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April 20, 2014

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Politics:

Did Heck agree that Giffords is ‘prop’ in gun control debate?

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Leila Navidi

Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., greets supporters during a GOP election night party at the Venetian in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.

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Radio talk show host Alan Stock at the Jennifer Harman Charity Poker Tournament at the Venetian to benefit the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, April 13, 2010.

Rep. Joe Heck seems to have committed a political faux pas Tuesday when he appeared to agree with the KDWN 720-AM conservative radio host Alan Stock that President Barack Obama is using former Rep. Gabby Giffords as a “prop” to push a gun control message.

Heck offered an “I agree” to Stock, who had spent the last 30 seconds complaining that Obama’s State of the Union references to Giffords “who can’t even clap her hands … is just a shameful act, putting her up there as a prop.” Stock also called the president’s reference to Giffords “nauseating.”

Obama recognized Giffords, who was shot in the head during a constituent event in Tucson in January 2011, as an individual who “deserves a vote” on gun control in Congress.

Heck then went on to talk about the Dec. 14 shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and how “those that are anti-gun want to use that as their opportunity to limit Second Amendment rights.”

The audio clip is available on political columnist Jon Ralston’s blog, here.

But Heck is pushing back against the idea that he was criticizing Giffords, saying he was never agreeing with Stock’s comments — at least not about Giffords.

“Congressman Heck does not think that Congresswoman Giffords was being used as a prop at the State of the Union address,” Heck spokesman Greg Lemon said. “He was agreeing with the idea of there being a gun grab in Washington, and that legislative proposals infringe on Second Amendment rights.”

Stock had begun to ask Heck a question about “a gun grab out of D.C. by some of your colleagues from the other side of the aisle,” before riffing on the idea of Giffords being used as a prop for the next 30 seconds.

Lemon added that Heck spoke about Newtown not as a logical next step from Giffords, but also in reference to the idea of opportunistic lawmakers making a grab at guns.

“Heck does think that the shooting in Newtown elicited a very emotional response, and a lot of the proposals and bills and things were introduced of the aftermath with those emotional feelings in mind,” Lemon said. “He is a facts and figures guy, and if we’re going to do this, if we’re going to go down the road of gun measures, they need to be thorough and measured and considerate, not just knee-jerk, emotional responses. And he’s on the record saying as much.”

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  1. Constitutional rights were enumerated to prevent them from being eliminated but never unlimited.

    Freedom of Speech is limited in a large number of ways and the classic examples are well known. The Right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for one may not conflict with the same rights for others. For Heck to say that Second Amendment Rights are unlimited is nonsense.

  2. No knee jerk reaction, like the one he made on the radio show! LOL

    Mr Heck evidently assumes that if a person cannot clap, they cannot think. He also assumes that a person who is shot by a madman cannot have a true commitment to limit the access to weapons that could do the same or worse to others. Really great for a physician to say such a thing.

    As far as the "unlimited" rights in the Second Amendment goes, in 2008 the Supreme Court, in Heller, held that the Second Amendment did secure the right of law-abiding, responsible adults to have handguns in their homes for protection. The court also stated that most forms of gun regulation remain constitutionally permissible.

    "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited," Justice Antonin Scalia, explained. Scalia further wrote that the Second Amendment is "not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."

  3. Apparently Second Amendment rights are unlimited according to Heck, but voting rights and women's rights to reproductive choices can be limited. Not one for consistency are you Joe?

  4. Paging mred...

    Alan 'Laughing' Stock, the extreme right-wing mouthpiece formerly of the lowly-rated KXNT, now plying his trade at the even LOWER-rated KDWN (where 2 tin cans and some string could replace the transmitter)...using the same old tired shtick; lobbing softballs to 'conservatives' whilst bashing Obama and 'libruls', confuses poor old Joe into saying something his peeps later 'retract & rephrase'...I think ol' Joe meant exactly what he said;

    "I AGREE".

  5. prop is the wrong word... exploited is the correct word.