On Saturday, CNN's Christi Paul grilled Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) about what Congress is doing to prevent gun violence in the wake of the latest Colorado school shooting, only for him to pivot away from guns at every possible opportunity, deflecting with standard NRA-tested talking points.
"Why is Congress not taking any steps to try to get some sort of definitive gun control measure across the aisle?" said Paul. "What are you willing to do?"
"My job is to defend the Second Amendment of this nation, it shall not be infringed," said Yoho. "I think we need to focus not so much on the weapon of choice. We need to focus on the mental health issues." In fact, most mass shooters are not mentally ill, and people with mental illness are more frequently victims of violence than perpetrators. Yoho also notably did not try to reconcile his concern over mental health with his vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would have eliminated access to mental health care for millions of Americans.
"But it's also about guns," Paul pushed him. "You can't have one without the other."
"Yeah, but if somebody goes through the process of buying one legally, what do you do about that?" Yoho said. "Do you take that right away from law-abiding American citizens that use guns responsibly. We need to talk about responsibility. The mental health issues. Why do people want to pick up a gun and shoot people? It's not a gun, we've seen them use vehicles. We saw that young man in Texas make homemade bombs." (The idea that gun control increases non-firearm homicides has been debunked by researchers.)
"But congressman, there have been more school shootings in the last year than we have seen thus far," said Paul. "And I'm just wondering what — what else you think needs to be done about it? Because there are situations where people are getting their hands on guns and they have no business getting their hands on those guns?"
Yoho agreed that people were getting guns legally who should not, but insisted that there were already "red flags" that should have prevented it and reiterated, "We have to address the mental health issues and why are our youth today feeling compelled to do this? Those are the things we need to look at."