The Second Amendment is under attack again from the Oregon community college shootings because “there’s a visceral reaction when there’s a tragedy to talk about firearms,” Rep. David Schweikert told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.
“But the reality, if you want to have an honest conversation about what is happening in our society, you’ve got to be willing to actually do something that’s uncomfortable for a lot of people — and that is look at actual data,” the Arizona Republican told “Newsmax Prime” host J.D. Hayworth in an interview.
“There’s data out there that say, do you know today there are half as many mass shootings as there were 30, 35 years ago?” Schweikert added. “And people have trouble believing that. “What has occurred in our society that is actually working?
“It’s interesting, because that’s disharmonious to a lot of the folks on the left that seek to control firearms as the way to make us safer,” he said.
On October 1, eight students and a teacher were killed and nine others wounded when Christopher Harper-Mercer, 26, entered an Umpqua Community College classroom and began firing. He asked students to stand up and state their religion. If they responded that they were Christians, he shot them.
Turning to the race for House speaker, Schweikert is a founding member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, which played a critical role in the move to replace House Speaker John Boehner at the end of the month. The caucus supports Florida Rep. Daniel Webster.
Other candidates seeking the post include Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and Texas Rep. Bill Flores. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is under increasing pressure to seek the post. The 2012 vice presidential candidate has repeatedly said that he was not interested in being speaker.
“Let’s face it, Webster is not nearly as conservative as many of us, but he’s made it very clear he would follow the rules of the House — therefore giving everyone a fair shot,” Schweikert told Hayworth. “And this is really more about the opportunity for legislators to be able to legislate.”
He said Ryan, who has a wife and three young children, told him last week that he was against seeking the speakership. “He was pretty tough on the fact he had no interest,” the congressman said. “The moderate speaker, it’s a tough job. “You have tremendous weight on your shoulders to raise money — and for someone with children, that would be a really tough lifestyle.”