Scalise: Shooting ‘fortified’ my view on gun rights

Greg Nash

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) says that getting shot at the GOP baseball practice over the summer — and nearly losing his life as a result — has strengthened his views against gun control.

Fox News’s Martha MacCallum asked Scalise in an interview to be aired later Tuesday if his experience and the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night have changed his views about the Constitution’s Second Amendment.

“I think it’s fortified it,” Scalise said.


Echoing comments made by other congressional Republicans and the White House, Scalise said that lawmakers should focus on supporting victims and law enforcement before advocating for a legislative response.

“Because first of all you’ve got to recognize that 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 whatever we can to help them, to help law enforcement. We shouldn’t first be thinking of promoting our political agenda,” Scalise said.

Scalise’s congressional website notes that his support gun rights has earned him an A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association. The bills he has supported over the years would ease interstate gun sales and ensure national reciprocity for concealed-carry permit holders. 

James T. Hodgkinson, a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) who wrote critical Facebook messages about Republicans, shot Scalise, a member of his Capitol Police security detail, a Tyson Foods lobbyist and a staffer for Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) at the GOP practice for the Congressional Baseball Game on June 14 in Northern Virginia.

A bullet went through Scalise’s hip and damaged his pelvis, resulting in multiple surgeries. He is still undergoing out-patient rehabilitation and requires crutches and a scooter to get around.

Scalise returned to the House last week for the first time since he was shot. 

After the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday, Scalise urged people to donate blood to help victims. The shooting was the deadliest in modern U.S. history, with 59 deaths and more than 520 injured.

“In this tragic moment, I encourage people across America to stand together in solidarity, and to support the Las Vegas community and all of those affected, especially by giving blood and encouraging others to do the same. In the face of unspeakable evil, our whole nation must respond with countless acts of kindness, warmth and generosity,” Scalise said in a statement.

Scalise’s continued support for gun rights stands in contrast to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was shot in the head at a constituent event in 2011 and has since become a prominent advocate for gun-control reforms.

Tags Bernie Sanders Roger Williams

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