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Steve Scalise says mass shootings are the cost of the Second Amendment

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Just weeks after his return to Congress following life-threatening injuries sustained from a shooting at a congressional baseball practice over the summer, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) appeared on Fox News Tuesday morning to defend the Second Amendment, claiming that deadly shootings were the price of freedom.

During a Fox & Friends interview, Scalise was specifically asked how he felt about gun control given that he himself had been shot and given the recent shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead and scores more injured.

“It’s what our Founding Fathers envisioned. If you go and look at the writings of our Founding Fathers, they believe strongly in the rights of people to arm themselves for self-defense,” said Scalise. “And that’s something that’s still strong today, and you see threats against it.”

Scalise added that this is “part of our Constitution” and the cost of living in a free America.

“…Look, people need to tone down the rhetoric,” he said. “This is part of our Constitution in our country. Go read what Thomas Jefferson wrote, what John Adams wrote about the importance of people having firearms to protect themselves.”

Following the Las Vegas shooting — the deadliest in modern American history — support for stricter gun control legislation has hit an all-time high.

According to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, 60 percent of respondents support tightening gun laws (the previous record high was 54 percent from a June Quinnipiac poll). Respondents were asked if they support banning devices like bump-stocks, which allow gun owners to modify semi-automatic weapons to function like fully automatic weapons.

The Las Vegas gunman was reported to have used bump-stocks on the semi-automatic weapons found in his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, according to officials. The add-on devices helped him achieve the same rapid fire as an automatic weapon, which have been banned in the United States for decades.

In the wake of the shooting, Republicans and Democrats in Congress have begun taking a closer look at the legality of bump-stocks and similar devices. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said in a news conference last week that a “regulatory fix is the smartest, quickest fix.”

“We are still trying to assess why ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) let this go through in the first place,” Paul added.

The National Rifle Association also released a statement following the shooting in which spokespersons said devices like bump-stocks should be subject to “addition regulation.”

The NRA, however, didn’t call for any legislation, only an ATF review of whether the devices comply with current law. In the same statement, the NRA urged Congress to pass “National Right-to-Carry reciprocity,” which would make it easier for gun owners to carry across state lines.

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