- The Washington Times - Friday, February 16, 2018

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who nearly died last year after being shot by a leftist gunman at a Republican congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, said there’s no “magic unicorn law” that will prevent mass shootings in the U.S.

Appearing on Fox News’ “Ingraham Angle” Thursday evening, Mr. Scalise criticized Democrats for rushing to call for stricter gun control laws before getting all the facts in Wednesday’s high school shooting that claimed 17 lives in Parkland, Florida.

“It’s disgraceful,” the Louisiana Republican said. “Any time there’s any kind of tragedy — a shooting, a bombing, whatever — immediately, you’ve got a group of legislators that go run out and start calling for gun control to take away the rights of law-abiding citizens. And they don’t know the fact of that particular event. And again, look at their bills, read their bills. They have nothing to do with these kind of shootings.

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“What I first think we need to do is pray for the people that died,” he said. “The prayers helped me tremendously, and unfortunately, there are some on the left that actually mock praying for people. … I needed those prayers. Those prayers helped me and my family at a really difficult time and you could feel them. These families need prayer, they need counseling, they need help.”

Nikolas Cruz, 19, could face the death penalty after he fatally shot 17 people and wounded at least 14 others Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The school shooting, the worst since 2012’s Sandy Hook massacre, has once again reignited the country’s gun control debate.

Mr. Scalise said there’s no law that could have prevented Wednesday’s tragedy or others like it.

“If you think there’s some magic unicorn law that’s going to stop it from happening, just keep in mind that he violated probably dozens of laws already, including murdering people,” he said. “That’s against the law. So, this idea that one magic law is going to stop the next one from happening, it’s not.

“What you do see in common, number one, you see a lot of mental illness in common,” he continued. “But you also see gun-free zones. Shooters know that if you go to a gun-free zone, you’re the only one with a gun nobody else has. Fortunately, with me, I had two law enforcement agents that were with me that had guns that could counter the shooter, and ultimately, that’s what took him down. It was other people with guns that took down this shooter.

“Every day in America there are people that use guns to stop crimes, to defend their own families,” he added. “That’s what our Founding Fathers wrote about, by the way. They believed in an innate right of people to have guns for self-defense, and these people that want to take away your rights, guised under all of these tragedies, go pray for the families, care about these families, don’t try to promote your agenda in the middle of a tragedy.”

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