Sen. Lindsey Graham: ‘The People to Blame Are the Shooters and Nobody Else’
Republican addressed many comments from 2020 Dem candidates and others, wants to see bipartisan bill
Speaking on Monday evening on the Fox News program “Special Report with Bret Baier” about the aftermath of the mass shootings this past weekend, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said bluntly, “The people to blame are the shooters and nobody else.”
“These [are] sick and senseless crime[s], and there’s a common pattern in many of these cases,” Graham told guest anchor Shannon Bream.
“People are disturbed. They take the law in their own hands, they’re full of hate, and they act out — and it’s time for us to act.”
“Calling the president names is not going to solve this problem,” Graham added. “For the last 24 hours, it’s been really over the top. I’m looking for a Democrat to work with — not to insult.”
“So, I’m hoping I can find some Democrats that will work with me, starting with the idea of red flag laws.”
“I think these protective orders have a lot of hope to solve some of these cases,” he also said.
“What I want to do,” added Graham, “is encourage these laws with robust due process, and I think that’s the president’s goal also.”
Bream put up a map so that “folks can see where there are a number of states that have done this across the country.”
“There are always concerns about due process [that] a lot of people have,” she said, “that guns could be taken. Second Amendment rights could be potentially violated before people have a chance to make their side of the case. How do you thread that needle?”
“Well, number one, Indiana was one of the first states to do this,” replied the Republican senator. “Here’s what we do. This is not going to be a federal law, it’ll be a federal grant program. To get the federal grant, you have to have due process.”
“There has to be an imminent threat of harm to oneself or to others before the police — and it can only be the police — can go to a judge.”
“You have a hearing,” he continued. “You’ve got to have more likely than not [a] standard that there’s an imminent threat of bodily injury. Seven days later, you have a full-blown hearing — clear and convincing evidence where the gun owner can come in and defend themselves and the government has to prove by clear and convincing evidence that they’re — [that] the person is disturbed, a danger to themselves or others.”
“And if that test is met,” he added, “they can [seize] the guns and get the person the help they need. In Parkland, Florida, [shooting suspect Nikolas] Cruz had 32 to 40 visits by the cops. They had no way to stop him. He did everything but take an ad out in the paper [and say], ‘I’m going to kill people.'”
“So what I want to do,” added Graham, “is encourage these laws with robust due process. And I think that’s the president’s goal also.”
He noted that he and others have been talking to “gun-owner groups. We’ve talked to the cops, and we’re trying to come up with a serious solution to a serious problem.”
“We’re trying to empower police officers to do something before it’s too late, with plenty of due process. We’re not trying to take anybody’s guns away from them. We’re trying to get guns out of the hands of people who are dangerous, who actually may kill themselves or somebody else. That’s the goal. We’re trying to shut down these social media sites that spew hate. We’re trying to find solutions. And for the last 24 hours, it’s been pretty disappointing to hear all the rhetoric directed at President Trump.”
“President Trump is not the problem here,” Graham added. “The Congress for years has been talking [about these issues]. It’s now time to act. And if [Democrat] Sen. [Richard] Blumenthal [of Connecticut] and I can come up with a package that has protections for the gun owner but allows the cops to do something before it’s too late — I hope we can get a vote in the Senate and it will pass.”
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