Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee refused to allow Rep. Steve Scalise, a target and victim of gun violence, to give testimony in Wednesday’s hearing on gun control. Scalise nearly lost his life in the congressional baseball practice shooting less than two years ago.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said the “Hearing on Preventing Gun Violence in America” planned to “hear from a broad array of witnesses, representing diverse perspectives on the issue of gun violence.” But when the ranking Republican Rep. Doug Collins asked if Scalise could give his testimony in the hearing, Democrats said no.
Nadler said majority members denied Scalise’s testimony because they had too many members who wanted to testify.
“The uniqueness of Mr. Scalise’s testimony, being denied this voice is a tragic for all who attend…and just because he probably disagrees with the majority should not have been a reason to keep him out,” Collins responded.
In his opening statement, Nadler said other witnesses in the hearing would, “Educate us on the scope of the problem, and they will inform our consideration of various legislative options, so that we may—at last—take real action to address this crisis.”
Despite being nearly fatally wounded and undergoing the trauma of gun violence himself, Scalise is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.
“It was people with guns who saved my life and so many others that morning in June 2017,” Scalise told Fox News. “[Democrats’] answer to gun violence is to limit the rights of law-abiding citizens. Frankly, they ought to be focusing on punishing the criminals.”
In full testimony Scalise planned to give, which you can read here, he explains how the legislation Democrats are considering would not have prevented his shooting or any number of recent mass shootings.
“H.R. 8 would not deter a criminal from engaging in criminal activity, and it won’t decrease gun crime,” Scalise wrote. “Instead, it only succeeds in limiting the ways that law-abiding citizens could exercise their Second Amendment rights.”