(CNSNews.com) - "We came in, and we mean business," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, told CNN's Chris Cuomo Wednesday night.
And one major item of Democrat business is gun control:
I believe there are legislative fixes," Nadler said. "And you need the political will to pass it, and I think the American -- after eight years of the Republicans doing nothing and mass murder after -- mass shooting after mass shooting -- I think the politics of this country has changed. I think the election results last year showed that.
We will pass -- I would venture to predict that we will pass possibly into law this year universal background checks, maybe the Charleston loophole, and we will develop the political pressure to pass assault weapons bans and other things in the next few years.
Nadler dismissed concerns that mentally ill people are the ones, by and large, pulling the trigger in mass shootings:
Well, it's not about mental health. There are -- other countries do not exceed several hundred gun violence deaths a year. We have 35 to 40,000. It's a slander on the American people to say that our people are so much more mentally ill than people in Europe or Canada or Switzerland.
Yes, we should deal with mental health, but the real issue is, when you control the number of guns available to people who shouldn't have them, you reduce gun violence, as was proven in Australia, as we know from various states in the united States, and they (Republicans) don't want to -- they don't want to recognize this.
(It should be noted that Australia, in 1996, banned semi-automatic and self-loading rifles and shotguns and passed severe restrictions on gun ownership in general, requiring would-be gun owners to show a "genuine reason," other than self-defense. Australia also launched a nationwide buyback program for prohibited weapons, among other measures to keep guns away from its citizens.)
Nadler's committee held a hearing Wednesday on "gun violence prevention," which included emotional testimony, mostly from young people who survived school shootings, including the one in Parkland, Fla.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), a gunshot survivor, is a Second Amendment supporter.
On Wednesday night, Scalise told Fox News's Laura Ingraham that Democrats on the Judiciary Committee denied his request to testify about his own experience of being shot and almost killed at a congressional baseball practice.
I mean, historically, when Republicans were in charge, even when Democrats were in charge prior to this more radical leftist majority, if a member of Congress wanted to testify on a committee, they always provided a venue for that to happen. And in this case, they were having a hearing in the Judiciary (Committee) on reducing gun violence.
And I've got a perspective, clearly mine dealt with something that happened to me, and I saw how guns were used to save people's lives. And it should have been able to be part of the testimony. They wanted to focus on taking away the rights of law-abiding citizens, which their bill ultimately does.
(Committee staff told Fox News that Scalise's written testimony would be entered into the record.)
"They think they can silence conservative voices, but you know what? They can't silence conservative voices," Scalise said.
"Go read their bill, by the way," Scalise continued. He noted that the Democrat bill would, under certain circumstances, charge gun-owners with felonies for loaning a shotgun to a friend, for example. "Gun control is what they're trying to get at. They want full gun registration, they want to take away your rights," Scalise said.
The NRA says "universal background checks" is actually a liberal scheme to achieve a permanent registry of every gun sold in the country, something Democrats have wanted for many years.