Rep. Brad Wenstrup: Solving gun violence requires a broad perspective -- and bans aren't the answer

Posted at 1:15 PM, Mar 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-27 01:58:31-04

CINCINNATI -- As far as gun legislation goes, Rep. Brad Wenstrup said he isn’t sure banning AR-15 rifles will stop mass shootings.

But he is sure of one thing: He said no one called for gun control after a gunman opened fire at a congressional baseball practice in June, injuring GOP House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and several others.

This isn't true. Prominently, Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called for more background checks, USA Today reported; he was, however, quickly admonished by a Virginia Republican that the aftermath of the event was "not a day for politics." 

But the February shooting that killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida has prompted an entire movement dedicated to gun control. 

The "March for our Lives" rallies took place across the country Saturday -- including in Cincinnati -- nearly a month-and-a-half after student Nikolas Cruz shot dozens of people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

Wenstrup said young people participating in the marches leave an impression by bringing conversations about firearms to the forefront, but he said he believes the issue goes much deeper than banning guns. 

“This is so multi-faceted,” Wenstrup said. “I think the march will bring more attention to it, but it has to bring attention to all components of the violence that’s occurring in America.” 

Wenstrup said he’s partnered with Dr. Raul Ruiz, a democratic representative in California, to approach gun violence from a “healthcare” stand point by examining what drives homicides. 

“We both have experience in this arena of taking care of people who have been victims of violence,” Wenstrup said. 

Ruiz is an emergency room doctor, and Wenstrup is a doctor by trade and has a podiatry practice in Blue Ash. He’s also a U.S. Army Reserve Officer and was a surgeon in Iraq in 2004 and 2005.

Scalise would have likely died had Wenstrup not treated him on the baseball field after the June 14 shooting. 

Still, Wenstrup said he isn’t sure whether banning certain weapons will accomplish anything; he said laws that are in place need to be enforced first.  

“You look at the sad situation in Parkland -- which breaks my heart, it made me sick actually --  and look at how many components along the way were missed, when maybe this could have been prevented,” Wenstrup said. 

Wenstrup represents Ohio’s 2nd District, which includes Cincinnati’s eastern suburbs; Clermont, Adams, Brown, Highland and Pike counties; and parts of Scioto and Ross counties.