EAST LIVERPOOL, Pa. (WKBN) – Republican Congressman Bill Johnson was in Columbiana County Wednesday touring the New Castle School of Trades.
While he was in town talking about education and alternatives for students who aren’t interested in college, his Democrat colleagues in the House are calling on the Senate to cut their summer short in the name of gun violence.
During his visit, Johnson was asked about H.R. 8, recent gun legislation that was passed by the House and is at the center of calls by Democrats for the Senate to cut their August recess short, come back to Washington D. C. and consider the proposed legislation.
Johnson said he voted against the bill that calls for expansion of background checks and addresses sales of guns over the internet and at gun shows. The measure passed the House in February.
“It was restrictive to Second Amendment rights, and it would not solve the problem. It would not have prevented any of the shootings in either El Paso nor Dayton,” Johnson said. “We get so focused on doing something for the sake of doing something when incidents like this occur that we forget what our real focus should be is on the victims and their families.”
Johnson went on to say that you “can’t legislate evil out of the world” and that those who are intent on hurting innocent people will find a way to do it.
“If they can’t use a gun, they will use a knife, a machete or a bomb or a vehicle or poison. They are going to hurt people,” Johnson said.
Johnson said targeting mental health issues, services and interventions are the best way to combat the violence.
Following mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton this month, President Donald Trump said he is open to considering movement on background checks and measures that would prevent mentally unstable people from possessing guns.
Just this month in Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine proposed “red flag” laws that would allow courts to restrict firearm access for people perceived as threats and expands background checks for nearly all gun sales.