Scalise Meets with Parkland Shooting Survivors, Argues Against AR-15 Law Change
WASHINGTON -- House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) met with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students at the Capitol on Monday to share their experiences on surviving a mass shooting, though the congressman said he wasn't swayed by the students' gun-control advocacy.
"As a fellow survivor of a shooting attack, Whip Scalise heard from them about their experiences, shared his own experience with the group and talked about the healing process in the wake of traumatic events," Scalise spokeswoman Lauren Fine said. "Whip Scalise noted how important his faith, family, friends and colleagues are in his recovery, and urged the students not to be afraid to ask their community for help and to keep supporting one another."
Scalise was gravely wounded last June when a gunman opened fire on congressional Republicans practicing baseball early in the morning at a park in Alexandria, Va. He spent several weeks in the hospital before returning to Congress at the end of September.
Before the meeting, Scalise told Fox that he wanted to "close loopholes" and "figure out what went wrong with government before people start talking about taking away the rights of law abiding citizens."
The congressman told CBS this morning that he and the students "talked about policy, but really, we talked a lot about shared experience."
"Obviously, it got very emotional. Some of the things that they've been through are similar to some of the things that I’ve been through. It's going to be a tough time for them. It already is. You know, this doesn't go away," he said. "It's something that me and the other members of the Congressional baseball team still talk a lot about --what we went through. I'm sure they as students are going to continue talking about what they went through. We did talk again about some policy, but mostly just about where we are right now."
Scalise said he told the young activists "what they're doing up here is very important."
"I think it's great that they are engaging in the political process. When they go back home, they're going to be high school students again. At some point, they're going to be getting on with their daily lives and this is going to still be lingering with them," he said. "The problems that they're going to be facing, they ought to be talking amongst themselves. I'm sure there will be school-appointed counselors. But the fact that these students all went through this together, they should continue talking to each other. Don't go hide in the corner and repress those feelings because months later it could become a bigger issue. Talk through that experience. That's what we do up here and it's helped all of us on the baseball team get through this. They ought to be doing the same thing."