‘Well, I Can’t Answer That’: GOP Congressman Stumped By Pamela Brown’s Question About Criminals Buying Weapons in States With Weaker Gun Laws
CNN Newsroom anchor Pamela Brown stumped Rep. James Comer (R-KY) by asking about the number of gun crimes that involved weapons purchased in states with weaker gun laws, prompting the congressman to admit that he couldn’t answer her direct question.
Comer, a member of the House Second Amendment Caucus, was on CNN to discuss the recent debates in Congress over gun control legislation. In a previous segment, Brown mentioned that America had seen at least 45 mass shootings in just the last month alone.
Brown said that she was asking how Republicans and Democrats could “come together” to “agree that these mass shootings are unacceptable.”
Noting that Comer had brought up gun owners’ rights under the U.S. Constitution, Brown asked, “At what point are you valuing the philosophical concept of liberty for gun owners over actual lives? Prioritizing the right to buy a deadly weapon over life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that we were all guaranteed, what about the right to not be shot?”
“We’ve got laws on the books to make it illegal to shoot someone,” replied Comer, saying that the framers of the Constitution had protected gun ownership as a “priority” under the Second Amendment.
“If you look at the states that have banned guns and the cities that have banned guns — Chicago, Washington, D.C. — they have some of the highest rates of gun violence,” added Comer. “So just passing laws banning guns doesn’t solve the problem. But we have a problem in America, and I think Republicans realize that, and we want to address the issue –”
“I want to get this — okay. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to interrupt,” Brown cut in, saying that she had looked at the crime statistics for cities and states with strict gun laws, and “nearly two-thirds of crime guns recovered in states with strong gun laws were originally sold in states with weak gun laws. So if gun laws don’t matter, why are criminals going to states with weaker gun laws, bringing that gun back to a state with stronger gun laws, and committing crimes?”
“Well, I can’t answer that,” replied Comer. “I can tell you that in the states that have — where you see like Kentucky where you have a strong belief in the Second Amendment, overwhelming support for the Second Amendment, it seems like you have less instances of gun violence. I think if a — if a criminal really sits and thinks about it and they want to go in and create havoc, they know that in areas where there’s more gun ownership there’s less — they’re less likely to achieve their goals. That’s a terrible example to use, but I think that’s really what the data would show.”
Watch the video above, via CNN.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org