Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, told Iowa radio host Simon Conway last week that guns were not to blame for the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub this month because if every person at the club had been carrying a gun, nobody would have been shot.
King and Conway discussed the Orlando attack on Wednesday at the anti-immigrant hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row.
The club was protected by an armed police officer who exchanged fire with the assailant, but state law prohibits people from carrying guns in establishments like nightclubs that dispense alcoholic beverages. King, however, said that the alcohol-drinking club-goers should have all been armed.
“I look at this and I think, we have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms and the problem in Orlando at the Pulse was not a problem of the gun laws,” King said, criticizing efforts in Congress to bolster gun regulations after the shooting. “I mean, he followed all of them, the FBI interrogated him at least three times, they decided that he wasn’t enough of a risk. He wouldn’t have been on a list anyway. So anything that they might propose to do would not have prevented the tragedy, the horrific, gruesome tragedy in Orlando, and yet they would trample on the very rights that are needed for people to protect themselves.”
He continued, “If everybody in that nightclub, at the Pulse, had been armed, if everybody had a gun, I would say this: I don’t think anybody would have gotten shot. [In the] first place, I don’t think the perpetrator walks in there. If he does walk in there, then we may have, but there would’ve been a lot fewer than the 102.”