Scalise on Parkland: Focus on Governmental Failures, Mental Health, and Closing Loopholes Before Taking Away Rights

On Monday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) discussed the Parkland school shooting and argued “what went wrong with government,” mental health, and closing loopholes should be focused on “before people start talking about taking away the rights of law-abiding citizens.” He added that “these breakdowns in government show you why so many people…want to have the right to defend themselves.”

Scalise said, “I think what changes is that we’ve seen so many breakdowns in different levels of government. Federal, of course, with the FBI completely dropping the ball months ago, when they had this kid handed to them on a silver platter. At the local level, we’re finding out more and more disturbing information about the local sheriff’s deputies, at least one, maybe more, that were on-site, armed to protect those kids, who stayed outside instead of going in and confronting the shooter. … Why did those breakdowns occur? And then, let’s focus more on addressing problems these problems in mental health that we’ve started to deal with in Congress. Let’s close loopholes. Let’s figure out what went wrong with government, before people start talking about taking away the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

Scalise then responded to a question on fellow Congressman Brian Mast’s (R-FL) call for an “immediate, temporary” ban on AR-15 purchases by stating, “Brian’s a hero and a great friend. A lot of people are throwing different ideas around. Again, I think the most important thing, clearly, you pray for the victims. And you find out what went wrong, why did so many breakdowns occur? Look, Brian, all these breakdowns in government show you why so many people, millions of people across the country, want to have the right to defend themselves. And so, passing laws that take away rights of law-abiding gun owners, that is something that concerns a lot of us. Because we see failures that shouldn’t have happened, that should have stopped this from happening. Let’s focus on making sure that people that are law-abiding citizens are able to maintain their rights.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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