'Ridiculous trash': Steve Scalise skewered for claiming 'there wasn't a conversation about banning airplanes' after 9/11

'Ridiculous trash': Steve Scalise skewered for claiming 'there wasn't a conversation about banning airplanes' after 9/11
United States Representative and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) (screengrab).

United States Representative Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) said on Wednesday that he opposes new restrictions on firearms because airplanes were not banned in the wake of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"Airplanes were used that day as the weapon to kill thousands of people and to inflict terror on our country," the House Minority Whip told reporters at a press conference.

"There wasn't a conversation about banning airplanes," he said. "There was a conversation about connecting the dots. How can we figure out if there are signs we can see to stop the attack from happening? And some people might have thought that wasn't possible. And yet because Congress came together and focused on the root cause of the problem, thank God we have been able to stop other attacks on our homeland."

Watch below via The Recount:

A few minutes earlier, Scalise suggested that school shootings have become more prevalent because of an absence of prayer.

Scalise, who survived an assassination attempt at a Congressional baseball game shooting in 2017, is not the only elected Republican invoking 9/11 to boost their opposition to gun control. Last month, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado), claimed to Fox News host Sean Hannity that "when 9/11 happened, we didn’t ban planes. We secured the cockpits.”

Boebert shared her perspective less than two weeks after ten Black shoppers were murdered in a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York and only two days after 19 students and two teachers were slaughtered in a massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. There have been more than 250 such attacks across the US so far in 2022, according to The New York Times.

But what both GOP lawmakers omitted in their remarks was that access to aircraft and airport terminals was significantly limited after 9/11 and that additional rules extended far beyond merely "securing the cockpits."

For example, all air traffic was grounded on 9/11 and in the days that followed. Yet that was just the start of a total restructuring of how Americans – and citizens from around the world – move about.

Exclusively ticketed passengers – to this day – are permitted past security checkpoints. Carryon items, particularly liquids purchased outside of the facility, can only be in containers of three ounces or less. Sharp implements like knives, scissors, and boxcutters, which were used to murder aircrews on 9/11, are prohibited. Travelers are subjected to body scanners, hand swipes to detect residue from explosives, and personal searches at the discretion of Transportation Security Authority agents. It is also common for plainclothes air marshals to be embedded on domestic and international flights. The federal government even created an entirely new Department of Homeland Security and enacted the still-controversial Patriot Act to prevent future terrorist strikes.

Guns and ammunition, meanwhile, are required to be packed in checked luggage and must be declared before the beginning of a trip. Other measures are listed on the TSA's website.

Thus, social media users were quick to rebut Scalise on four main points.

The first was his rewriting of history.

The second was Scalise's false equivalency between airplanes and guns.

The third was the lack of meaningful action by Scalise and Boebert (both of whom have financial support and respective A/A+ ratings awarded by the Natioal Rifle Association) as well as the GOP to reduce the carnage wrought by guns falling into the wrong hands.

The fourth was Scalise's reversion to praying the gun violence away.

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