Steve Scalise Supported the Lack of Laws and Regulations That Allowed His Shooting to Happen

A good-sized chunk of Representative Steve Scalise's congressional career has been devoted to making guns easier to get. Scalise, a Louisiana Republican who is the Majority Whip in the House of Representatives, was one of five victims shot by James T. Hodgkinson in Alexandria, Virginia. The wannabe mass murderer was carrying a semiautomatic rifle and a pistol. Hodgkinson was gunned down and killed by Capitol police, but he had apparently come to the baseball field to specifically take out Republicans. A motivation beyond a deranged vision of how to achieve progressive goals hasn't been announced.

Scalise is proudly, even obnoxiously devoted to the Second Amendment. He has an A+ rating from the NRA and a 100% pro-gun voting record, and he has, on many occasions, spoken against any laws that might even minimally effect the free acquisition of all kinds of guns, including the kind of rifle used today on him.

On April 25, 2013, Scalise made a floor speech where he used the Sandy Hook massacre of children to support the rights of gun owners. "I think they counted over 40 different laws that were broken by the Sandy Hook murderer," Scalise said. "Then somebody is going to tell you that one more law, which makes it harder for law-abiding citizens to get a gun, would have stopped him from doing that." The congressman doesn't mention that a law banning assault weapons would have actually slowed down Adam Lanza. And we're not even allowed to discuss banning handguns anymore, which would have done a great deal to stop the bloodshed.

Scalise co-sponsored a resolution that praised the Supreme Court for its Heller decision that eliminated limits on gun ownership in Washington, D.C. Prior to the decision, he had co-sponsored a bill that would have done the same thing, including repealing the ban on semiautomatic guns. And he co-wrote a 2015 letter to the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives condemning a reclassification of a kind of bullet. In the letter, he talks about the "the failed 'Assault Weapons Ban.'"

A more substantial action was that he voted to overturn President Obama's rule that prevented people who had been determined to be mentally ill from purchasing guns. I'd also bet that Scalise supports laws that allow people arrested for domestic violence to retain their guns. Hodgkinson had been charged several times for that kind of assault.

Look, this isn't a "blame the victim" type of thing. There is nothing that Steve Scalise did today that brought on the shooting. And I hope he and all the other victims recover fully.  But if a pig is gonna build a house out of straw, he shouldn't be too shocked when a wolf comes along to blow it down. It'd be something like a miracle if this caused Scalise to reconsider his blind devotion to the NRA and its perverse version of the Second Amendment.

More likely, though, it will just make him and his firearms-mad colleagues double-down and demand even more guns and fewer restrictions. And they will blame Kathy Griffin, Shakespeare in the Park, Black Lives Matter, angry liberals, and anyone and anything for this rather than take a single second to look in the hospital mirror to ask what they could do differently.

Like maybe stop talking romantically about using guns to solve problems.