Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) was a guest on “Politics Unplugged” on Denver7 last weekend. Late in the interview, Denver7 host Anne Trujillo tried to ask Tipton several questions about how Congress plans to address the issue of gun violence and got absolutely nowhere with the CO-3 Republican.
You can watch the entire interview below, but here’s the relevant pablum on gun violence:
TRUJILLO: Do you think Congress has a role in addressing gun violence? What would that be?
TIPTON: I think, uh, as a society we have an obligation to be able to deal with this. The one issue that I hope to have a lot more conversation on…
[TIMEOUT!] We’d bet $1,000 that he says “mental health” next. Any takers?
TIPTON: …I just had a few visits earlier today with people in regards to mental health…
Somebody owes us $1,000! Let’s continue…
TIPTON: As a society, what did we do that was so wrong that all of a sudden this becomes an outlet? To be able to have these mass tragedies that are going on when they never, ever used to happen before, and we had guns, uh, that were there. [Pols emphasis] So, a lot of mental health issues, talking to our families in terms of awareness of issues, and building that family structure again.
The Columbine High School massacre took place in April 1999. We understand that Tipton is 700 years old, but there are entire generations of Americans who have absolutely no experience living in a time when mass shootings “never, ever used to happen before.”
Also, we need to build “that family structure again.” Whatever that means. Look, squirrel!
TRUJILLO: And how do you feel about background checks?
TIPTON: You know, here in Colorado we have the universal background checks. I always want to be able to look…speculation in terms of what’s always in legislation, to be able to look at. None of us want to be able to have guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them…
TL;DR: Scott Tipton does not support background checks.
TRUJILLO: So, ‘red flag’? Where do you view that…
TIPTON: So, ‘red flag’ needs to be sure that it’s always protecting also something that is integral to the American system, and that’s called ‘due process.’ To make sure that you don’t have somebody just assign something, and you pay a consequence, and have to prove yourself innocent, if you will, to be able to address that. [Pols emphasis]
Please, tell us more about this “due process” thing, Congressman.
If we’re worried about consequences, how about we consider the people who get shot and killed by someone with an assault rifle when they are just minding their own business shopping or going to school? That’s seems like an unfair consequence for doing absolutely nothing wrong.
TRUJILLO: So, are you prepared to address any changes in our gun laws right now?
TIPTON: You know, we’ll see. We’re having conversations currently. We’re in, you know, what’s called the ‘August break,’ the recess for Congress to be out. There are a couple of pieces of legislation that are being discussed in a tentative fashion right now until we get back to Washington. And, uh, it’s always important to be able to look at the legislation and to be able to see where there is an appropriate role to play.
See, Anne, we’re in what they call an “August break,” which means that I don’t have to even pretend to be considering legislation to curb gun violence. But if people are still talking about gun legislation when I get done with this “August break,” there’s a decent chance that I’ll read at least some of those bills. In the meantime, are there any other terms that I can mansplain for you?
TRUJILLO: So you’re willing to consider changes?
TIPTON: Huh? Wha…I think we all want to make sure that we are ending gun violence in this country. This should not happen. We ought to be able to go to our schools, to our shopping areas, and also to be able to be safe in our homes. And to be able to protect the Second Amendment. [Pols emphasis]
Yada, yada, yada, Second Amendment.
This epidemic of gun violence absolutely “should not happen.” But it does. Scott Tipton isn’t going to do a damn thing to stop it, but he is going to trot around the topic as long as he can. Heck, even Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) eventually stops dancing enough to say, “I don’t support gun control.”
We’ve said it over and over and over again: If we really want to see movement on curbing gun violence, we’re going to have to elect different people.