Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., speaking out after Tuesday's mass shooting at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school, told Newsmax that he is open to discussions with his Democrat colleagues about solutions to stop the growing number of such violent incidents in the United States, but there has been "no inclination toward a modest or moderate change that would address the situation."
"There are those who talk about things like universal background checks," Bishop told Wednesday's "National Report." "For the most part, the legislation that I've seen offered in Congress by the majority has been, you know, very Draconian."
Democrats, he continued, "want really to attack the essence of the right that hundreds of millions of Americans exercise to be able to enjoy self-defense."
But still, if there is a willingness for discussion, Bishop said, "I'm open to every proposal."
"We ought to have reasonable discussions," he said. "We ought to explore it very carefully and eagerly and earnestly."
Bishop also said the discussions must be held rationally, though, rather than angrily, including with President Joe Biden's show of anger Tuesday in response to the shootings and the deaths of 19 children and two adults.
"I understand the anger, but I think we ought to be more in solidarity with each other than angry at one another as a means of beginning that conversation," Bishop said.
The congressman added he does think there are steps that can be taken to improve security in schools, such as what has been done in North Carolina, but also, "we must be concerned about what we're seeing in a spiraling, debilitating mental health situation and respond to it."
However, the steps to stop a potential shooter are challenged on all sides by questions of rights and freedoms, Bishop said.
He added he is willing to consider the discussion on allowing young adults like the 18-year-old in shootings in Texas and in Buffalo to purchase guns.
"I'm not sure that I think 18-year-olds should have unfettered access to firearms, so I think those things are open to consideration," Bishop said. "But the bigger question for me is what in the world is happening that these young men are so phenomenally disconnected that they find their way into these kinds of thoughts and ultimately act. It's got to be addressed. We've got to understand the causes of it. I think they are very subtle and complicated."
There are also ideological arguments from people who oppose having police officers on school grounds, as "part of the defunding police or antagonism toward law enforcement that has been so much part of our dialogue in the last few years," Bishop said. "I think that is incredibly wrong-headed and almost an abomination.
"I look forward to hearing what Texas's analysis of the school security situation is there. I believe North Carolina school security for elementary schools has very dramatically changed."
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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