Rep. Trey Gowdy offered the latest absurd take on gun violence. CBS anchor Nancy Cordes wasn't having it.
Republicans are throwing everything they can into resisting taking action on gun violence, but they are being stopped in their tracks again and again by citizens and journalists who have heard enough.
The responses from the right to Thursday’s horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have ranged from cowardly avoidance of the press, to offensive attempts at shifting blame away from gun violence, to absurd leaps of “reason” in order to avoid taking action on guns.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) delivered a prime example of the latter category Sunday morning.
And he was promptly humiliated for his trouble.
During an interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Gowdy tried to offer condescending advice to the courageous student survivors who have been speaking out in the wake of the tragedy.
While Republicans have been singularly focused on blaming mental illness, Gowdy hypocritically advised the students to “look at” multiple aspects of the shooting.
“You have to look at the shooter, and you have to look at the instrumentality by which that shooter is killing people,” he said.
Host Nancy Cordes asked if Gowdy was “suggesting that weapons that can kill or injure many people in a short period of time should be more restricted than they are now?”
“Well, you can certainly look at that,” Gowdy replied. “But of course Nancy, some of the more heinous mass killing we’ve had involve semi automatic pistols. And I have had people, when I was a prosecutor, kill with all manner of instrumentality, from shovels to bricks to rope to hands. You’re equally dead. So whether it’s a semi-automatic pistol …”
“Wait a minute, Congressman,” Cordes interrupted. “In Las Vegas, the shooter was able to injure 500 people in minutes. You can’t do that with a shovel or a brick.”
“No, you cannot,” Gowdy conceded, then stammered his way through some more absurd doublespeak about how “you also have to look at the shooter.”
Gowdy’s tactic here was disturbingly reminiscent of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s following the Las Vegas mass shooting, when he feigned support for a ban on bump stocks, only to do nothing once the public pressure subsided.
In this case, Republicans like Gowdy will claim an intention to “look at” any number of gun violence provisions while hoping for public outrage to fade, and while still clinging to their absurd talking points about guns.
The key difference, this time, is that the actual survivors of this shooting are speaking out with power and brilliance, and their demands for action are being amplified by a fed-up public and journalists who have heard enough of these lies.