A year after shooting, GOP lawmakers hold firm on gun rights

FILE - In this March 6, 2018 file photo, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise speaks at the 2018 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) polic

FILE - In this March 6, 2018 file photo, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise speaks at the 2018 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) polic

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican lawmakers say the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others at a congressional baseball practice a year ago has only strengthened their commitment to protecting gun rights.

Republican Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio says if two Capitol Police officers were not armed at the GOP practice, "you might have seen 20 dead people."

The sentiment is widespread among Republicans, even with mass shootings within the last year at a music festival in Las Vegas and high schools in Florida and Texas.

Scalise, of Louisiana, said the baseball practice shooting "deepened my appreciation for the Second Amendment because it was people with guns who saved my life and every other member out there."

Scalise suffered life-threatening injuries but is expected in uniform Thursday at the annual congressional game.