Rep. Tom Garrett: 'Disarming Law-Abiding Citizens Doesn't Solve the Problem'

By Susan Jones | November 9, 2017 | 9:54 AM EST

Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Va.) (Photo: Screen grab/C-SPAN)

( - Recent mass shootings have reignited the gun control debate, but gun confiscation is not the answer, Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Va.) told C-SPAN on Thursday morning.


We live in a country where the number of firearms arguably is greater than the number of human beings, and any sort of confiscatory rollback would ensure that law-abiding citizens turn in their firearms and those who don't obey the law, don't.

And I'm not a mathematician, but I would wager that there would be millions and millions of firearms still in circulation, and we would have essentially disarmed those who've done nothing to lose the right, the natural law right, to defend themselves and their families.

And so, you know, we're going there (gun control) whether we like it or not. I think that disarming law abiding citizens doesn't solve the problem.

Garrett called the recent mass shootings "tragic," but he also noted that the "instrumentality of evil" is not always a gun. In New York City on Oct. 31, it was a truck.


"I think we really have a mental health crisis in this country that we fail to address, and we need to really look at," Garrett said.

An elderly caller to CSPAN made the point that something has changed in the culture. The caller noted that when he was a student, he and many others would carry their guns on the school bus during hunting season, storing them during the day in their lockers. "And no one in our school ever got shot," the man said.

Garrett said it wasn't so long ago that he graduated from high school: "And in Louisa County, Virginia, where I lived, if it were deer season or rabbit season or dove season and there weren't 150 shotguns in the parking lot, something was wrong. And nobody ever shot anybody. And I do think he's onto something, as it relates to how we value life and what's socially acceptable

"I mean, we had plenty of fistfights -- probably more than they have today," Garrett said, "but young people never thought about going and retrieving a firearm and turning it on their classmates. And so I don't know what we've lost."

Garrett said it's important to recognize the underlying purpose of the Second Amendment: "It has nothing to do with the right to hunt; it had nothing to do with the right to shoot recreationally; it had to do with ensuring that the populace was never subjugated by a repressive regime."

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