Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suggested that advocates of gun safety proposed measures to curb violence after the December massacre of 20 elementary school children in Newtown, Connecticut because they are "anti-Second Amendment people" and want to end the right to bear arms.
In an interview before President Barack Obama's second inaugural speech, CNN's John King asked the Iowa tea party-backed congressman if Republicans were "chastened" after losing seats in the House, Senate and the presidency.
"A few of them are, but I'm certainly not," King replied. "And those of us that won the election, we see our constituents as deserving the best representation we can give them. We won elections too. So, this is an interesting day today, this peaceful transfer in a constitutional way of the power envisioned by our founding fathers. And they understood the separation of powers. They knew there was going to be a clash and a confrontation and a struggle between the parties, but we also know we have to run this government."
"So, it's going to be interesting as this unfolds," he added. "This should be a healing day. And then tomorrow morning we can start that harder work."
On the subject of "that harder work," the CNN host wondered how King felt about Obama's proposals for universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines.
"Those people that want to confiscate guns -- the anti-Second Amendment people -- took an opportunity as soon as the Sandy Hook tragedy took place," the Iowa Republican explained.
King said that he also planned to oppose any efforts by his own party to reform immigration if it meant giving citizenship to immigrants who came to the United States illegally.
"The immigration [reform push] was launched the morning after the election before they actually analyzed the exit polls," he observed. "I think some Republicans overreacted."
"But to grant amnesty is to pardon immigration lawbreakers and reward them with the objective of their crime," he insisted. "Now, if that's what this bill does then it would fit the definition of amnesty."
King predicted that gun safety legislation and immigration reform would be "stretched out over time."
"The prudent things hopefully will come together, and that's the only thing that should get to the president's desk," he asserted.
Watch this video from CNN's Starting Point, broadcast Jan. 21, 2013.