A Republican Florida lawmaker and Army war veteran says he now supports the ban of future purchases of AR-15 assault weapons, because “I’m never going to regret saving a life.”
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In an interview on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., who lost both of his legs in the war, explained “when I was on the battlefield and I saw an opportunity to save a life, I didn’t have a conversation about it.”
“I acted,” he said. “It’s common sense, and that’s what needs to happen here.”
Amid the national discussion over a response to the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school that killed 17 people on Feb. 14, Mast said he also supports raising the age of those who can purchase arms.
“I think there’s a lot of things we can do, whether it’s looking at add-ons, whether we’re looking at all the things relating to mental illness,” he said of gun safety, adding: “I’m going to be supporting these measures if that means that we can save a life. I’m never going to regret saving a life.
Mast said he carried a weapon similar to an AR-15 when he was “in the most dangerous country on Earth,” calling it “the best weapon they gave me to go out there to make sure I could eliminate our enemies.”
But he asserted, Americans don’t have “unlimited access to the automatic weapons I carried on the battlefield.”
“I can’t go out there and get a saw automatic weapon or hand grenades or a rocket,” he said. “We respect that the Second Amendment is a God-given right. That right to defend ourselves is unimpeachable, but it doesn’t mean every single arm.”