INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana — Former Vice President Mike Pence told Breitbart News exclusively here at the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual gathering earlier this month he has a four-step plan that is pro-Second Amendment to combat the “scourge of mass shootings” plaguing society right now.
“I think under the Biden Administration we’ve seen a steady assault on all the God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution—freedom of religion, freedom of speech—but there’s no question that this administration has set its sights on the Second Amendment enshrined in the Constitution,” Pence told Breitbart News. “Now more than ever people that cherish the right to keep and bear arms need their voices to be heard. We need to elect leaders who will stand by our Constitution and stand by our God-given rights. We need to be educating the rising generation on the importance of all of our Bill of Rights’ freedoms including the Second Amendment, but I think we’ve got to lean into how to address this scourge of mass shootings.”
In his speech the NRA gathering moments later, Pence laid out some of these ideas—but in his interview with Breitbart News backstage he went in depth explaining how gun control does not work and there are policies that American leaders can pursue both at the federal and at the state level that will work.
“In the wake of the tragedy in the last week in Louisville and a short time ago in Nashville, Tennessee, the Biden Administration just reflexively returns to gun control and gun confiscation but the American people know better,” Pence said. “Some of the most violent cities in America have the most stringent gun control. The people in this country know that.”
A survey from Rasmussen Reports shows that more likely voters blame mental health for mass shootings than blame guns. https://t.co/V3gUQbVSEk
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 17, 2023
The four-step plan from the former Vice President starts with ending the “Defund the Police”. Movement in the country. Secondly, he said that there is no reason why every school in America does not have an armed resource officer to protect children and that the United States should ensure that every school has one. Thirdly, he said he believes that the appeals process for death penalty sentences for convicted mass shooters should be sped up so as to deliver that justice much more swiftly—and fourthly, Pence said it is time for the U.S. to reinvest in institutional mental health.
“So, I’m going to talk today about saying we got to end the ‘Defund the Police’ movement once and for all,” Pence said. “As Biden finds trillions of dollars to spend on every liberal wish list item in Washington DC, I think the time has come to give every community in the country the resources necessary to put armed resource officers in every public and private school in the country. Thirdly, I’ve called for it recently but I believe we need to have a new federal statute that not only has a death penalty for mass shootings but also expedites the appeal process—we don’t want to deny anybody due process but the idea that we have people languishing in prison for years who claimed the lives of innocent civilians in these mass shootings is just unconscionable to me so I think we’ve got to enact legislation that gives federal prosecutors new tools to deliver swift and certain justice to these mass shooters. And finally, I think we’ve got to recommit our nation to institutional mental healthcare. One of the last things I did when I was governor of Indiana was I broke ground on the first mental health hospital that had been built in more than 30 years in our state. The truth is we walked away from institutional mental health back in the 1970s. We put a lot of people out on the street who should have been in institutions and right now a family facing someone struggling with serious mental illness—who’s maybe a danger to themselves or others—oftentimes only has the county lockup to turn to. There’s nowhere else to go in too many places across the country. So I think we need to lean into the fight on supporting law enforcement and supporting our kids and expediting penalties against mass shooters but I also think we’ve got to rededicate our nation to institutional mental healthcare.”
Asked about how the Democrats and the left generally reflexively blame law-abiding gun owners and groups like the NRA whenever there is a mass shooting—and how they call for gun control policies even though such policies have failed wherever implemented—Pence said the American people do not buy what the Democrats are selling on this front.
“The American people know that firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens make our communities more safe not less safe,” Pence said. “In one situation after another, the American people have seen that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun. I just don’t think these arguments sell. I think the American people know better. While most of the national media, present company excepted, buy into these arguments almost reflexively, I do think we owe it to the country to offer real solutions and begin to say there’s something wicked afoot in the culture in these shootings and I really do believe support for our law enforcement, protecting our kids, expediting penalties against those who commit these types of crimes, and creating institutions where these people who need help can be sent instead of the county lockup or out on the street is the answer.”
As for whether the federal government or state governments should provide the resources for armed officers in every school as part of his plan, Pence said that while he does not support the federal government “meddling in education” that the most prosperous nation in the history of the planet should remove cost from this equation and make sure every child in school is protected however necessary.
“I’m someone who believes that education is a state and local function,” Pence said. “I’m not for federal meddling in education. I will tell you that in the wake of Sandy Hook, which happened between when I was elected governor of Indiana and when I was inaugurated, we formulated policies that funded armed resource officers in every school in the state of Indiana and gave resources to every school to harden our schools and protect our kids. The most prosperous nation in the history of the world can protect our kids in the classroom. The idea that this trans activist walked into Covenant Christian school and claimed the lives of three children and three adults is unspeakable but I think we just need to remove the issue of cost from public and private schools and I think the American people would rally behind that.”