Steve Scalise Still Can't Bring Himself To Say One Mean Word About A Gun
Consider us surprised that we are still talking about guns in the wake of the Uvalde tragedy. Not because we shouldn't be, but because we usually move on due to a combination of lack of media attention span and governmental inaction.
But that doesn't mean some aren't trying to make that happen. This week we focus on GOP congressman and House Minority Whip, Steve Scalise, who even after being a victim of a politically motivated shooting has always dutifully read his NRA/GOP script.
On Fox News Sunday, host John Roberts played a clip of President Joe Biden urging a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, or at least universal background checks, to help prevent tragedies like Uvalde, Buffalo and others.
But Steve Scalise would not blame the guns.
SCALISE: When we have a shooting instead of sitting down and going "what is really causing this? Why do we see these happening more and more in the last few years?", it immediately becomes a debate about taking away guns. [...] It immediately pushes everyone to their corners instead of sitting down and saying, "why don't we look and see if we can find some tell-tale signs so that there could be intervention." We need to focused more on stopping things before they happen [...] It immediately becomes about Democrats wanting to take away guns. [...] Why don't we talk about the root causes of these problems?
As if it's some big mystery why these things happen. For instance, the easily availability of guns. Also for instance things like the dangerous "great replacement" conspiracy theory, which we know has inspired mass shootings.
Before the Uvalde mass shooting, Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott was urging Texans to buy more guns and making it easier to get them.
\u201cHere is Greg Abbott encouraging Texans to buy more guns, & a shout out to the NRA to make sure he gets brownie points.\u201d— Yombe (@Yombe) 1654268326
Roberts noted that President Biden's proposals include "red flag" laws and raising the minimum age for gun purchases to 21. What did Scalise have to say to these moderate proposals?
SCALISE: In a lot of these school shootings, there was somebody in the school who knew they were gonna take action before the shooting. [...] We have to get kids more engaged in alerting authorities if they see something that they are concerned about and let the authorities take action, if necessary. And try to intervene and stop something before it happens...
Well, so far this seems reasonable, other than the light victim-blaming of people not being "more alert." Seems we can find common ground, as Scalise basically describes the type of things that would help if "red flag" laws were in effect. Good for him.
SCALISE: ...instead of immediately after going after the rights of gun owners away.
Scalise continued talking about "hardening schools" and "provid[ing] more resources for students to let authorities know," because again, it's up to the victims to be more alert.
Roberts showed how the United States far and away leads all other developed countries in gun violence:
Roberts asked what seems to be causing that, and Scalise gave a reasonable response:
SCALISE: In America, you've seen in the last couple of years this crazy 'Defund The Police' movement. But you've also seen a movement that's been going on for a few years in big cities where DAs aren't even prosecuting criminals until there is a shooting.
Instead, Scalise offered bullshit about police that were never actually "defunded," and right-wing myths about cities being some post-apocalyptic hellscape. Roberts again tried to show how the majority of Americans support sensible policies like "red flag" laws, but to no avail:
SCALISE: Under the guise of 'red flag,' they take away due process [...]
ROBERTS: [...] But if that had happened in case of Buffalo shooter, 10 people would be alive today.
SCALISE: Well again, due process is a constitutional right.
So is "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," which are kinda hard if all these innocents are getting murdered with guns.
We wish Democratic Senator Chris Murphy all the luck negotiating bipartisan gun reform, but GOP leadership shows it's basically futile. He's a victim of gun violence who was saved by a member of the LGBTQ community, but that can't stop him from being a gun-defending anti-LGBTQ asshole.
That NRA money and bigotry is too strong, apparently.
Have a week.
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Your friendly neighborhood Puerto Rican Political Freelance Writer for @wonkette. Pop Culture observer, Amateur Movie reviewer & Comics fan. Former Active Duty Marine. All opinions are mine only.