House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) explained his firm pro-Second Amendment stance to ‘View’ host Whoopi Goldberg Tuesday.
Goldberg told Scalise that she was “a bit surprised” that after he was shot by a man targeting Republicans at a Congressional baseball practice in June 2017 he doesn’t “seem to have an idea that there may be some more gun control that we need to work on with stuff like this.”
Scalise said that he’s gotten that question a lot since the incident and his views didn’t change because they are rooted in the nation’s founding principles.
“Three and a half months later I came back to Congress and got to get back to work again and I had people that would ask me ‘you know so are your views different on gun control,’” he said.
“I’ve got deep-rooted conservative beliefs but they’re rooted in what the fundamental foundation of this country is based on,” he emphasized.
Rep. @SteveScalise explains why his views on gun control have not changed since he was shot last year: "I've got deep-rooted conservative beliefs, but they're rooted in what the fundamental foundation of this country is based on." https://t.co/f8u2wc159S pic.twitter.com/OHNwka2za3— The View (@TheView) December 4, 2018
He pointed out how important the right to self-defense was to the founding fathers.
“I mean when the Constitution was written initially they didn’t have a protection for guns because our founders just thought it was an assumed right,” he said, “later they added it in the Bill of Rights as the Second Amendment but they felt very strongly that every American has the right to defend themselves.”
Scalise added that it was important to enforce the law properly.
“There are bad people out there you know whether they have guns or knives or bombs there are a lot of laws on the books,” he said, “if somebody goes and uses a gun to commit a crime they’ve broken a series of laws to get there and so let’s enforce the laws better.”
He praised the passage of bipartisan laws that are aimed at addressing people with mental health issues and their access to guns.
“There’s usually a common thread in a lot of these shooters that there are mental health issues,” he said. “We just passed new laws, and they were very bipartisan so they didn’t get a lot of attention, but laws that help close a lot of those loopholes and coordinate a lot of the mental health problems in this country so that if somebody does have serious mental illness they’re going to be taken care of in a better way.”
Later in their discussion, Goldberg argued that the founding fathers “did say militia” in the Second Amendment.
Scalise responded by citing the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller.
“The Supreme Court by the way answered this question a few years ago,” he said, “it was a 5-4 decision which is concerning I mean it should’ve been a 9-0 decision, but the Supreme Court said very clearly that you can own a gun not just as a member of the military but also individually to protect yourself and so that is the true meaning of the Second Amendment.”
He encouraged Goldberg to “go back and read what our founding fathers talked about before they wrote Constitution,” saying, “this was a fundamental belief.”