- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 4, 2017

House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, who is still recovering from being shot at a congressional baseball practice in June, said Sunday night’s mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas has only solidified his support for the Second Amendment.

In an interview aired Tuesday night on Fox News, Martha MacCallum asked the Louisiana Republican whether the Las Vegas attack or his own personal experience changed his views on gun rights.

“I think it’s fortified it, because first of all you’ve got to recognize that when there is 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,” Mr. Scalise said.

“We shouldn’t first be thinking of promoting our political agenda. And I think we see too much of that, where people say OK, now you have to have gun control,” he said. 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.”

In June, Mr. Scalise was playing in a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, when a leftist gunman, specifically targeting Republican Congress members, opened fire from behind the third-base dugout, wounding Mr. Scalise and three others.

In Las Vegas, a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing 59 people and injuring more than 500 others who were attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival across the street. Police later recovered 47 guns from the shooter’s hotel room.

Sunday’s attack, now considered the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history, has renewed calls from many Democrats urging stricter gun control.

Mr. Scalise argued Tuesday that Americans use guns “every single day” to protect themselves against criminals, but that story hardly ever gets told.

“To promote some kind of gun control, I think, is the wrong way to approach this,” he said. “And frankly, what I experienced was when there was a shooter, luckily we had Capitol Police with their own guns. Every single day in America, regular citizens that 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.

“People use guns way more to defend themselves from criminals, than criminals using guns to hurt people,” he added.

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