Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise (R-1s Dist.) is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. It came as no surprise to his constituents back home that, even after he’d been shot by a gunman intent on a murderous rampage, Scalise neither blamed the firearm itself nor advocated for stricter gun control.
On June 14, 2017, Scalise and other Republican congressman were practicing for a congressional baseball game at a park in Alexandria, Va., when James T. Hodgkinson of Illinois opened fire on them with a rifle. Hodgkinson, according to multiple news sources, had a list on him with the names of six members of Congress—all Republicans—and planned to kill them. A supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders during Sanders’ failed run for the presidency, Hodgkinson apparently hated President Donald Trump. That day, he ended up wounding five people before he himself was shot and killed by police.
Seriously wounded in the attack, Scalise has had multiple surgeries to repair the damage he suffered. He was readmitted to the hospital last month because of an infection related to his bullet wounds.
As Scalise’s congressional website notes, “In the 112th Congress, Scalise introduced H.R. 58, the Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act, which improves law-abiding citizens’ ability to purchase firearms. The bills Scalise has recently cosponsored include H.R.645, a bill to restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia and the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, H.R.822, which would ensure national reciprocity for concealed carry permit holders. Congressman Scalise’s pro-gun stance has earned him an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association. A member of the Congressional Second Amendment Task Force, Congressman Steve Scalise will continue fighting to protect every citizen’s Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”
After the shootings, gun-control supporters demanded ever more firearms regulations. But the congressmen who had been shot, all of whom are Scalise’s colleagues, called for something different: new laws to allow concealed carry in Washington, D.C., so people could protect themselves in the case of another similar event.
As the New York Times reported in early July, in the weeks following the shootings, “Conservative lawmakers, some of whom were nearly the victims of gun violence, have pressed to loosen gun controls. Three bills introduced in the Republican-held House during the past two weeks would allow lawmakers to almost always carry a concealed weapon. A fourth would allow concealed carry permits obtained in other states to be recognized in the District of Columbia.”
The Republican Majority Whip, Scalise has been working when his health has allowed, including taking conference calls with other members of Congress. He will no doubt be reasserting himself as a strong proponent of the Second Amendment for his constituents back in Louisiana once he is fully recovered.
— Brian McCombie, U.S. Law Shield Contributor