December 19th, 2012
09:58 AM ET
5 years ago

Tim Scott points to 'moral decay' after school shooting

(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.

Filed under: Gun rights • South Carolina • Tim Scott
soundoff (409 Responses)
  1. Curt

    Everything is a problem and needs to be addressed. No other developed country in the world has the gun violence that the U.S. does. Its a shame it took 20 school children to be killed when the talks should have begun years ago after several other mass shootings. Something is wrong with society and arming more people is not going to solve it and the availability of weapons is a problem . Other countries allow its citizens to have firearms but they have to take courses, secure their weapons when not in use and assault style weapons are banned. The stats worldwide speak for themselves , there is a major problem in the U.S. that needs to be addressed. We don't need to arm teachers and expect them to get into a gunfight. What a shame when people suggest that arming teachers and making fortresses out of schools is necessary. Sad commentary on a nation that likes to think its a world leader.

    December 19, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. creative36

    This whole thing in nonsense. This you man had mental problems. It's not guns, video games, moral decay or drugs or anything other than mental illness. If you pack 300 million people in one place you are bound to get people with mental problems. As soon as metal illness stops being taboo we can catch a problem well before someone gets to harming people.

    December 19, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  3. chiz3914

    If Tim Scott has moral problems he should get help

    December 19, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  4. Bastion White

    You folks seem a little worldly to me. Go live in other countries if you don't like the US constitution. You all will be the first ones to get mugged if gun control is enforced unlawfullly. Who are you going to cry to then when violent crime skyrockets???

    December 19, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  5. Steve

    2014 is coming soon enough. I won't forget the path selected by the GOP on this matter. I hope I'm not alone.

    December 19, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  6. Mary1972

    Moral decay of others, right? Not themselves. How about denouncing what Fox News, Rush, Hannity, Coulter?

    December 19, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  7. bob

    The moral decay is caused by stress and mistrust brought on by wealth disparity. Start working to end low wages, i.e., Walmart, and the stress and mistrust will start to wane along with the violence.

    December 19, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. ll

    I blame tea party types, of which Tim Scott is one, that have promoted the stock piling of firearms, as was the case in the Lanza household.

    What "moral" type of person would need assault rifles lying around the house & actually train their kids to use them?

    Tim Scott is a lunatic.

    December 19, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. StandForTruth

    Absolutely correct, because there is GREAT moral decay in this nation.

    December 19, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. Danny Hunt

    Stereotypes and Bad Rhetoric

    "What I did see in one case is that instead of looking or speaking of factors, rage shooting factors, and causes it seemed that the discussion went towards rhetoric, which is linked to abuse, organized crime strategy, discrimination, and advocating a defenseless population."

    A First Step, Suicide Factors to prevent´╗┐ suicides, Rage Shooting Factors to prevent rage shootings

    "I watched the interfaith prayer vigil tonight for the victims of Newtown CT and saw President Barack Obama speak of the first steps to prevent these terrible crimes. The first step in suicide prevention is knowing the suicide factors, for rage shootings it is the same, using rage shooting factors to prevent rage shootings." see the Rage Shooting Factors page.

    December 19, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  11. betterdays

    What moral decay? Everything's better now.

    Sincerely, the majority of U.S. voters.

    December 19, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. Sane in Maine

    All of the worms and weasels are coming out and pointing their fingers in different directions – other than the problem, which of course are GUNS in the hands of mentally sick peopld. Moral decay? Techers need to pack? This guy and Perry and quite a few others can't think straight and should have their guns taken away from them – no?

    December 19, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. Smacky Smooth

    I cant stand the Tea Party, but really, the man has a point. However, UNTIL we have solutions on that part, guns still need some regulation. In other words, why would you need regulation AFTER you "fix" the mental health situation in the country? Would it not be prudent to make it hard to get guns while the wackadoos are untouchable and in society?
    My other worry is this...WHO will determine who is sick and deluded? Who will legislate the requirements and set the standard of proof regarding denying guns to or locking up those who need to be?

    December 19, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  14. Danny Hunt

    Newtown, Connecticut : Hurricane Sandy, Sandy Hook Elementary, New Jersey, An Act of Organized Crime and Terror to Advocate Gun Control?


    A well armed population is hard to oppress, and can be scary for oppressors. (Marie Antoinette)

    The stereotypes and abuse are linked to denial, bullying, mobbing, workplace psychological harassment, and criminal harassment networks* aka organized crime. Organized crime is causing these rage shootings, and advocates a defenseless population through stereotypes and rhetoric that is easier to repress and oppress.

    [*] criminal harassment networks, the mob, are linked to I Influence of the Mind and related organized crime acts of terror to advocate a defenseless population.

    see the Rage Shooting Factors for these and different organized crime scenarios using these rage shooting factors. The Rage Shooting Factors posts or comments that contain these are censored.

    December 19, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  15. tlobe

    The problem of guns lies with the individual user, society at large, and the arms industry. Too many indivduals are too heavily influenced by a culture of violence as portrayed in supposedly harmless video games, the level of violence in movies, and a get even philosophy that emerges from video games, movies, television, and the manner in which the media presents episodes such behavior. The solution does not lie with restricting the right to bear arms, though I do favor reducing/restricitng the availability of military style weapons and ammunition magazines by limiting the manufacture and distribution of such weapons. The bad guys will get ahold of these weapons regardless but constricting the supply will necessarily reduce the demand.

    December 19, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. Bryan

    Notice how its all the Republican lawmakers looking to push the conversation away form guns. Do we need to address how mental illness is treated...absolutely (Obamacare...hint hint). However...there is no reason other than selfishness to avoid the gun conversation. These scumbags don't want to give up their assault rifles and they don't care how many kids have to die.....

    December 19, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  17. abmri60

    Larry Pratt ( ecx director of gun ownership of America ) stated :

    Evil is in our hearts not in the guns.
    Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands.


    December 19, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. Not Buying it Tim

    Total deflection. he must be in the pockets of the NRA. this is exactly the crap that leads nowhere. Tim you are an elected official. 2014 is not that far away. You are on the list of politicians that have no business representing the American people.

    December 19, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. Ralph M

    The moral decay is from lack of parental supervision. Parents can't supervise because both parents have to work to make ends meet. Making ends meet is hard due to unbridled corporate greed. How about we start at that level. Nip it in the bud as it were.

    December 19, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. D Sage

    So THAT'S what the FEMA camps are for...who knew??

    December 19, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  21. glades2

    He's correct about moral decay – we removed God from schools 50 years ago and then gave our "blessing" to the murder of 50 million babies since 1973, and now encourage "tolerance" of many types of moral behavior that God said are an abomination to Him, so should we be surprised that God's creation of a human life has about as much value or meaning to most Americans as it did to Hitler, who also murdered innocent children?

    December 19, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  22. CB FL

    All these people that are coming out against gun control. Would they still be saying this if one of there children was lying there with 6 to 10 bullets in them. They don't care about your children, they only worry about there job.

    December 19, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  23. rightospeak

    Tim Scott is absolutely right.The discussion needs to address mental illness, TV culture of violence and morality. Bankers robbing the country blind , endless wars are a result of moral decay. To spend the taxpayer's money and cut social safety nets is immoral.

    December 19, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  24. Craig

    Sigh, this guy doesn't even recognize the problem... How the he'll is he going to fix it?

    December 19, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  25. Jackson

    Gee, maybe this country is getting angrier and angrier because of all the divisiveness??? Ya think?

    You have people like Trump talking revolution, what do you expect is going to happen?

    The government is getting angrier and angrier as both parties flat out refuse to cooperate. then they resort to name calling and finger pointing, then they start with the pointed animosity.

    US Government, it is'nt a question of moral decay, at least, not on the part of the citizens. Everyone is reacting to the complete and total divisiveness in D.C.

    FIX IT!!!!!

    December 19, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
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