World Net Daily columnist and former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Sunday insisted that Americans were entitled to armor-piercing bullets because they are "a right in our country."
The Pennsylvania Republican told an ABC News panel that conservatives "should stick to our guns" and oppose President Barack Obama's efforts to curb gun violence in the wake of the slaughter of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut.
"Having a gun and gun ownership is part of how people can feel safer," Santorum explained. "And in my opinion, when you look at the disingenuousness of the [Obama] administration when they met with the NRA, and [Vice President] Joe Biden did. And the NRA brought up the fact that prosecutions for gun crimes and prosecutions for people who lie on their registration forms or gun forms are down under this administration. The vice president responded, 'We don't have time to devote to see whether people fill out a form right!'"
Current TV host Jennifer Granholm pointed out that there had been fewer enforcements because the National Rifle Association (NRA) had pushed Republicans to oppose any effort to confirm a head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
"This is not about taking peoples guns away, this is about a narrow set of proposals that will enable us to help enforce the existing gun laws," Granholm explained. "The ban on assault weapons and a ban on high capacity magazines and even a ban on armor-piercing bullets are overwhelmingly supported by the citizenry. Fifty percent of men, 59 percent of women support an assault weapons ban. Same number for a ban on high capacity magazines."
"What about the president's argument that if it can stop even one of these horrific shootings, it's worth a try?" host George Stephanopolous asked Santorum.
"Well, how many people are you going to deny guns who are going to protect themselves?" the former Pennsylvania senator replied.
"Senator, what about the magazines?" ABC correspondent Cokie Roberts wondered. "Why have a magazine that can riddle a 6 year old into shreds?"
"Here's what I would say about that: 50 years ago, you could go on a catalog and buy a gun," Santorum opined. "There were no restrictions on gun ownership, there were no restrictions on magazines, there were no restrictions on anything and we had a lot less violence in society than we do today. The idea of pointing to the gun instead of pointing to society -- and not one thing the president did dealt with Hollywood and gun violence and video games and all the glorification of violence."
"Armor-piercing bullets, why do you need that?" Granholm interrupted.
"Why do you need to protect Hollywood?" Santorum shot back.
"You're deflecting," Granholm observed. "Deer don't wear armor. Why do you need an armor-piercing bullet?"
"But criminals could," Santorum quipped.
"And police officers certainly do," Granholm noted.
"Having the ability to defend yourself is something that is a right in our country," Santorum asserted.