Former Arkansas Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said earlier this year that the staff of his Fox News show was "scared to death" and reacted like he was a "psychopath" when he told them he owned "several" AR-15 rifles.
"I'll never forget sitting around with my own staff at Fox News, New Yorkers all, and something came up about guns, and they were saying about how nobody should ever own an AR-15, 'Well, there's just no reason to own an assault weapon,'" Huckabee said, speaking at the Destiny Worship Center in Destin, Florida in January.
Huckabee said he challenged his staff's definition of the term 'assault weapon,' telling them that even "a pencil is an assault weapon if you poke it in someone's eye," before making them "really shocked when I said 'AR-15s, I got several of them.'"
"They were scared to death," Huckabee said. "I thought they were gonna dive under the table. I really did. It was like they were, 'Huh!' He's a psychopath.'"
Huckabee said he explained to his staff that the AR-15 rifles were less powerful "than the rifles that I deer hunt with" and that the features that make them look intimidating are "all practical functional features of the rifle to make it lighter, to make cooler, to make it easier to hold so that a woman as well as a man who is short or tall can use these."
"'You're just looking at it and you think because you saw it on a Rambo movie that it must be more lethal than anything else,'" Huckabee said he told his team. "And I said that's nonsense."
Christopher Massie is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Christopher Massie at Christopher.Massie@buzzfeed.com.
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