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Gun proposals leave GOP congressman saying ‘I couldn’t face my wife or my children’

A man signed a banner as people paid tribute at a memorial for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Sunday in Parkland, Fla. The Feb. 14 attack on the school by a former student killed 17.
A man signed a banner as people paid tribute at a memorial for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Sunday in Parkland, Fla. The Feb. 14 attack on the school by a former student killed 17. AP

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, disagreeing with President Donald Trump, said Sunday that gun background checks are “false senses of security” and increasing them would be like putting “lipstick on a pig.”

Massie, R-Vanceburg, spoke against more gun control on NBC News’ “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.”

Last Thursday, Trump called for a stronger screening system for potential gun owners but he was not clear what he meant by saying in a tweet that he is “strongly pushing comprehensive background checks with an emphasis on mental health.”

The Republican president also said he wants to raise the age to buy semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 and end the sale of “bump stocks” — attachments that allow guns to fire at a rate nearing that of a machine gun.

Massie, who has represented Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District since 2012, said his “heart is breaking” because of the recent school shootings in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 and in Kentucky’s Marshall County that left two dead and 21 injured.

But Massie said if he “came home after proposing some of these things so unserious and disingenuous that some of my colleagues are proposing as solutions to these school shootings, I couldn’t face my wife or my children,” he said.

Massie said he wants to repeal the federal “Gun Free School Zone” Act of 1990 and let teachers carry guns in schools.

He contended that gun background checks don’t stop school shootings, saying they failed in the Texas church shooting and at Columbine, where the shooters got people to buy guns for them.

“Criminals are going to get a hold of guns,” said Massie.

Told by Todd that 65 percent of Americans disagree with Massie on his gun law positions, Massie said. “If you take out New York and California, 8 percent of Americans have concealed carry permits.

“And the people watching this show right now? There are a lot of them getting ready for church in middle America. Putting their guns on. Millions of them, they’re going to be carrying guns to church, and to family dinner after that, and they’re going to be safe.”

Jack Brammer: (502) 227-1198, @BGPolitics

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