has been a huge amount of resistance to this,” she said.
Then Cupp, who the host referred to as a “gun owner” in air quotes, got started. She was able to hold her own against the other panelists who all appeared to be in support of the law.
“Well this is a really silly piece of legislation and here is why,” Cupp explained. “The idea is you track the bullet or the shell casing back to the gun and then you track the gun back to the owner because, ostensibly, the owner has registered his gun. Most criminals don’t do that.”
She also argued that the legislation would be extremely expensive for gun manufacturers and the cost would eventually be passed onto the purchasers of firearms.
Then things began to get a little heated. Gross disputed Cupp’s cost analysis and asked her, “At what cost is the savior [sic] of human lives?”
“This is an industry that at all costs wants to protect its profits and it does so at the expense of human lives,” Gross continued.
“No, it wants to protect the Second Amendment which is under assault,” Cupp snapped back.
At this, Gross accused Cupp of using “extremist rhetoric” and said opponents of the shell casing legislation are suffering from “anti-government paranoia.”
“It would be paranoia if it’s not happening. It’s happening,” Cupp said bluntly.
She went on to say that after instances of gun violence, such as the killings of Trayvon Martin or the shooting of Rep. Gabriel Giffords, there is “huge hysteria and paranoia” about guns by the anti-gun lobby and a push to ban guns comes always follows.
Gross took exception to Cupp’s assertion saying, “I don’t accept that… . Show me one word that’s ever come out of my mouth… .”
“I don’t follow everything you say,” Cupp interrupted.
Doubling down, Gross told Cupp that there is “nobody that’s anti-gun…we are anti-killing people.”
“People kill people, guns don’t kill people,” Cupp said.
“And usually people with guns,” Gross replied, getting in the last word.
Watch the tense interaction here: