U.S. Representative Steve Scalise, who was a victim of an Alexandria, Virginia, shooting that nearly killed him, said the Las Vegas massacre has “fortified” his stance against gun control.
He made the comments during an interview with Fox News host Martha MacCallum.
The host asked Scalise if the recent shooting had changed his views on gun rights. Scalise replied, “I think it's fortified it.”
He further added, “Because first of all you've got to recognize that when there's a tragedy like this, the first thing we should be thinking about is praying for the people who were injured and doing whatever we can to help them, to help law enforcement. We shouldn't first be thinking of promoting our political agenda. I think we see too much of that, where people say, 'OK, now you have to have gun control.’”
The House Majority whip also said that any gun control laws wouldn’t have prevented the shooting because the gunman cleared all background checks.
“Well, first of all, look at some of those bills. Those bills wouldn't have done anything to stop this. I mean the gunmen actually cleared background checks. So to promote some kind of gun control, I think, is the wrong way to approach this,” he said.
He added, “Every single day in America, regular citizens that just have a passionate belief in the Second Amendment, that have their own guns, use guns every single day to protect themselves against criminals. And those stories never get told or hardly ever get told, but that's a different side of the story that I think is important. And people use guns way more to defend themselves from criminals.”
Scalise’s comments came in just a day after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history claimed 59 innocent lives and injured scores.
After the shooting, several Republicans started pouring in messages of condolences and prayers.
President Donald Trump led a moment of silence at the White House.
House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement, “The whole country stands united in our shock, in our condolences and in our prayers.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also led his chamber in a moment of silence and urged national mourning and prayer.
However, Congressional Democrats didn't just accuse their Republican counterparts of inaction but also blamed gun rights lobbies of making money off of the tragedy. They also demanded stricter gun laws, but considering the GOP’s love affair with firearms, they probably won’t get them anytime soon.
Even in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, Republicans refuse to wake up to reality. They probably never will, considering they are pushing bills that will make it easier for men like Stephen Paddock to commit acts of terrorism, even after this latest tragedy.
A gunman opened fire on Scalise and other Republican lawmakers as they practiced on June 14 in a Washington, D.C., suburb for a charity baseball game. He was shot in the hip. Unfortunately, getting shot himself was not an enough reason for the GOPer to fight for gun control.
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters