WATCH: What Gun Control Debate Can Learn From Marriage Equality

MSNBC's Hardball host Chris Matthews explored the connection between debates over marriage equality and gun control.

BY Lucas Grindley

February 17 2013 12:57 PM ET

Chris Matthews

Hardball host Chris Matthews made the case this week that the debate about gun control and same-sex marriage have a common theme — the pursuit of personal freedom.

"The difference here is doing harm to others," Matthews said in his "Let Me Finish" comment at the end of Friday's show.

"Two people getting married doesn’t hurt someone else’s marriage — nor does it reduce its reverence or love," he continued. "Having a gun in the wrong hands — freedom for that person — can mean death for lots of others. That is where the desire for freedom jumps the tracks."

During a discussion of what the two debates have in common, Joe Solmonese, former president of the Human Rights Campaign, pointed out that the country seems to be evolving on gun control because of the emergence of personal stories that weigh heavily on American voters. He said that tactic made the difference in public opinion on marriage equality.

"If you look at the central strength of what has carried us through this fight, and helped us win on this fight for same-sex marriage, it is people coming out and be out and open about who they are and telling the stories of their lives — putting a name and a face and a personal circumstance to this abstract fight," Solmonese told the MSNBC host. "I think this is what you are starting to see in the gun debate right now."

Watch video of Matthews' commentary below and the discussion about the two issues.

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