Tennessee Rep. Steve Scalise, the Republican lawmaker badly injured during a mass shooting at a Congressional baseball practice earlier this year in Virginia, still does not support gun safety laws. Ironically, he is actively opposing any more gun control measures — because “the Second Amendment predates the Bill of Rights.”
(The Second Amendment is in fact part of the Bill of Rights, the second of 10 amendments that make up the Bill of Rights.)
“Our Founding Fathers believed strongly in guns rights for citizens,” Scalise, who is still recovering after being shot in the hip and spent several days in critical condition, told NBC’s Chuck Todd during a recent interview. “It is a long history in our country to make sure you protect the rights of citizens to bear arms.”
In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, where a gunman named Stephen Paddock killed 58 and injured more than 500 people in Las Vegas, the gun control debate has once again become the most important (read: controversial) topic in the U.S. politics. However, the Republicans still appear to be holding on to their pro-guns (and pro-NRA) policies.
“It's dangerous for the concept that the federal government would have some kind of list of who has guns and what they have,” Scalise continued, probably not realizing how absurd it sounded coming from someone like him, someone who almost died because an unfit person was allowed to purchase firearms. “The problem is not that there are too many guns. It's that there are people that will go out and break the law.”
The lawmaker also repeated his party’s most popular talking point to justify his stance on gun safety measures.
“If you look at some of the places where you have bad gun violence… you go to a city like Chicago, [with] some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and yet they have the worse gun violence,” he said.
Now, Chicago may have some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, but of the 50,000 guns the Chicago Police Department recovered between 2001 and 2012, more than 50 percent came from outside the state — mainly from Illinois, Indiana and Mississippi.
Therefore, in theory, Scalise’s point fell wide off the mark — but since when has that bothered the pro-guns Republicans?
“Don't try to put new laws in place that don't fix these problems,” he continued. “They only make it harder for law-abiding citizens to own a gun.”
Since the tragic Las Vegas shooting, President Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and even the NRA have indicated they are willing to back new regulations on bump stocks — the device Paddock used to turn his semi-automatic weapon into a machine gun.
However, it might not be enough.
Sadly, this is not the first time Scalise has shared his views on gun control since returning to the Capitol Hill. During a recent interview with Fox News, Scalise said being shot actually “fortified” his views on gun rights.
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Yuri Gripas/File Photo