On September 1 GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush told students at Miami’s La Progressiva Presbyterian that gun control laws should be handled on a state-by-state basis rather than through the federal government.
Bush said, “The federal government shouldn’t be involved in gun laws because the country’s very different,” indicating that in some parts of the country guns are more deeply woven into the culture than in others. Therefore, he contended that gun laws should be decided by legislators who are closer to the people rather than in DC.
According to KHBS/KHOG-TV, Bush said, “You go to a rural area, where guns are part of the culture, (and) to impose laws from Washington that are going to work in New York City, or work in a rural area, makes no sense.”
Speaking specifically to Vester Lee Flanagan’s attack on the WDBJ reporter and cameraman in Virginia last week, Bush made clear that Flanagan passed a background check. He said, “He bought a gun apparently legally. There was no criminal background record and so I don’t know how you would solve that problem unless we begin to identify people that have mental health issues. So I think having a society that is much more in tune with the people that are kind of on the margins of society would be a better solution than imposing more gun restrictions.”
Democrats responded to Bush’s statements that the federal government should not be making gun laws by labeling them “extreme.” They tweeted an 8 second snippet of Bush speaking with the caption, “Bush saying the federal government shouldn’t be involved in gun laws is so extreme we need to show you the video.”
Bush spokesperson Kristy Campbell emailed afterward to reiterate that Bush supports the Second Amendment and “doesn’t believe new federal gun laws are the answer.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.