Nick Freitas, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, sat down with The Daily Signal to talk about the Second Amendment and the Waffle House shooting that occurred on April 22 in Tennessee, resulting in the deaths of four people. Police apprehended the suspected shooter Monday. Freitas cautions against putting all of the focus on guns. 

Freitas, a Republican elected in 2016 to represent Culpeper, Madison, and Orange counties, is a business consultant and former Green Beret who served two combat tours in Iraq. On March 2, he gave a seven-minute speech about the importance of the Second Amendment that went viral and reached millions. 

Here’s what he had to say about the Waffle House shooting: 

Well, I mean, obviously, we all feel horrible for the victims and for the families of the victims. I do think this was another case of, once again, we’re putting the emphasis on the gun, when we clearly had someone that was dealing with a series of mental health issues, had numerous run-ins with the law enforcement.

His guns had actually been confiscated and then given back to his father, and then, his father, again, I would say, foolishly handed them back to his son.

But again, the thing I always question is so what do we learn from this, and what I would hope we would learn from this is when someone is dealing with a multitude of mental issues and engaging in criminal activity that this person had previously, we need to make sure that we’re identifying that early on and seeing this as someone that’s potentially dangerous and then getting them the help that they need or potentially resorting to incarceration if that’s appropriate.

But again, if we put all the emphasis on the gun, we are missing the larger point here, which is that we had a government breakdown in one sense, and then, we have mental health issues that we have to be able to effectively address in this country. And it makes it more difficult to do that if all of the attention is on guns.