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Paul Rand has become a lightning rod for criticism from the right, and for many Republicans, he’s the poster child for what they see as a betrayal of the conservative movement.
But Rand’s latest comments on gun violence and the media’s handling of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., have brought new attention to the senator’s position on the issue.
On Thursday, Rand told ABC’s “This Week” that the United States has a moral responsibility to confront the scourge of gun violence.
“This country has a lot of work to do,” he said.
“We are on a collision course.
We are facing a civil war, we are facing the death of a black man, a white man and we have a right to talk about it.
And that is what we are doing right now.””
But, you know, I think that we have to be careful because I don’t think we should be giving the media more time to try to come up with the next story,” he continued.
“But I do think we have got to be on the defensive in the way that we handle the issue, because we don’t want to allow our society to be led astray.”
Rand’s comments came as the nation grapples with the tragic death of Michael Moore, the former host of “The View,” whose death prompted a wave of protests in the wake of his death.
“I think it’s time that we were honest with ourselves about the fact that we are in a civil rights movement,” Rand said.
“We are fighting a war against an enemy that is not our enemy, but the enemy of freedom,” he added.
“And the fight is not over.”
Rand said he is “a firm believer in the Second Amendment” and believes “the Second Amendment protects us against a government that will take our guns away.”
“I don’t believe in gun control,” he told ABC.
“I believe that we must have the ability to defend ourselves.
And I believe in the First Amendment.”
In the aftermath of Moore’s death, Rand has defended his record as a conservative Republican, arguing that the media has played a role in perpetuating gun control rhetoric.
“When we talk about gun control, what we’re really talking about is the notion that we can have a civil debate, but it has to be civil and it has not been civil for 40 years,” Rand told “This Morning” on Tuesday.
Rand’s support for gun control is a long-standing issue for the senator.
He’s a longtime gun owner, a supporter of gun rights and has consistently voted in favor of gun control measures, including the Brady Bill and a law that required gun manufacturers to notify the FBI when they made “personal defensive” firearms.
Rand has also voted against the Brady bill in the past.
Rand has long criticized the media, saying it is a “disgrace” to cover the issue in the media and that it has a “negative effect on the country.”
“It is absolutely true that I don, you’ve heard of the media.
It is absolutely false that I believe that I should be allowed to use the media to try and shape public opinion on the subject,” he stated.
“The media has been a disgrace.
Rand has also made the rounds to address his political position on gun control. “
There’s no question about it.”
Rand has also made the rounds to address his political position on gun control.
In 2014, he appeared on “The Howard Stern Show” and said he’s against gun control because “I am a free man, but I’m a free citizen,” adding, “We’re not a country that is a republic.
I’m not a republic, I’m an American.”
He also made his most recent comments in July during a CNN town hall event.
“Gun control is not the answer,” Rand replied.
“That’s a political issue.”
Rand also has been one of the most outspoken advocates for the Second Amendments in the Republican Party.
He told ABC in 2013 that he supports “constitutional carry,” a right that allows people to carry concealed weapons without a permit.
“There are some gun owners who don’t feel like they should be carrying a concealed weapon, and I don’ t think that’s fair,” he argued.
“If you’re going to protect yourself, you’re better off with a concealed carry permit, because you’re not going to be getting killed.”
Rand, who is also a registered Democrat, has voted against gun safety measures in the House of Representatives, including in 2013, when he voted against a gun-safety bill.
He has also opposed efforts to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Rand is running for Senate in a primary election next year.
He faces incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, who has been running for the seat since 2009.