The interview linked here was done on August 11, 2009. A Mr. William Kostric does very well to hold his own against, and I do mean against, MSNBC partisan Chris Matthews.
The interview is instructive for a number of reasons. Mr. Matthews, whose rapidly flapping gums induce the kind of ear pain usually expected at heavy metal concerts, makes no effort to be fair. And maybe it’s important to explain how these satellite interviews work to understand the advantage he holds over the interviewee. Matthews can both see and hear Mr. Kostric, while Mr. Kostric is staring into a camera hundreds of miles away, and can only hear Matthews through an earpiece. Having done this type of interview, I can assure you it is quite disorienting. It is simply amazing that Mr. Kostric can thread his way through the badgering of Matthews to give sensible answers at all.
Now to the substance. If you’ve already watched the interview, then the rest of this will make sense to you. If not, you should go watch it now.
I don’t intend to write much here because I don’t think it’s necessary. But it’s important to note that early on Matthews attempts to paint Kostric as a “birther,” who believes Obama was not born in the U.S. What does that have to do with anything? Mr. Kostric never made any such claim. And other than Mr. Kostric confusing the introduction of the income tax with the Victory Tax (the method of collecting the income tax before the taxpayer ever receives the money, which started as a temporary measure during WWII, but has never gone away), he manages to make Matthews look like the anti-gun, anti-rights zealot that he is.
Just a few brief quotes from the interview should serve to characterize the tenor of this debate (when did interviews become debates?).
Mr. Kostric: “I do know history and the history is that our forefathers fought for the right to keep and bear arms. And they believed that every person should be armed.”
Mr. Matthews’ reasoned response: “Everybody knows that . . . You’re carrying a goddamn gun at a presidential event.”
Mr. Matthews a little later on: “My brothers . . . I have members of my family, members of the NRA, they don’t carry guns but they believe in the right to bear arms, as many Americans do. I’m not against that.”
He’s not against that? Really? If I asked Mr. Matthews his opinion of Jews and Blacks would his answer be that his brothers believe that Jews and Blacks have equal rights, as do many other people, and he’s not against that? I hardly think so. Mr. Matthews clearly has a stronger belief in his first amendment right to be really really loud and wrong than your right and my right to defend ourselves.
Mr. Matthews a little later on: “You speak in a different way than most people.” (i.e. than most people who carry a firearm.)
Again, the implication is that since Mr. Kostric is not a wild-eyed lunatic, spouting birther nonsense and railing against the Council On Foreign Relations, he is not the typical proponent of the right to self defense. Well, Mr. Matthews strikes me as the lunatic here. Goddamn gun? I’m not sure why anyone would hate an inanimate object so passionately. I’ve seen people who’ve had their skulls bashed in with baseball bats, and yet I still root for the Phillies.
The bottom line is this: In the hands of you or me or Mr. Kostric, a gun is a defensive weapon and makes everyone around us safer. But in the hands of a volatile bully like Mr. Matthews . . . I shudder to think. Maybe the real motivation of anti-gun folks like Mr. Matthews is their own certainty that they, themselves, cannot be trusted with a lethal weapon. Until next time.