In 2015, Gov Terry McAuliffe made national news by moving to ban the carrying of guns in state buildings, and empowering law enforcement broader authority to crack down on such crimes. Today, while being asked about a still-breaking tragedy in his state, of an attack on Republican congressmen practicing for a bipartisan charity game tomorrow, he went back to his knee-jerk political position, rather than just respect the moment.
During a CNN interview shortly have 11am ET, anchor Kate Bolduan asked the Virginia governor, “What can you say about what happened today?” After a brief few words praising the “coming together of everyone” in law enforcement, he launched into an awkward gun control rant that left Bolduan in the position of having to segue back into the story.
“Well, listen this is a very sad situation,” McAuliffe said. “We’ve got to find out about this individual,” he continued. “Your job is governor is to keep your community safe, and that’s you’re number one job. And I have said we have got to do a better job. This gentleman who we going to a shootout at a ballfield where people were having practice for a charity event, obviously this man should never have been in possession of a firearm. And we has a nation, and all of us need to come together in a bipartisan way to stop the gun violence we have. 93 individuals a day are killed in America. I unfortunately just had to give the eulogy for a great Virginia state trooper who lost his life on the streets of Richmond. We’ve got to get serious about this issue.”
Perhaps confused by his prepared remarks on gun control, Bolduan turned it back to the story, saying, “I do want to ask you though, we can hold the conversation about the gun control debate for another moment, because I do want to ask you about this breaking news situation we are dealing with…”
Speaker Paul Ryan, and his counterpart minority leader Nancy Pelosi showed the civility and respect that should be held today for the situation, when they praised the law enforcement officers (the only armed individuals there) who protected the innocent, tended to the wounded, and took bullets for those they were protecting. Then, they both encouraged their respective caucuses to set aside partisan disagreement, and love each other for our humanity, our families, and our care for public service.
As for hitting back at such gun control nonsense, Rep Mo Brooks (R-SC) appeared ready to respond when he was prematurely asked about gun control by a reporter, “does this change your views on the gun situation in America?” His response was epic:
“Not with respect to the second amendment. The second amendment right to bear arms is to ensure that we always have a republic. And as with any constitution provision in the Bill of Rights, there are adverse aspects to each of those right that we enjoy as people. And what we just saw here is one of the bad side effects of someone not exercising those rights properly.
But, we’re not going to get rid of freedom of speech because some peoples ay some really ugly things that hurt other people’s feelings. We’re not going to get rid of Fourth Amendment search and seizure rights because it allows some criminals to go free who should be behind bars. These rights are there to protect Americans, and while each of them has a negative aspect to them they are fundamental to our being the greatest nation in world history.
So no, I’m not changing my position on any of the rights we enjoy as Americans. With respect to this particular shooter, I’d really like to know more about him – whether he was an ex-felon, by way of example, who should not have had possession of a firearm – I’d like to know other things about his background before I pass judgment.”
In 1783, Sir William Blackstone paraphrased the philosopher Voltaire when he said, “For the law holds, that it is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.” Voltaire believed that violating the freedom of even one innocent man was worse than allowing bad men from attempting to do so. I agree.
A nation of innocents suffer when we allow our security and prosperity to be controlled by a few assuring us they will eliminate the effects of human nature that only God and nature can. Thankfully, we have men and women like Mo Brooks who understand this principle, and continue to safeguard our Founders’ principles in Washington, D.C.