Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) pleaded with lawmakers on Monday not to enact knee-jerk reaction gun control legislation in response to two back-to-back mass shootings over the weekend, and to only consider legislation if it will actually adequately prevent future mass shootings.
“Legislators need to look at the laws we have on the books — are they being enforced? If the answer is yes, [then] we still have gaps in our laws that need to be fixed,” Gowdy said during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
“Keep in mind, you don’t have a single right for which there is not some corresponding responsibility or restriction. Every right you have has a restriction,” he continued. “If we need more restrictions, then draw the causal scientific link between what you’re proposing and what you hope to be the outcome.”
Gowdy’s remarks were in response to an outpouring of calls for Congress to pass anti-gun legislation following two separate mass shootings that occurred within hours of one another over the weekend. A gunman opened fire in a Walmart shopping complex in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, murdering more than 20 individuals and injuring over two dozen others. A second attacker took the lives of 9 people and injured nearly 30 others after he gunned down people in a bar in Dayton, Ohio, early Sunday morning.
“The right to life is the most fundamental, basic, primary right that we have — it is the right from which all other rights emanate,” the former South Carolina congressman said. “It doesn’t matter if you have a right to a law if you’re dead. It doesn’t matter if you have the right to free speech if you’re dead. It doesn’t matter if you have the right to keep and bear arms if you’re dead.”
“On a personal level, I’m willing to subrogate any of my other rights to avoid another Sandy Hook, another Pulse nightclub, another day like we had yesterday,” he continued.
In the aftermath of the violent attacks, Democratic lawmakers were quick to blame President Donald Trump, Fox News, and the National Rifle Association for the tragedy. They subsequently seized upon the mass shooting to promote gun control legislation — a platform that the Democratic Party has long pushed.
Nearly every 2020 Democratic presidential candidate immediately called for a variety of strict firearm legislation, including universal background checks, banning of “assault weapons,” enacting a nationwide gun buyback program, and so-called “red-flag laws,” which allow for temporary gun confiscation for individuals deemed a danger to oneself or to others. Democrats have yet to present fact-based evidence that any of these proposals either would have prevented past mass shootings or would thwart future mass shootings.
“More laws that are not going to be enforced is a panacea, and it’s not going to work,” Gowdy said. “Show me a law to prevent the next Sandy Hook and sign me up as a husband and father.”
“Show me the law and sign me up, and I’ll give up any other right I have,” he added.