Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) joined SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam on Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily to talk about Wednesday’s shooting attack on the Republican congressional baseball game practice in Virginia.
Gohmert answered “Well yes, of course,” when Kassam asked if he was surprised by the attack, given the rising tide of angry rhetoric and previous instances of political violence from the left.
“There’s no way you can be prepared for your colleagues to be shot, multiple friends being shot. Mika’s been doing this for years, where he’s come out and helped us with batting and things,” said Gohmert, referring to lobbyist Matt Mika, one of the most seriously injured shooting victims.
“I wasn’t playing this year. I wasn’t out there, and feel a little guilty about that,” he continued. “And Zack, I mean, just out there helping.” Zack Barth, a congressional staffer for Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX), was shot in the leg during the attack.
“But Steve taking that shot – and you know there were some people that said it’s another AR, we’ve got to do something, but when I heard the tape I knew that wasn’t an AR. You know, the guy that was filming with his phone. Well, it turns out it wasn’t an AR. It was a much heavier round, like an AK-47 type round. It was not the.223,” he said, explaining the severity of the injuries to Matt Mika and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) from the attack.
“That’s a deadly, powerful blow that was taken,” Gohmert said. “I was originally most concerned about Matt, he took a shot in the chest, but apparently the shot that Steve took is extremely serious.”
“He is still critical,” Gohmert said of Scalise’s condition. “The doctors were worried, as everybody heard, he stayed critical through the night. They gave him an awful lot of blood yesterday and they’re going to have to give him a lot more. I know a lot of times people get to thinking that modern medicine is such a miraculous thing, but this is quite serious. People lose their lives in this manner.”
“We shouldn’t be surprised that this kind of stuff happens when you’ve got people stabbing the president multiple times, you’ve got people beheading the president,” he said, referring to some recent notorious incidents of simulated violence against President Trump.
“It turns out after we talked among ourselves that most of us have gotten death threats,” Gohmert revealed. “We haven’t all reported them each time we’ve gotten them. We’ve got to do a better job about that.”
“In the meantime, I thought it was rather ironic to have so many of my Democratic friends who’ve been screaming about, with anger and hatred and violence really being perpetuated, and now all of a sudden after violence erupts with guns the language is, ‘Look everybody, let’s please not talk about politics or bring politics into this. Let’s just call it what it is, you know, an act of violence.’ Well yeah, it’s an act of violence, but look at the rhetoric that’s been calling for violence. That’s a definite problem,” he said.
Kassam asked if Gohmert wanted his own security detail in the wake of the attack, or permission to carry his own firearm, noting that only Majority Whip Scalise’s presence at the baseball practice provided any police protection for the assembled Republican representatives.
Gohmert replied that the question was much-discussed in Congress at the moment.
“We don’t need a personal security task force. It would be ridiculous if we were to have 24/7 security like the top leaders get. That’s a minimum of two times 435, plus a hundred senators! We can’t afford that, and we don’t want that,” he argued. “That cuts us off from being the most accountable body in the federal government. We run for reelection every two years. We’ve got to be among our peers, our friends, our constituents. No, we don’t need a safety task force trumping us everywhere.”
“But if we were allowed in Washington – and I’m talking to some of the guys out there yesterday when the shooter started shooting, there were folks that had permits in the states they came from that are not allowed to carry anything in the District of Columbia. Not only not carry it, not even have it any where near them without being arrested. Well, that really does need to change,” he urged.
“We cannot allow Washington D.C. to continue to be a place where only the criminals and the police have guns. That needs to change. We need to have law-abiding folks carry guns. As John Lott’s research has constantly shown, you look at the areas where gun control is the strictest, and that’s normally where you have the biggest problems,” Gohmert said.
Kassam noted that private citizens might object to relaxing the D.C. gun laws only for members of Congress, a criticism Gohmert wholeheartedly agreed with.
“Oh, no, absolutely not,” he said. “I had a reciprocal carry bill, and of course it included everybody. Anybody in Washington that has a permit in the states they come from that would allow them to carry a weapon, they would be allowed to carry in Washington D.C. No, it’s not a special rule for members of Congress. It’s for anybody. That suits the heck out of me, because the more law-abiding peace-loving people that are carrying guns, the better it is for everybody, including members of Congress.”
Kassam asked if purveyors of the most extreme and hateful rhetoric against Republicans bear some responsibility for pushing the Virginia shooter over the edge.
“Some do, some don’t,” Gohmert replied. “There are some that detest violence. There’s nothing wrong with arguing vociferously, getting out and debating and having passion in your debate. There’s nothing wrong with that, whether you’re Republican, Democrat, or aardvark, it doesn’t matter.”
“But what does matter is when you lie about what the other people are doing, and cast them as being such villains that gee, stabbing the president multiple times, cutting off his head, taking all Republicans out – that’s the spark that gets a fire going that burns too many people, and it needs to stop,” he said.