One would have thought Steve Scalise, R-La., would have developed some humanity after nearly getting killed by a bullet in a random shooting. But no. If you listen to his recent Fox News interview when he was asked, “Will that experience change how you think or vote?” it is pretty clear he is still the same NRA lackey he was before. His response was, “I think it’s fortified it” Scalise said. “We shouldn’t first be thinking of promoting our political agenda. And I think we see too much of that, where people say OK, now you have to have gun control.” He continues to be one of the Republicans bought and paid for by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and will continue to be their lackey. I wonder when the next opportunity to vote on LGBT or other civil or equal rights legislation comes up will having his life saved by two African Americans, one of whom was a Lesbian, make a difference on how he votes on those issues.
Scalise will have a number of opportunities to speak out again and vote on NRA issues in the near future. From his recent statement it can be assumed he will continue to do what he and 115 other NRA supporters in Congress did after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando; offer prayers and then do nothing other than look in a mirror and convince themselves they are right.
He won’t have to vote on H.R. 367 called the Hearing Protection Act of 2017. The hearing on this bill first postponed because of his shooting and now because of the Las Vegas massacre has been shelved indefinitely by Speaker Ryan Paul (R-WI). It is the bill that makes it easier for Americans to buy silencers for their weapons. One would think voting no on this would be a no-brainer. The bill “amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) eliminate the $200 transfer tax on firearm silencers, and (2) treat any person who acquires or possesses a firearm silencer as meeting any registration or licensing requirements of the National Firearms Act with respect to such silencer. Any person who pays a transfer tax on a silencer after October 22, 2015, may receive a refund of such tax. It also amends the federal criminal code to preempt state or local laws that tax or regulate firearm silencers.” The idea that Americans need silencers on their guns is ludicrous.
In supporting the NRA what Scalise willingly disregards are the first three words of the Second Amendment. The amendment reads “A well regulated” Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” So the Constitution itself uses the word regulate. Who does Scalise think should regulate the ability of the man who shot him and others that day on the baseball field to buy a gun if not the Congress. Who should regulate the ability of the lunatic who killed more than 59 and wounded over 500 in Las Vegas to buy a gun? If left to Scalise and the NRA there would be ZERO regulation of any firearm or any person using one. He agrees to keep someone on a no-fly list because they are a danger to others but won’t agree to keep them from buying a gun.
I don’t expect Scalise to turn around and vote to ban all guns. Most Americans aren’t for that. People should be allowed to own rifles to hunt with and in some cases especially in rural areas they might feel the need to have a gun to protect their homes. But any rational person must see the number of guns in the United States, estimated at 300 million, nearly one for every man, woman and child, constitutes insanity.
NRA keeps saying a ‘good person with a gun’ keeps a ‘bad person with a gun’ from hurting people. How would that good person have protected against that bad person on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel from spraying rapid fire bullets on the innocent crowd below; killing over 59 and injuring over 500. This home-grown terrorist who had 23 guns in his hotel room and owned nearly 50. Who in their right mind believes that is OK and something the 2nd amendment was written to protect.
While one can be thankful on a human level Scalise survived his ordeal, unless it instilled some sort of humanity in him, which it doesn’t appear it did, I am not applauding his return to Congress. Perhaps his wife and children could convince him to talk to former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), the survivors of Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando and the parents of the children gunned down at Sandy Hook to see how they are processing what happened to them and their loved ones. Maybe in addition to his nearly dying it might be enough for him to have a change of mind and heart on how he votes on common sense gun control in the future.
Then is another outrageous bill on the docket backed by the NRA. H.R.38 “that would force each state to recognize the concealed carry standards from every other state, even those that have dramatically weaker standards – and those that don’t require any permit at all.” Will Scalise vote for this bill and will he allow Americans with concealed weapons to walk the halls of the Capitol and come into his office? Will he support the calls for members of Congress to have taxpayer funded security? Or will he vote for the bill, continue to support not allowing weapons of any kind, concealed or not, in the Capitol or his office, but say to all other Americans you are on your own where you work and in your offices. Will Scalise speak out against ‘bump stocks’ the $200 part that turned a semi-automatic weapon into the more deadly automatic weapon that mowed down all those innocent people in Las Vegas. Will he vote for one of the background check bills now in the Congress?
Will hypocrisy and inhumanity allow Scalise and other members of Congress continue to say they are praying for innocent Americans killed by guns they refuse to regulate yet do nothing to help stop the slaughter. One can only hope the God Scalise said he prayed to when he came close to death will grant him some kind of epiphany along with the guts to finally say NO to the NRA.
It is way past time to do something about guns in our country; way past time to vote out politicians who say they are praying for victims of gun violence and then doing nothing about it. Way past time to join the rest of the civilized world, regulate gun sales, and make our country a safer place to live.