by Joshua Nelson
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee blocked him from appearing at a hearing Wednesday on gun control to testify as the victim of the shooting during a congressional baseball practice two years ago.
Historically, Scalise said, members of Congress normally are given the opportunity to testify before a committee and he was shocked that his request was denied.
Since Democrats set the hearing on how to reduce gun violence, he said, he saw an opportunity to share his near-death experience of being targeted by a shooter and saved by police officers’ guns in what could have turned out to be a massacre on June 14, 2017.
“I saw how guns were used to save people’s lives, and it should’ve been able to be part of the testimony,” Scalise, a Second Amendment defender, told Fox News Channel host Laura Ingraham on Wednesday night. “They wanted to focus on taking away the rights of law-abiding citizens, which their bill ultimately does.”
Scalise said he found out the previous weekend about the Democrats’ decision to exclude him from the hearing.
The hearing, called “Preventing Gun Violence: A Call to Action,” focused on a bill that would expand background checks to Americans who sell, loan, or give guns as a present.
“If you loan your shotgun to a friend of yours to go hunting, under certain circumstances, in their bill, you can actually go to jail for a year and have a $100,000 fine,” Scalise said.
Scalise warned that if it were law, the proposal would have done nothing to prevent the shooting in which he was wounded or the 2018 shooting in Parkland, Florida, at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School that occurred last Feb. 14.
Scalise was one of four persons wounded during the shooting at the baseball practice in Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, in which the gunman targeted Republican lawmakers.
Police said James Hodgkinson shot Scalise in the hip. He also shot Matthew Mika, a lobbyist; Zachary W. Barth, an assistant to a Texas congressman; and Capitol Police Agent Crystal Griner, one of two officers in Scalise’s security detail who he says saved his life by returning fire and fatally shooting Hodgkinson.
It took nearly three months and multiple surgeries for Scalise to recover and return to the House.
“Gun control is what they’re trying to get at,” Scalise said of House Democrats. “They want full gun registration, they want to take away your rights.”
The Daily Signal sought comment from the House Judiciary Committee on Scalise’s remarks, but received no response by publication time.
Ingraham said a committee source told her that “The Republicans chose two other witnesses other than Scalise, but Scalise’s testimony will be entered into the record.”
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