While appearing on Saturday’s edition of “MSNBC Live,” Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., said that “some freedoms are going to have to be given up” to make certain that unstable people don’t get firearms and that he will agree to act on gun control, but “not necessarily for normal people.”
According to Breitbart, he “also expressed uncertainty as to whether people should be allowed to own AR-15s and argued for making schools harder targets.”
“Well, we are one of the most open societies in the world. I think that each one of these heinous crimes raises the bar and makes us — compels that we, as a nation, rethink where we are on our open society versus what are we willing to do in restricting freedom to make sure that we’re safe and secure. Very unstable situation here, when someone like a person of this demonstrated mental illness, at the local level and even to the FBI, could get ahold of an assault weapon, we’ve got to think about that,” he said.
“I think this raises the bar significantly, that a person of this demonstrated debility could get ahold an assault weapon, that so many warning signs at the — at all levels of government would go unanswered, and that he could just walk right into another soft target school. We’ve got to harden up these schools. Too many schools have been plagued,” he added.
Later, he said: “I think…the question is who gets the gun, not the gun itself. I think we need to have really tough laws on background checks and making sure — and waiting periods, maybe even put chips in the guns, so we know where they are. But something — some freedoms are going to have to be given up to make sure that unstable people don’t have access to those weapons. Guns don’t kill people. The deranged people kill people, and they use guns or they use car bombs or they use different things to do it.”
“Is there a reason that you can think of why any private citizen needs to own an AR-15 assault rifle?” anchor Alex Witt asked.
“To be honest with you, I’m not sure,” Rooney answered. “I think people should be able to use them in gun ranges if they want to go rip off a lot of caps, if you will, at a gun range. But, do they need to own them and take them out of the facility? I’m not sure. This thing here, when a mentally deranged person can get a hold of an AR-15, we’ve got to deal with that.”
Rooney also reiterated that he is ready to do something on gun control after the Florida school shooting, “not necessarily for normal people.”
Nikolas Cruz, the suspect in that shooting, obtained his firearms legally, according to reports.
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