As Democrats hold hearings on gun violence, they’ve brought in a host of people who are supposedly survivors of gun violence of one sort or another. The idea is that many of these people will talk about the horrors of what they experienced. The idea is to manipulate emotions so they can label opponents as monsters.
However, there’s one very notable survivor of gun violence that’s not getting a chance to speak on the topic which has so intimately touched his life.
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said Wednesday that Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee refused to let him testify at a hearing on gun violence about his experience as a victim of the congressional baseball practice shooting two years ago. The move infuriated his fellow Republicans.
Scalise told Fox News that he found out over the weekend that Democrats had chosen not to allow his testimony at the hearing –“Preventing Gun Violence: A Call to Action” — something he said is a courtesy traditionally extended to any lawmaker who wishes to speak.
“I thought it outrageous that they want to try to silence this message, because in the end I’m still going to get my message out. They can’t silence this issue,” he said.
Scalise was shot and injured in June 2017. But despite his experience and perspective, he said that committee Democrats said he would not able to testify — although he could submit written testimony for the record, which he did.
“I was surprised, because it’s unprecedented,” he said. “In the past, when we were in charge on the Republican side, if the Democrats selected among one of their witnesses to be a sitting member of Congress, we always gave them the courtesy of testifying in a proper setting, and we were asking for that same courtesy — and they denied it.”
There’s a reason Democrats don’t want Rep. Scalise to speak.
As someone who was shot himself yet refused to change his political position, he’s a poignant counterpoint to someone like Gabby Giffords who portrayed herself as pro-gun until she was wounded in a shooting. If we are supposed to take Giffords efforts more seriously because she survived being shot, wouldn’t we have to do the same for Scalise?
For Democrats, that doesn’t count. Scalise’s shooting is an embarrassment for them. He was shot by a Bernie Sanders supporter who wanted to kill as many Republican politicians as possible. His very existence underminds Giffords, who Democrats hold up as a beacon which we all must follow.
So while Scalise’s testimony may be part of the formal record, it’s not going to make the evening news. It’s not going to get picked up on YouTube and shared all over social media. Most people won’t even realize it was made in the first place.
That’s the point.
Of course, there’s another side to this too. Part of this is also that congressional Democrats tend to be vindictive. They’re also punishing Scalise for having the audacity of not being a Democrat as well as punishing Republicans in general for just being Republicans.
One thing I don’t want to hear any more from House Democrats about coming together as a nation. They had an opportunity to extend an olive branch to their opposition, and this is how they handled it. They want unity, but they want us all united behind their radical anti-gun agenda.
Not. Gonna. Happen.