Rep. Gohmert: Don't Blame the Guns, Blame the Shooter

Tuesday, 17 Sep 2013 07:00 PM

By Jim Meyers and John Bachman

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Rep. Louie Gohmert tells Newsmax the American people are on his side in his efforts to defund the "plague" of Obamacare.

In a multifaceted interview, the Texas Republican also supports defunding elements of the IRS to force authorities to "come clean" about the agency's targeting of conservative organizations.

And he asserts it isn't the guns that are responsible for Monday's shootings at the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard and other shooting tragedies — it's "the people who use them."

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Story continues below video.



Gohmert was elected in 2004. He is a member of the Judiciary Committee and the Tea Party Caucus.

Many Republicans are holding firm on their promise not to sign off on a stopgap spending measure unless it also defunds Obamacare.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV on Tuesday, Gohmert comments: "First, you can't even get the Senate to propose a serious budget, and so the House has been the only one that has been serious about trying to fix the problems that are plaguing America with overspending.

"When it comes to Obamacare, the American public is on our side. They understand it is devastating people. It is causing so many to lose the insurance they had. It's running up the cost of insurance dramatically. It's devastating the economy and people's opportunity to have full-time work, bringing in many full-time workers to part-time work and causing them to have to work a number of jobs — all of those without actual health insurance.

"It is a disaster and knowing that, Republicans want to make sure that Americans do not have this plague any further pushed upon them, and the way to do that is to defund Obamacare.

"We have a bill where a number of good conservatives have signed on saying, 'Here is where we're willing to end up in a compromise.' This just delays Obamacare for a couple of years. I'm not sure that's sufficient for me. For goodness sakes, we need to defund Obamacare."

Steve Forbes said Republicans should counter President Obama's claim that the GOP has no alternative to Obamacare by putting together a bill in the House and presenting it to the president.

Asked if there is a chance that could happen, Gohmert says: "I've got the impression that our speaker is not planning on having an alternative in one bill.

"Well, it should happen. It's going to take some debate and putting a bill together that we can jointly agree on — but you remember the president promised the American people would see a totally transparent process — we'd get Americans involved. He even said wouldn't it be great to see this all play out on CSPAN.

"That's what we need to do to make sure the American people are involved. But when you have a disastrous sinking ship, I don't think you continue to tell people to stay on the sinking ship until everybody drowns. Go to the lifeboats. Let's get a big, better ship, construct it with Americans participating, and actually have them buy into the process.

"A majority of Americans have never wanted Obamacare. They're on our side. So what you hear in this stuff from the Democrats about 'where's the alternative?' We've got plenty of alternatives, but we need to have this debate in front of the American people, with the American people participating, and then have a bill that's not 2,500 or 2,700 pages long — short enough that Americans can get it."

Gohmert has also floated the idea of defunding the executive branch if it does not comply with his Judicial Committee's demands for transparency in the IRS targeting scandal.

He explains: "You don't defund the entire executive branch — there are parts that are too important. But you start defunding the president's favorite parts, and if the IRS will not come clean on their answers, then we have to defund the parts of the IRS that will not respond.

Latest: Do You Support Background Checks on Gun Buyers? Vote in Urgent Poll

"Let's defund all of the executives that are refusing to put together the answers that we're seeking. And if that doesn't work, you continue to defund more of the IRS until it's all defunded, or in the alternative, they start being honest and truthful so that we can get those who may have committed criminal acts in violation of federal law.

"If you defund all those executives in the Department of Justice or ATF who are holding things up, not the rank and file people who are protecting America, then I would imagine we'll start getting answers in a hurry."

Gohmert recently visited Egypt along with Reps. Steve King and Michele Bachmann.
"It wasn't only Egypt but in meeting with leaders of some of our allies privately, they're shocked," Gohmert says.

"We just sent several hundred tons of weapons to the Muslim Brothers or the al-Qaida-backed rebels in Syria. They don't understand it, and frankly some of our allies are concerned. Since we threw the Northern Alliance under the bus in Afghanistan, threw Mubarak under the bus in Egypt, threw Gadhafi, who'd been a very staunch ally since 2003, they're wondering if they are going to be the next allies of the United States to find themselves in trouble and cast aside by this administration. That's a very dangerous way to be conducting foreign policy.

"We should not be going into Syria. You've got a bad guys' leader backed by Iran and you've got the al-Qaida Muslim Brotherhood. You've got Shia vs. Sunni. You've got Hezbollah vs. al-Qaida. It is not a good situation to be in the middle of, and one of the things they've pointed out (is that) in the Middle East, firing bombs or missiles into Syria could destabilize [President Bashar] Assad, and then once again you have another radical Islamic-controlled country."

Monday's mass shootings in Washington have already sparked calls from the left for stricter gun control. But Gohmert feels mental health is "absolutely" more to blame than firearms.

"Mental health seems to be playing into the Newtown [Conn.] shooting, the Colorado shooting," he tells Newsmax.

"It obviously has an affect and it's interesting that these people seem to have a common tie with extremely violent video games. And if they have mental health issues and play extremely violent video games, they seem to have trouble distinguishing between what is reality and what isn't.

"But it is important to note that it is our own system that's breaking down. How in the world do you give a legitimate ID to a guy who got ousted out of the Navy for gunfire incidents? How do you give this guy access to anything?

"I'd be all for everybody keeping their sidearms if they're in the military and on a military installation. That's something we need to get back to.

"I see a lot of problems here and blaming this on guns is like saying the big problem with obesity is we've got too many spoons. It's not the spoons, it's not the guns. It's the people who have them. There's a lot of things that need to be done, but one of them is to deal with the mental health of people who have guns."




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