Rep. Mo Brooks wasn’t taking the bait dangled in front of him by Fox News’ Sandra Smith during a Sunday interview discussing, among other things, the tragic mass murder of children and adults in Uvalde, Texas, last week.
Smith began a segment by holding up a survey that showed a small majority of Americans favor stricter gun laws.
“The minimum age in your state to buy an AR-15, like the one the school shooter used in Uvalde, is 18 years old. There’s no waiting period between the time a firearm is purchased and when its turned over to the buyer. There’s no license for the sale of ammunition.
“Gallup does find that a majority of Americans, 52 percent of them, are in favor of stricter gun laws when it comes to the sale of firearms,” Smith told the Alabama Republican who is running for a U.S. Senate seat in his state.
“So, to the majority of Americans who feel that way, you say what?” the Fox News host then asked.
Brooks began by saying he doubted the accuracy of the survey, saying it likely did not reflect a true majority of Americans’ views.
“I suspect that the people who were polled, by way of example, were not properly explained what the purpose of the Second Amendment right to bear arms is,” he said.
The Constitution’s Second Amendment states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
But gun reform advocates frequently argue that the first part of the Amendment about a “regulated Militia” is no longer valid, as the U.S. now has a strong and well-trained standing military. Second Amendment advocates counter by noting the amendment has two parts, adding that “the right of the people” to “bear arms” is unrelated to serving in a militia or the military.
The GOP lawmaker went on to say that he went to school as a child “many times” with a shotgun in his car. “Why? Because I just got through duck hunting,” he said, adding that there were other teenagers like him that brought weapons to school at the time.
“Back when I was growing up, we didn’t have these mass killings,” Brooks continued. “They weren’t there. They didn’t occur. Or if they did, I certainly wasn’t cognizant of them and they were very, very rare—so rare that I cannot recall a single incident in which those things occurred during my youth.”
He went on to say that mass shootings in schools are “much more common” today because of a “decline in moral values, the decline in respect for human life.” He said young people need to be “properly” taught better moral values and that the country needs to address “mental health issues” as well, according to Newsweek.
“That is the way to fix the problem,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tasked Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) with the job of holding talks with Democrats to try and find compromise legislation on some stricter controls.