June 5, 2022

Republicans continue to blame everything and anything other than easy access to guns in the United States for the fact that we've got more deaths by gun violence than any other civilized country in the world. During an interview on this weekend's Fox News Sunday, Rep. Steve Scalise, who is a shooting victim himself, called red flag laws "unconstitutional" and attacked Democrats who would like to pass some sensible gun control laws for supposedly wanting to take away everyone's guns.

Host John Roberts asked Scalise about the fact that the United States leading the world in gun violence, and here's how that exchange went.

ROBERTS: You know, Congressman, it's -- I mean, it's a great thought to think that we can prevent all of these things, but, you know, as people said after 9/11, when we are trying to prevent a terrorist attack, we've got to be right every time and they only need to be right once, and we still see people getting through the system, people falling through the cracks.

Let me move ahead to what's going on in this country, because in terms of the developed world, the United States far and away leads every other nation in the developed world in terms of gun violence. Take a look at this graph. The US way out in front with four deaths per 100,000 people. The next closest nation is Cyprus, way behind at just below .7 deaths per 100 people. What you think is responsible for that discrepancy?

SCALISE: Well, in a lot of those countries -- first of all, I mean, you look at America, in the last couple of years you've seen this crazy defund the police movement, but you've also seen a movement that's been going on for a few years in big cities where the DA's already been prosecuting criminals, until it is shooting or a violent crime, and they're letting criminals back out on the streets and then inevitably what you see is higher rates of crime. And what you are also seeing is more and more American citizens, law-abiding citizens are buying guns to defend themselves.

It's happening in every demographic you can imagine where you have large increases of people buying guns, because if they can't have faith that their local police department that's been defunded can arrive quickly or if the DA's going to let the criminal out, they're their only line of defense, so people are buying guns more to defend themselves against crime, but crime is out of control and a lot of big cities.

But by the way, if you look at what happened in those cities, you see a lot of things with the defund the police movement, with letting people out, no cash bail come over there making it easier for people to commit crimes. Look at the smash-and-grab crimes. Do think it's going to end there if they think they can get away with a crime, they're not going to be charged, they will going to commit more crimes and worse crimes. It's happened in other places. Let's get back to regular policing.

Roberts, of course, was about as useful as a potted plant, and just moved right along to the next question. Never mind that no one is actually "defunding the police," and the fact that this nonexistent bogeyman of theirs is not responsible for the disparity in gun violence Roberts was asking about.

Republicans couldn't care less how many dead Americans we have, as long as that NRA blood money continues to flow into their campaign coffers. Don't expect any of them in the House or the Senate to vote for any meaningful gun legislation, even if they do manage to get a few of them to vote for some half-baked measures in the Senate.

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