Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) appeared on Morning Joe Wednesday to talk gun control in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, in which a gunman used an arsenal of rifles to kill 58 concertgoers and wound more than 500 others.
Joe Scarborough first asked Cole about the “bump stocks” that were reportedly used to modify 12 of the semi-automatic rifles used by shooter Stephen Paddock, allowing for the rapid fire of fully automatic weapons.
Cole said he was not aware of bump stocks before the attack, and said Congress should take a look at the legality of such devices.
“I think there’s no question we ought to look into that,” he said. When I saw the clips and heard the fire, I just assumed he had an automatic weapon. I did not know that there was technology capable, that cheaply, of transforming a semi-automatic into an automatic weapon. So yeah, I don’t think there’s any question we ought to look at that.”
MSNBC’s Willie Geist next described Paddock’s arsenal of dozens of guns, and asked Cole what could be done to “prevent the next Las Vegas.”
Cole again cited bump stocks as something Congress needs to look at, before noting that given Paddock’s relative low-profile, he did not display the usual warning signs expected of mass shooters.
Geist then asked Cole if he was “alarmed” by Paddock’s ability to get his hands on 49 weapons, to which the congressman said he has friends with that many weapons, and that it’s not uncommon in his “part of the country” for “collectors or sportsman.”
“So, congressman, do you think this is just the price of doing business then, to protect the Second Amendment?” Geist challenged.
Cole replied that he did not want to be that “dismissive” about it, but that he was “fierce about the Second Amendment.”
“I’m from a state where we lost three times as many people by a guy using fertilizer and a truck,” Cole continued. “Can you turn almost anything into a weapon of mass destruction if the evil of intent is there to do it.”
“There’s not an easy legislative fix here,” Cole concluded, adding that Congress can start by addressing bump stocks and looking at mental health problems in America.
Watch above, via MSNBC.
[image via screengrab]