Congressman Who Was Shot in Mass Shooting Still Advocating Against Gun Reform

Photo: Andrew Harnik (AP)

Rep. Steve Scalise, perhaps best known for getting critically shot at a baseball game practice in 2017, got on television on Sunday to advocate against meaningful gun reform. While on Face The Nation on CBS, Scalise (the number two Republican in the House) denounced the bipartisan House gun reform bills advanced to the Senate because the pair “wouldn’t have actually done anything to stop these shootings.”

Let’s go to the tape, via CBS:

Well, first of all, let’s see what bills are being brought forward. I know what Nancy Pelosi called for the Senate to come back and vote on, was a bill that they passed through the House, or two bills, that wouldn’t have actually done anything to stop these shootings because the shooters in— in both in El Paso and in Dayton, passed background checks. So her bill wouldn’t apply to them, but her bill is very dangerous in a number of ways of how it stops law-abiding people from being able to transfer guns, including if you loan your gun to your neighbor because she’s afraid that her ex-boyfriend is going to come and beat her up. You loaning your gun to her would put you in federal— in— not in federal— put you in prison for up to a year. That’s what Pelosi’s bill does. Wouldn’t have stopped the shootings, but actually makes it harder for law-abiding citizens to do things that are currently legal and, frankly, currently helping improve safety.

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Face The Nation host Margaret Brennan didn’t press Scalise on if these bills would help prevent and/or curtail other shootings and violence besides the two most recent mass shootings.

Then, Brennan asked Scalise why he doesn’t support President Donald Trump’s new call for “meaningful background checks.” (Trump regularly flip flops on this topic, though.) Scalise replied that he supported reform of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) that certain gun sellers are required to use to check your gun-owning eligibility. “Let’s focus on making that work better so a lot of these people that slip through the cracks don’t— don’t slip through the cracks again or in future attempts where they might try to do that,” he said.

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Scalise also used this TV appearance to say it’s “a very slippery slope” to assign blame to Trump’s rhetoric for the shooting in El Paso that left nearly two dozen people dead. “But to try to assign blame to somebody else I think is a very slippery slope because the President’s no more responsible for that shooting as your next guest, Bernie Sanders, is for my shooting. And he’s not, by the way, responsible, the shooter is responsible,” Scalise said.

It’s great to support more meaningful background checks, but I can’t believe (actually I can) that someone who was critically injured in a mass shooting doesn’t want to do more. Imagine going through that level of pain, and then deciding that even though you have the power and influence to change something, it’s just the price of doing business to ignore that power and influence for change.

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If you want to hear more, here’s a clip from Scalise’s appearance on Face The Nation, via YouTube:

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