New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Sunday asserted that the National Rifle Association (NRA) had been "revealed as an insane organization" that "has this vision that we're living in a Mad Max movie" because it wants to put more guns in schools instead of supporting universal background checks and limits on military-style weapons.
During a panel segment on ABC, former Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina said she supported universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines, but "both sides have overplayed" their arguments on gun control after the December massacre of 20 school children in Newtown, Connecticut.
"We've gotten glimpse into the mindset of the pro-gun people," Krugman observed. "And we've seen certainly with [NRA CEO] Wayne LaPierre and some of these others, it's bizarre, they have this vision that we're living in a Mad Max movie and that nothing can be done about it, that America cannot manage unless everybody's prepared to shoot intruders, that the idea that we have a police force that provides public safety is somehow totally impractical, despite the fact that that is in fact the way we live."
"Now the craziness of the pro-gun lobby has been revealed," he added. "And that has got to move the debate and got to move legislation, at least to some degree."
But Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta said that he was comfortable with the NRA's opposition to universal background checks because the idea was a "perfect example of why Washington is broke."
"I know people will get guns no matter what laws we pass, just like the illegal drugs," Barletta argued.
"I just caught you on a false statement there," Krugman interrupted. "Because at least I do believe that guns are the root. There are crazy people everywhere, but mass murders are a lot more common here... I looked at the international differences, and countries that have effective gun control have a lot fewer incidents."
"Will banning a spoon stop obesity? Of course not," Barletta quipped.
"There are plenty of gun owners that are fine, but the NRA is now revealed as an insane organization," Krugman pointed out. "And that matters quite a lot."