House Majority Whip Steve Scalise on Monday met with students who survived the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, but his position on guns remained unchanged.
The Louisiana Republican’s spokeswoman Lauren Fine told CNN that Scalise “heard from them about their experiences, shared his own experience with the group and talked about the healing process in the wake of traumatic events.”
“Whip Scalise noted how important his faith, family, friends and colleagues are in his recovery, and urged the students not to be afraid to ask their community for help and to keep supporting one another,” Fine said.
Shooter James Hodgkinson hit Scalise in the hip, which led to hemorrhaging, broken bones and organ damage.
When asked about gun laws, Fine said only, “They discussed a variety of issues and everyone felt open to share their views.”
But in an interview with Fox News before the meeting, Scalise said there should be more of a focus on the failures in government that allowed for the shooting to occur and on mental health.
“Let’s close loopholes, let’s figure out what went wrong with government before people start talking about taking away the rights of law abiding citizens,” Scalise said.
Scalise made it clear he disagreed with GOP colleague Rep. Brian Mast’s call to ban assault-style weapons.
“All these breakdowns in government show you why so many people — millions of people across the country — want to have the right to defend themselves, and so passing laws that take away the rights of law abiding gun owners, that is something that concerns a lot of us because we see failures that shouldn’t have happened, that should have stopped this from happening.”