(CNN) – Republican Rep. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the new appointee to replace Sen. Jim DeMint, indicated Wednesday he may oppose any gun control legislation in the Senate next Congress, saying instead the larger issue is one of "moral decay."
"I think the solutions are not necessarily in new legislation. Perhaps the solution starts with us examining the mental condition of the person and the persons in the past that have had the desire to create the atrocities we have seen recently," he said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."
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He added that "mental illness should be a major part of the conversation."
Several Democratic senators and the president have underscored a renewed sense of urgency on gun control legislation in the wake of last week's Connecticut school shooting that left 26 people dead, 20 of them children. Among those voicing a call for change are a few conservative Democrats who have good standing with the National Rifle Association, signaling the latest dust-up over gun rights may translate into actual policy changes.
In addition to addressing mental illness, the South Carolina congressman, who starts in the Senate on January 3 after DeMint officially resigns, said the recent crisis should prompt the country "to engage an entire culture of moral decay and of violence."
But as Washington looks for solutions, Scott cautioned that if conclusions are drawn quickly, they may be "flawed."
"I know that we've heard lots of conversations about what we'll be facing in the 113th Congress," he said. "I look forward to that debate."
Scott, a favorite in the tea party movement, was elected to the House in 2010. He'll fill the remainder of DeMint's term, and signaled through a fundraising email Tuesday night that he'll likely run to keep his seat in 2014.
I'm surprised he didn't say it was the "Gays" fault.
It's not just "moral decay" although that may be part of it. It's this economy and the lack of focus and/or direction for many young men. Forever men have been the breadwinners, dominant in our society, and firmly knew their position within the culture. Now, women do many of the things men traditionally did, which is just great, but it has displaced and confused men I think. I don't know the solution of course, but it's not just moral decay.
There seems to be an overall thought here of "who can we blame". Republican, Democrat, Communist…does it really matter? Our government has done a GREAT job at pointing fingers and teaching its "children" to fight amongst each other so they can go unnoticed. Do you think our federal or state governments really care about each of us? NO, they care about their votes, pension, power, and $. We will fight and accomplish nothing just to be "right". Sad, but watching a country I truly love deteriorate is the saddest part. Civil war…we have done a good job of working our way there and don't even know we're doing it.
Thank you for one of the most informative posts I've read since this tragedy occurred.
We live in a country of 300 million people. That means 300 million people minus about half a dozen don't go on mass murder sprees. Statistically, not sure you can demonstrate "moral decay," whatever that even means.
Nice Scott, now what do you do with mental illness? Glad you recognize the problem, but once again offer no solution.
This guy may be a clown, but "moral decay" may be part of the problem. The bigger issue is we live in a society where there is an expectation before we try and fix anything, that the fix must be the sole and final solution to the problem. violence has no singular solution, the problem is part morals, part economic, part "entertainment", part availability to guns.
"Moral decay??? Oh! I get it. Tim Scott thinks that people get shot for the same reason conservatives think hurricanes and earthquakes...GAY PEOPLE"
I am not so sure, Timmy is 47 and never married, maybe Nicki saw a chance to give the GOP a "two-fer"!
But, then there is that unexplainable phenom of the Log Cabin group that apparently agree they are the essence of "moral decay".
Representative Scott is right to a certain extent even though I think stricter gun controls are necessary to help stop more horrible killings like this one. The police don't even have time to get there because of the type of weapons these young men can get their hands on. Still, he is right that killings in schools didn't happen when I was young. They need to look at what these young men have in common. There seems to be somewhat of a pattern: loners, children of divorce, maybe not much parental supervision during the day, after school, or when they were growing up, maybe video games, and they don't seem to be from poor families either.
Nah- that was what Huckabee said!
I could not agree more with Sen. Scott on the point of increased moral decay of the US society.....which is all the more reason we need stricter gun control so the morally decayed cannot purchase assault rifles and weapons. Not a good combination.
Oh my God!
He's not even in Congress and he sounds like many of the idiots already there.
Wright you are, Senator. Moral decay and softening of the brain.
It isn't "the government" that doesn't care- it is the blasted politicians and the government they make.
School shootings have been going on since the 20s. It's only gotten worse because it's easier to get a hold of weapons that can kill more faster and armor that makes them nearly unstoppable. It isn't moral decay. It's the same old thing wearing new technology. :(
What would you expect from a blatantly secular culture. America is on a downward spiral. Get used to it.
This "moral decay" tidbit brought to you by the same party that thought "legitimate rape" was, you know, legitimate...
Why are some politicians and punidts lately sounding almost as crazy as the shooters?
Let's say he's right. Let's say it is moral decay and "the mental condition of the person". That's still no reason to oppose gun control legislation. Let's take the modified military M-16 out of the hands of sick individuals and replace it with a bat, or a knife, or if it has a to be a gun, then how about a single-action 6-shot revolver.
You wanna talk about "moral decay"? Moral decay is claiming there is no problem with guns or gun laws just days ofter 20 young children were shot down by a gun.
I think it's more of a cultural decay into sensationalized violence provided by modern media! Our law men are still in the 1930's while the rest of America changes!
finally someone who gets the problem people the problem is society not necassarily the guns you let your kids sit around playing call of duty for hhours everyday because it makes a good baby sitter that type of crap is the problem lack of discipline and respect.
limiting guns is not the answer. Criminals and those wanting to do harm will get the guns. All gun control will do is infringe on constitutional rights. Teaching our children right from wrong, what are morals etc. and having actual discipline will change society. Parents do not teach children how to behave and what is right. Having gun control decisions in the middle of hystercial moments is not a good idea.
I didn't think it could get worse than DeMint but this guy lacks a brain as well.
The social climate today in our country is like two armed camps, split squarely down the center. The class warfare approach in the last election didn't help, and the economy with the stress of just trying to survive and hold your family together adds to the irritability that most people are feeling. When these factors begin to enter the activities of folks that are a little unstable to begin with, bad things happen.
Ask law enforcement what they think should happen with gun control and you'll have a more informed answer than you'll get from the gun crazies.