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Scalise Exclusive: My Experience 'Fortified' My Support for Gun Rights


Martha MacCallum aired part two of her exclusive interview with Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) on The Story.

Scalise was by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Reps. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Mike Conaway (R-Texas), who were also on the Virginia baseball field when Scalise was gravely wounded in an assassination attempt.

At the time, Wenstrup, a former military combat surgeon, said he "felt like he was back in Iraq" the day Scalise was shot.

Conaway told MacCallum that he quietly called out to Scalise after he was lying on the ground, telling him to stay still so that shooter James Hodgkinson would not re-engage him.

"I just didn't want him shot again on the ground... so that the shooter wouldn't catch that movement," Conaway said.

Flake said one of the hardest things for him that day was watching his colleague be gravely wounded and be unable to immediately help him because he too was under fire in the dugout.

"That was the longest wait," he said of hunkering down until Hodgkinson was killed by police.

"It was just terrifying and just awful not being able to get out to Steve."

Scalise said that doctors later told him that, thanks to Wenstrup's training and ability to tie a perfect tourniquet, his life was probably saved by his quick-thinking colleagues.

The doctors said that the amount of blood loss was life-threatening and any bit more may have killed him.

MacCallum asked what the legislators would say to critics who call Republicans "heartless" because they will not support gun control measures after mass casualty events like Sandy Hook or the Las Vegas attack.

"I do think we’ll have discussions now about -- what was found in that hotel room, in terms of accessibility of -- you know, the ability to turn a semi-automatic into an automatic, automatic weaponry is illegal, per se, but he seems to have access to the material to change it," Flake responded.

Of next year's Congressional baseball game, Scalise said he hopes to keep his starting job as second baseman.

In part one of the interview, Scalise said his views on gun rights were fortified by his near-death experience.


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