Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who returned for his first full day of work the House after being wounded in a mass shooting this summer, said the Las Vegas shooting last weekend has only “fortified” his position against gun-control legislation.
Scalise made the comments during an interview with Fox News host Martha MacCallum.
“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 everything to help them,” Scalise said in the interview that aired Tuesday. “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.'”
In June, Scalise was playing in a Republican-led Congressional baseball practice when a gunman opened fire with an SKS semiautomatic rifle, hitting Scalise in the hip and wounding four others. The gunman, 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, died from his injuries after a shootout with police. Scalise required several surgeries and rehabilitation.
In the Las Vegas massacre, now considered the most deadly mass shooting in modern US history, police discovered more than 20 firearms in the hotel room where the gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on the 22,000 people attending a music festival across the street.
Twelve of the guns had been fitted with a legally obtainable “bump stock” — a modification that allows its user to fire bullets at a higher rate of speed than a semiautomatic rifle.
At least 59 people, including the shooter were killed and over 500 were injured.
Scalise, however, remained adamant that legislation favouring gun control was not beneficial, and instead, would infringe upon the rights of many Americans.
“Look at some of those bills,” Scalise said. “Those bills wouldn’t have done anything to stop this.”
“The gunman actually cleared background checks,” Scalise continued. “To promote some kind of gun control, I think, is the wrong way to approach this. And frankly, what I experienced, when there was a shooter, luckily we had Capitol Police with their own guns.”
“People use guns way more to defend themselves from criminals, than criminals use guns to hurt people.”
Watch the interview here:
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