Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., admitted Thursday he should not have blamed Democrats for the congressional baseball practice shooting.
"I will admit that early yesterday, right after I got the news ... I think in that emotion, I did lash out," he said on CNN's "New Day." "And you know, it would certainly appear this individual, the anger was certainly tied to the rhetoric going on. And so, I did say what I said, that I was putting the blame on the Democrats' doorstep."
Collins said in a radio interview with WBEN that Democrats had "gone too far" in opposing President Donald Trump, and said they should "tone down the rhetoric" because "some people react to things like that, people get angry as well, and you fuel the fires."
On Thursday, he said that after the interview, "the emotion of that instance wore off, you know, an hour or two later. I looked in the mirror. And I said, that's not the right tone. I am going to do what I can to help reverse this."
He added, "I, myself, am going to try to tone down some of my rhetoric, and I would invite my Democrat friends — and they are friends — to do likewise." He said "all of us now have had a chance to reflect, to look in the mirror, and say, 'You know what, it's on all of us.'
"We don't know what the trigger was," he said. "This was a troubled individual — angered. We don't know what ultimately the trigger was."
Collins also said he would start carrying a gun with him, after previously saying he kept one in the glove compartment of his car.
"I've had a carry permit for 30 years, and I would say off and on in different instances where I have, you know, felt it was appropriate, I would carry the weapon on myself."
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