By Ian Swanson - 12/21/12 01:23 PM EST
Talk show host Joe Scarborough and Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) engaged in a heated discussion Friday over gun control.
Scarborough and Huelskamp both shouted over one another after Huelskamp said those arguing for gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings were politicizing the murder of 20 schoolchildren.
"You know what, there's been a lot of misleading statements, including those that are said right here, in saying that somehow if we ban a gun, that somehow criminals won't get it," Huelskamp said, referring in part to arguments made on Scarborough's "Morning Joe" about gun control this week.
"Let's not build on the tragedy in Connecticut and use that to actually push a political agenda," Huelskamp said.
Huelskamp said President Obama and his allies were using Sandy Hook to push tougher gun laws, but Scarborough inferred the comment was also directed at him and later accused the congressman of questioning his integrity.
"What was your feeling after Sept. 11, Congressman? Were there some changes made in this country because of the tragedy of Sept. 11? Was that just using a tragedy, 3,000 deaths, to make Americans safer? Do you dare come on my show and say I am using the slaughter of 20 little 6- and 7-year-old children? I'm using them for political purposes?" Scarborough said.
Huelskamp responded by asking Scarborough how many children he had, and said he would refuse to allow Scarborough or anyone else, because they had children, to politicize the shootings.
"Joe, you can talk about it all you want," Huelskamp said. "I didn't say it was you who were politicizing it. You're not even a politician anymore, and I understand that.
"But you look around this town, within 24 hours, folks running on saying we need to change the laws when they don't even know the situation," he said.
Huelskamp then quoted former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel as saying "don't let any political crisis go to waste."
Huelskamp also said he would not agree to any tax hikes no matter how much in spending cuts was included in a fiscal-cliff deal, a remark Scarborough and the other panelists on "Morning Joe" criticized after Huelskamp was off camera.