GOP rep defends Second Amendment in wake of shooting

GOP rep defends Second Amendment in wake of shooting
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mo BrooksMo BrooksTrump touts endorsement of second-place finisher in Alabama primary Moore, Strange advance in Alabama GOP primary Alabama GOP Senate primary: live results MORE (R-Ala.), who was one of about two dozen GOP lawmakers present when a gunman opened fire on their baseball practice early Wednesday, vigorously defended the Second Amendment after a reporter asked him if it changed his view on the “gun situation” in America.

"Not with respect to the Second Amendment,” Brooks responded. “The Second Amendment, the right to bear arms is to help ensure that we always have a republic. And as with any constitutional provision in the Bill of Rights, there are adverse aspects to each of those rights that we enjoy as people, and what we just saw here is one of the bad side effects of someone not exercising those rights properly.

"We are not going to get rid of freedom of speech because some people say ugly things and hurt some people’s feelings, and we’re not going to get rid of the Fourth Amendment's search and seizure rights because some criminals could go free who should be behind bars,” Brooks said at the scene of the shooting in Alexandria, Va.

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"These rights are there to protect Americans, and while each of them has a negative aspect to them, they are fundamental to our being the greatest nation in world history. So no, I'm not changing my position on any of the rights we enjoy as Americans.”

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the House majority whip, is recovering from surgery after being shot in the hip, and four others were taken to hospitals after a gunman opened fire on Republican lawmakers practicing ahead of a charity congressional baseball game on Thursday.

At a press conference shortly after Brooks's comments, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) advocated for stricter gun laws in the wake of the shooting.

“I think we need to do more to protect all of our citizens,” McAuliffe said. “I have long advocated — this is not what today is about — but there are too many guns on the streets. We lose 93 million Americans a day to gun violence. I have long talked about this. Background checks and shutting down gun show loopholes, and that’s not for today’s discussion, but it’s not just about politicians. We worry about this every day for all of our citizens.”

McAuliffe later clarified that 93 Americans, not 93 million, die every day from gun violence.