Rep. Mo Brooks (R., Ala.) was asked hours after witnessing the shooting of one of his colleagues if the incident had changed his views on gun rights, but he said he remained supportive of the Second Amendment.
Brooks was present when House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.) and four others were wounded Wednesday by a gunman in Alexandria, Va., during a baseball practice for Republican congressmen.
A reporter at a press conference asked Brooks if the shooting changed his view on the "gun situation" in America.
"Not with respect to the Second Amendment," Brooks said. "The Second Amendment right to bear arms is to help ensure that we always have a republic. And as with any constitutional provision in the Bill of Rights, there are adverse aspects to each of those rights that we enjoy as people, and what we just saw here is one of the bad side effects of someone not exercising those rights properly."
He added, "We are not going to get rid of freedom of speech" simply because some people say ugly things, or get rid of the Fourth Amendment's search and seizure rights because some criminals could go free on technicalities.
"These rights are there to protect Americans, and while each of them has a negative aspect to them, they are fundamental to our being the greatest nation in world history. So no, I'm not changing my position on any of the rights we enjoy as Americans," he said.
Brooks said he would like to know more about the background of the suspected shooter before passing judgment on him.
UPDATE: 12:34 P.M.: This article was updated to correct that the gunman wounded five people, not four.