Second Amendment Rights

Floor Speech

By:  Steve Scalise
Date: April 25, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. SCALISE. I want to thank my colleague, Mrs. Hartzler from Missouri, for hosting this leadership hour to talk about our Second Amendment rights and for yielding time as well.

I am very proud to rise in strong support of our Second Amendment rights and also in opposition to many of these bills that have been floating around Congress that would take away those rights that are so precious to all Americans. Those rights were so important that the Second Amendment to the Constitution--part of our Bill of Rights, the first set of amendments to our Constitution--enshrined this right to the American people to bear arms. This wasn't a right that they just gave to the militia, to the military, to our local law enforcement. This was a right that was granted to all Americans because it was so precious and important.

We were all shocked and saddened by the murders at Sandy Hook; but I think what is also disappointing is, when you have these tragedies, unfortunately, there are people--Washington politicians--who try to take advantage of those tragedies, who then come behind and try to impose their own agendas in the name of somebody else. When you look at a lot of these bills that have been filed, they have absolutely nothing to do with those murders or with any of these other tragedies that we've seen.

You look at Sandy Hook. He stole the gun. The gun was from his mother. He murdered his own mother. I think they counted over 40 different laws that were broken by the Sandy Hook murderer. Then somebody is going to tell you that one more law, which makes it harder for law-abiding citizens to get a gun, would have stopped him from doing that when, in fact, he didn't even break the laws that they're proposing.

So I think people see through that. People realize that these bills are, unfortunately, the same bad ideas that have been floating around for decades by people who just want to take away our Second Amendment rights. They

just don't share those same beliefs that our Founding Fathers had when they felt that it was so important that all American citizens have these protections.

I am proud to come from Louisiana. We call ourselves a Sportsman's Paradise. There, when you talk about the Second Amendment, we're not just talking about hunting. Some people want to say that the Second Amendment is really just about hunting. It's not about hunting. It's about a lot more than hunting. It's about the ability for people to protect themselves.

I was in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. During those days, there were some very dark days. We had a few weeks, not just hours or days, where you couldn't pick up the phone and call 911. There was no 911 system. In many cases, there was no power for weeks. You couldn't get law enforcement to come if there were somebody trying to come and loot your house or worse, so the citizens at home in their houses with their guns was the only protection that people had for not just days, but for weeks after Hurricane Katrina.

One of the more frightening things that happened after Hurricane Katrina--there were many frightening things that happened during Katrina--but after Katrina, local law enforcement gave an order to have the police actually go door to door in the city of New Orleans and confiscate guns from law-abiding citizens. It actually happened. It has been well documented to the point where I was in the State legislature at the time, and I filed legislation to prevent that from ever being able to happen again. In fact, the NRA, which is so decried by all of these gun control advocates, actually stood up and said that it's wrong for government to go door-to-door and take your guns from you.

People said, Oh, that can never happen in America.

Yet, it happened. It happened in an American city--in New Orleans.

After Katrina, there is actual video footage of a woman, Ms. Connie. She was in her house in uptown New Orleans, and the police actually came to her house to take her gun. She didn't want to give up her gun, and they tackled her. They broke her collarbone. I actually brought her to testify for my bill. I am proud to say my bill passed back then and that no longer can anybody in Louisiana take away your guns even during a natural disaster. Fortunately, because of the NRA's leadership, they made this a national law. It's now a national law. But that actually happened.

So this Second Amendment right is incredibly sacred, and it's unfortunate that some try to take advantage of disasters to go and try to chip those rights away. That's why we're here today, and that's why I'm proud of my colleague from Missouri and of so many others who are here to stand up for that right that we all hold dear.