Quite an interview on "HARDBALL" last night with Chris Matthews. But he mentioned that he was a Ron Paul supporter and that piqued my curiosity. I want a reaction from the Congressman.
He joins us on the line now, deep in the heart of Texas. Congressman, thank you for your time tonight. I appreciate it.
What's your response to people showing up at a town hall meeting where the president is with a loaded gun?
REP. RON PAUL ®, TEXAS: I think it proves a couple points. One thing, I think it really shows a remarkable restraint on the president and his Secret Service, because they didn't overreact. They recognized what the state law was, and that this man didn't break any laws, and that he was just, you know, practicing a right that he had. So I think this is very good and Obama deserves credit for this.
But I also think what this demonstrates is that it's-it's the old conservative argument. It's not the gun that's the danger. It's the person that's dangerous. He's a peaceful person. He obeyed the law. He was not a man of violence. And it went quite well. So I think it's a remarkable demonstration, when you compare to what 19 individuals could do with razor blades, versus one man with an armed pistol that happens to be a law-abiding citizen.
SCHULTZ: So Congressman, we know what the law is. He was perfectly legal. He was on private property. But doesn't it somewhat defy common sense to show up where the president is with a loaded gun, just to prove a point.
PAUL: Well, to him, it didn't. I wouldn't. I don't even own a gun.
I wouldn't be interested in doing that. But no, he was expressing himself. Don't you think sometimes people use the First Amendment and say terrible things and dumb things. And when the American Civil Liberties Union comes in, they will defend people-even defend radical, violent people, who are saying bad things.
So I would think to demonstrate that he has a right to do this-and he believes, as many people believe, that an armed society is a more peaceful society. And he proved his point. He was remarkable in proving his point that he was a peaceful man, and caused no trouble.
SCHULTZ: I don't have a jaded opinion, because I'm a gun owner. I don't have a pistol, but I have deer rifles and shotguns and stuff like that. But we have had a situation in this country where a prisoner came up and overtook a guard, and ended up shooting a judge and some other people in a courtroom.
So I don't know how good that guy was in defending the fire arm, if somebody wanted to go nuts in a crowd when they saw a gun. I'm not trying to overplay this, because it has happened in this country.
PAUL: Can I comment on that? You're describing something where the government is in charge of the courtroom. They should provide the safety. In private property, the individual provides the safety. You just demonstrated that the government failed on that part. The government had a chance to react here, and I think they reacted rather remarkably.
SCHULTZ: OK. Well, but the same situation was apparent here, is that something could have happened if someone had seen that and decided to go off the handle and take the gun and do something. I mean, I'm surprised at I understand the freedom of speech and all this stuff and gun ownership. But it just defies common sense to pull a stunt like this to get some attention. I want to move the discussion to-
PAUL: I don't think he was doing it for attention getting. That's the way he lives. That's the way a lot of people live up there.
SCHULTZ: OK, All right. Well, I don't know if he carries a gun to work every day or not. But he sure showed up at that town hall meeting with the president with a fire arm on.
PAUL: I did a little campaigning up there. And it was sort of a little bit of a surprise to me-I don't think shocking, but-and I live in Texas. You know, there's a lot of guns hanging on gun racks in pickup trucks. But it was a little surprising to me.
SCHULTZ: Great to have you on, Congressman Paul. I appreciate your time tonight.
PAUL: All right.