Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy recently gave a lengthy, but critical response to the senseless shooting incident in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed by a lone gunman.
The South Carolina congressman previously served as a federal prosecutor and spoke to the ability to prevent such an attack and the importance of knowing whether adding more laws is the best solution.
Gowdy points to mental illness, medication, or cultural provocations as potential contributing factors, BizPac Review reports, and highlights that the Obama administration led an 8-year decline in gun prosecutions.
Per the report:
“What do you tell Americans who think Congress does not act, be it on mental health or guns or pick your topic,” Fox News host Bill Hemmer said.
“Well the first thing I would say to — to this generation of children is how sorry I am,” Gowdy responded. “You have witnessed school shootings and mall shootings, concert shootings. There is no place that seems safe in our society.”
“So as devastating as the loss of life is, the loss of innocence for this generation of children — I don’t know anyone who would not pass a bill today that would prevent the next mass shooting,” the congressman said.
“But — but to Senator Rubio’s point, you got to find out how he accessed the gun,” Gowdy continued. “You got to find out whether or not there was a data point at some point in his background where someone could have reported it. Whether or not he accessed the gun legally or illegally.”
“Usually at about this time, Bill, we hear about the gun show loophole,” the South Carolina congressman said. “Fine, close that gun show loophole. But how many mass killings have resulted from guns purchased at gun shows? So my criticism of the Obama administration was, we had an eight year decline in gun prosecutions.”
“My objective is to prosecute the person before he takes a life,” said Gowdy, who reportedly intends to return to a career in law enforcement. “Enforce the laws for which the Obama administration said there is no jury appeal. I get it. I used to prosecute them. There is no jury appeal in prosecuting a prohibited person. There is jury appeal in a murder case. But — but our goal should be to avoid the murder. So, if you can show me a law that will prevent the next mass killing, go ahead and sign me up for it.”
“I think people listening at home would say, sir,” Hemmer replied, “once the facts emerge the topic itself is forgotten and we move to the next thing or the next battle or debate or again pick whatever topic you want to on the hill. But there doesn’t seem to be movement toward protecting America’s kids. That’s a strong indictment.”
“I would respectfully say to them I think there has been some movement in the last 12 months,” Gowdy said. “We were very clear to attorney general Sessions that we are disappointed that the gun prosecutions went down for eight years.”
“So before we begin to advocate for new laws,” Gowdy continued, “I think it is imminently fair to say how are we doing enforcing the ones we currently have? There are a long list of prohibited people from possessing a single bullet much less a gun. A long list of prohibited people including those who have been adjudicated mentally ill. How are we doing enforcing the current laws? If all we do is pass another law, that an attorney general and U.S. Attorneys won’t enforce. I don’t know how it makes people safer.”
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