Republican Rep. Ralph Norman Pulls Out Loaded Gun at Diner to Prove Guns Aren’t the Problem

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., conducts a ceremonial swearing in of Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., in the Capitol on Monday, June 26, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican Rep. Ralph Norman pulled out his loaded, personal .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun Friday and laid it on the table at a diner where he was meeting with his constituents in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Norman told CNN he wanted to make a point in the debate over gun violence.

“I merely proved a point that guns themselves are not the issue,” he said.

Norman said that having a loaded gun in the room should, if anything, have made people feel more safe.

“Given the scenario that if someone had walked into that diner and began to fire a weapon, I told them I would be able to defend myself and them as well,” he explained.

The Post and Courier previously reported the incident.

“I’m not going to be a Gabby Giffords,” Norman told the newspaper, referring to the Democratic former congresswoman from Arizona who was shot at a constituent gathering in her district in 2011. “I don’t mind dying, but whoever shoots me better shoot well or I’m shooting back.”

In a statement to CNN provided by his communications director, Norman added: “Mental health, and more importantly, a lack of morality, is the driving force behind this epidemic. Guns are not the problem.”

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SOURCE: CNN, Annie Grayer