Moments later, a reporter asked Brooks if he had changed his stance on gun control having been fired upon that morning.
In spite of incredibly adverse circumstances, his answer belongs among the best defenses of the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
Here’s the original Tweet:
Rep. Mo Brooks was asked the inevitable gun control question. Here’s what he said: pic.twitter.com/MKPw5HgXtL
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) June 14, 2017
And for any who find that embed hard to read, here is Brooks’ statement in full:
Question: Congressman, does this change your views on the gun situation in America?
Brooks: Not with respect to the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment right to bear arms is to ensure that we will always have a republic. And as with any constitutional provision in the Bill of Rights, there are adverse aspects to each of those rights that we enjoy as people. And what we just saw here is one of the bad side effects of someone not exercising those rights properly. But we’re not going to get rid of freedom of speech because some people say some really ugly things that hurt other people’s feelings. We’re not going to get rid of Fourth Amendment search and seizure rights because it allows some criminals to go free who should be behind bars. These rights are there to protect Americans, and while each of them has a negative aspect to them, they are fundamental to our being the greatest nation in world history. So no, I’m not changing my position on any of the rights we enjoy as Americans. With respect to this particular shooter, I’d really like to know more about him — whether he was an ex-felon, by way of example, who should not have had possession of a firearm — I’d like to know other things about his background before I pass judgment.
And we’re not the only ones enamored of Brooks’ answer, which does so well to address that rights aren’t inherently good or evil, that their application matters — but that they are immutable regardless of circumstance. National Review senior writer David French, who is joining the show tonight, also wrote up the quotation:
It’s hard to imagine a better response if he’d had days to think, reflect, and write an op-ed. The answer to an abuse of liberty isn’t to restrict liberty but rather to defend against that abuse. And that’s exactly what courageous Capitol Hill police did today. We’d like to think that we can enjoy freedom without consequence, that people will always exercise their liberties in a virtuous manner. When they inevitably don’t, we too often race to blame the liberty along with the person. That’s the wrong response.
And for good measure, Buck weighed in on Twitter:
Two Capitol Police officers fought bravely and saved lives today.
Probably many lives.
Thank God they were there.#alexandria
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) June 14, 2017
Join us tonight in the Freedom Hut to hear more from David.