From the July 20 edition of Heritage Foundation’s “Istook Live!” radio show:
ERNEST ISTOOK (HOST): You know, we were going to talk about other things but since you are a former judge and you dealt with criminal cases on the bench, and I don’t know that you ever had something that was such a crime that is senseless as we seem to be seeing in this theater shooting, with at least a dozen people killed, evidently, in Aurora, Colorado. What– what is your experience with the way that we have too many twisted minds in our society?
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): Well, some of us happen to believe that when our founders talked about guarding our virtue and freedom that that was important, you know, whether it’s John Adams saying, ‘Our Constitution was made only for moral and religious people, it’s wholly inadequate to government of any others.’ Ben Franklin: ‘Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom, as nations become corrupt and vicious they have more need of masters.’ I mean it goes on and on. You know, George Washington: ‘Of all the dispositions and habits which are – which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable support.’ We have been at war with the very pillars, the very foundation of this country, and when, you know, what really gets me as a Christian, is to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs and then some senseless crazy act of terror like this takes place.
ISTOOK: Now, in this case we don’t know much about the individual. Now, the suspect, about all I’ve heard is he’s 24 years old, his name is James Holmes. Obviously, he had, you know, multiple problems with–
GOHMERT: Don’t misunderstand my statement– don’t misunderstand my statement, by saying it’s terror–
ISTOOK: Oh, no, I did not take it that way.
GOHMERT: –that this is a Muslim. I’m not saying that at all, it could be anybody. You know, we know that. We know from Norway, you know, it could be anybody. But, it is a terror act when you go in and you start terrorizing people like this regardless of what your background is —
ISTOOK: Right, it’s not– it doesn’t have to be Islamic terrorism. There is domestic terrorism–
GOHMERT: That’s right, exactly. But it is—it’s a terrorist act. But, you know, when people say, ‘You say there’s a God, where was God in all of this?’ Well, you know, we don’t let, in fact we’ve threatened high school graduation participants that if they use God’s name that they’re going to be jailed. We had a principal and a superintendent down in, or a coach down in Florida that were threatened with jail because they said the blessing at a voluntary off-campus dinner. I mean, that kind of stuff– where was God? Well, where– what have we done with God? We told him we don’t want him around. And I kind of like his protective hand being present.
ISTOOK: Well in this case I know after the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, and the 180-plus people that were killed there, the number of people more that were injured – the fact that we were a community of faith in Oklahoma made a huge difference in the reaction. Now, not everybody is that way – and there will be – I mean, I noticed there’s already a column posted up on the Washington Post saying – Well, what would be the effect of this on gun control laws? And, you know it’s interesting, of course after the Virginia Tech shootings people focused more on saying, well what about the mental health laws because you were supposed to have safeguards in place to make sure that somebody who had a mental health issue was picked up on this insta-check issue before they could buy a firearm, but they were not—they were not putting that information into the system. And, I don’t know if some gap like that might be some part of this situation.
GOHMERT: Well, and I know that before we ever had concealed carry in Texas, there was just a senseless shooting, years ago, in Killeen Texas, in a restaurant. And, you know, if we’d had concealed carry permits at the time – there was a woman who had to leave her gun in her car – and if we’d had concealed carry, the guy would have been stopped before he could’ve killed so many people. And, I don’t know what the laws all are in Colorado, but, you know, what we’ve found over and over again where people are authorized to carry–
ISTOOK: Colorado does have concealed carry permits
GOHMERT: Well it does make me wonder, you know, with all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying that could have stopped this guy more quickly? I mean, in Tyler, Texas, we had — my hometown — we had a shooter come in over a domestic matter and just start shooting people, and it was a guy with concealed carry. He got killed, but his shooting at this guy caused him to run and no doubt saved a lot of lives. He was a real hero.