House Majority Whip Steve Scalise spoke with survivors of the recent high school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
"All these breakdowns in government show you why so many people - millions of people across the country - want to have the right to defend themselves, and so passing laws that take away the rights of law abiding gun owners, that is something that concerns a lot of us because we see failures that shouldn't have happened, that should have stopped this from happening". "Federal of course, with the FBI completely dropping the ball months ago when they had this kid handed to them on a silver platter", Scalise said, referring to shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz.
Scalise, however, has always been a gun-rights advocate and has often reiterated that position since being shot and gravely wounded during congressional baseball practice June 14 in Arlington, Virginia.
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Scalise later told CBS News' Norah O'Donnell on 60 Minutes doctors had to literally put him back together again after suffering such extensive internal damage from the shooting.
"They have it for self-defense which is the tenet of the Second Amendment", Scalise said.
The Republican met with student survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Capitol Hill on Monday, where he said they talked about their "shared experiences". Scalise described the meeting as very emotional.
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He added, "But this doesn't go away, it's something I know me and the other members of the congressional baseball team still talk about what we went through and I'm sure they as students are going to talk about what they went through".
He said while the group did discuss some policy-related issues, the focus for Congress should be about closing loopholes in existing gun laws like the instant background check system.
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