Texas Republican Representative Ronny Jackson recently spoke out on the deadly school shootings in his state, saying he believes the United States needs to look at “moral decline” as the root cause of such violence.
“I think that’s a big part of what’s going on here,” said Jackson.
“We’ve gotten away from family and from God, community, and those are things that we must, we have to embrace again. That’s what made this country great and what made this country safe.”
Jackson formerly served as the White House physician for former President Donald Trump.
He explained that he grew up in a small Texas town about the size of Uvalde, where a gunman murdered two teachers and 19 children, but he can’t imagine something like that happening in his hometown.
“Things have changed now. Our kids are exposed to a lot of stuff that is harmful to them with video games, these violent video games that they’re exposed to at a very early age, and I’ve said before, some of the lyrics in the rap music and stuff that they listen to is not healthy, and we need to address this kind of stuff. This is what’s causing a lot of these problems.”
There are renewed calls for gun control laws after the shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Texas, including reports of Democrats and Republicans willing to change the age requirements to purchase automatic weapons, raising the age from 18 to 21.
Jackson is seeking reelection. He said he hopes Democrats are willing to listen to Republicans’ suggestions as he is ready to listen to them.
“We need to be open-minded about this, but I will not back down on a second on the Second Amendment and our right to own and bear arms here in this country,” Jackson said.
“Taking firearms away from legal, law-abiding citizens is not the answer. That just leaves all the criminals with the weapons and the law-abiding citizens without any to defend themselves with.”
Jackson denies wrongdoing in campaign
Jackson also denies any wrongdoing in connection with an investigation into the use of campaign contributions to pay membership dues at a private club.
The House Ethics Committee is investigating the contributions.
According to The New York Times, congressional ethics investigators have obtained “substantial” proof campaign donations were used to pay for Jackson and his wife to have unlimited access to the Amarillo Club in Amarillo, Texas.
According to the Office of Congressional Ethics, such usage would be a violation of Federal Election Commission regulations.
“There’s no misspending of campaign funds in this, and they know this,” said Jackson.
“This is part of the left attack on outspoken Republicans where they come after us. … All they’re really trying to do is cost you time, cost you money, and generate headlines. Every penny I’ve spent has been spent appropriately and has been spent in keeping with the ethics guidelines.”
The investigators obtained the information from spending disclosures, said Jackson. He also defended his campaign’s spending, saying, “Yes, you are allowed to do such things as having the membership at a place like that, if the membership fees are cheaper than what it would cost to rent out the facility for campaign events. … I’ve been to that place about three times, and they’ve all been associated with official campaign events.”
Jackson continued, “My family’s never even set foot in the place related to for this stuff. My wife has been with me the campaign events, but I’ve never used any of my campaign funds for personal use, period.”