Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., on Sunday blasted Democrats for "wanting to take away guns" in response to mass shootings like the one in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 fourth-graders and two teachers.
In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Scalise said red-flag laws in 19 states are unconstitutional.
"When you have a shooting, instead of sitting down and asking 'OK, what is really causing this, why do we see these happening more and more in the last few years,' it immediately becomes a debate about taking away guns," he said.
"We need to be focused more on stopping things before they happen," he said. "This isn't something that we are having a conversation about right now, and it should be. It immediately becomes about Democrats wanting to take away guns.
"Under the guise of a red flag, they take away due process where they literally can come into your house and take away your gun without you even knowing that there was some kind of proceeding where somebody said 'oh, I think that guy might be a threat.,'" Scalise added.
"Now somebody can go and take away your constitutional right. I don't think l'd agree with that, that's not how we deal [with] rights in America. … Due process is a constitutional right."
Legislation on a national red flag law system, as well as universal background checks, are among potential bipartisan solutions lawmakers could pass to address gun violence, The Hill noted.
Scalise also suggested that children should be encouraged to speak up when they see something that is troubling about a fellow student.
"How can we do a better job of connecting the dots and stopping something before it happens … [like] we did after September 11 , which has worked really well as it relates to stopping terrorist attacks. Let's put that kind of focus on schools and young kids … look at hardening schools. There is a lot of common ground there, too."
"You're in an airport today and you see a bag sitting idle, [it's] not going to be five minutes before somebody alerts authorities," he added. "We need to be helping get kids more engaged in alerting authorities if they see something they're concerned about and that the authorities take action if it's necessary and try to intervene and stop something before it happens."
According to Scalise, people are buying guns to protect themselves against rising crime in some of the nation's big cities.
"People are buying guns more to defend themselves against crime, [because] crime is out of control," he said.
"If you look at what happened in those cities, you see lot of things with the defund the police movement, with letting people out, no cash bail … they're making it easier for people to commit crimes," he said. "Look at the smash-and-grab crimes. To think it's going to end there if they think they can get away with a crime, they're not going to be charged, they will go on to commit more crimes and worse crimes."
Fran Beyer is a writer with Newsmax and covers national politics.
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