Scalise: Gun control the ‘wrong' approach after Las Vegas shooting
© Greg Nash

House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseHouse GOP pushes hard-line immigration plan as Senate deals fail Ex-GOP lawmaker: Vote Republicans out of office if you want mass shootings stopped Speculation swirls about Kevin McCarthy’s future MORE (R-La.) argued Tuesday that taking the Las Vegas mass shooting as an opportunity to push for stricter gun laws is the "wrong" approach, saying people should focus instead on helping the people affected by the tragedy.

"To promote some kind of gun control, I think, is the wrong way to approach this," Scalise said during an interview on Fox News' "The Story with Martha MacCallum" when asked if the shooting had changed his views about the Second Amendment.

"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," Scalise added. 

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Scalise, the No. 3 House Republican, returned to the House last week after being critically injured when a gunman opened fire at a congressional GOP baseball practice in June. Scalise, who is still rehabilitating from his injuries, told Fox that his experience "fortified" his view of gun rights.

The Louisiana lawmaker argued that the gun debate after the Las Vegas shooting should revolve around preventing people with mental health issues from obtaining weapons, saying that addressing mental health issues in society could help prevent future large-scale attacks.

"We put money in place to focus on mental health. That's really where the biggest problem has been," he said, citing recent actions in Congress on related health-care reforms. 

Scalise also commented on a CBS executive who was fired after writing on Facebook that she was not "sympathetic" to the victims of the Sunday night shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas because "country music fans often are Republican gun toters."

At least 59 people were killed and more than 500 injured when a gunman opened fire on thousands of festival-goers at an outdoor music venue from a hotel across the street.

"I think that's disgraceful," Scalise said of the former executive's comments.

"I'm glad she was fired, because there's no place in our society for that kind of hate. I mean that is hate."