If you thought the mass shooting of Republican lawmakers would be the sort of thing to make them think about combatting gun violence in America, think again.
Despite reports that James T. Hodgkinson, the man alleged to have opened fire on congressional Republicans Wednesday morning, used an M4 assault rifle in his attack, those Republicans and their colleagues seem wholly unwilling to do a damn thing about it.
When asked whether the shooting—during which House GOP Whip Steve Scalise was seen leaving a trail of blood behind him, as he dragged himself out of harm’s way—changed his opinion on “the gun situation in America,” Alabama Republican Mo Brooks, who was at the scene of the incident, said, “Not with respect to the Second Amendment.”
“What we just saw here is one of the bad side effects of someone not exercising those [constitutional] rights properly,” Brooks added later. “But we’re not going to get rid of freedom of speech because some people say some really ugly things that hurt other people’s feelings.”
Aside from the fact that hurting people’s feelings and shooting them with an assault rifle aren’t close to being the same thing, Brooks seemed oblivious to the fact that one of the key features advocated for by gun control supporters is legislation specifically to ban assault rifles like the kind allegedly used on one of their own colleagues in Wednesday’s attack.
And Brooks wasn’t alone. Joining him was North Carolina Republican Mark Meadows, who reportedly claimed that now is “certainly not the appropriate time” to discuss gun control measures (congressman, if your colleagues getting shot while prepping for a charity baseball game isn’t the “appropriate time,” when, would you say, is?)
But it’s South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham who pulled into an early lead when it came to the worst responses to the shooting.
“Bottom line,” Graham claimed, “people get shot, run over by cars, stabbed. It’s just a crazy world.”
“If we had that [gun] debate, it would just end like it always does,” the senator continued. “We’re not going to tell law abiding people they can’t own a gun just because of some nut job. This is terrible. Let’s be grateful it wasn’t worse. But we just gotta move on.”
In other words: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯