Army veteran and Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz is suggesting a response to the rivers of blood from mass shootings in America cannot be found in gun control but rather in “getting young men off the couch” and into national service.
Waltz, the first Green Beret elected to Congress, stopped short of advocating a national military draft, but argued on FOX News that community service might ease what ails people who turn into killers.
The congressman from St. Augustine Beach spoke to FOX News’ Martha MacCallum in response to the massacres that took place in El Paso and Dayton this past weekend.
“We have to get at the deeper ills here of why these young men are committing these heinous acts. We’ve had guns in our history – our entire history – but these shootings are new and it’s this generation,” he said. “I think we have to take a strategic look at how we get these young men off their couch, off their video games and out serving in their communities again.”
Waltz advocated for a national service program to “incentivize young men to reintegrate into their communities,” a press release said. “Social isolation is considered a risk factor for mass shooters.”
The answer, he told MacCallum, “is not broad bans on firearms for all law-abiding Americans. “The Second Amendment is a fundamental right in our Constitution … and it absolutely has to be protected.
“If we want to look at different ways we should to keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill … or people that shouldn’t have them, absolutely.”
“Numerous studies have found positive benefits correlated with volunteering and service,” the release said. “According to one study from the University of Nevada-Reno, young people who volunteer one hour a week or more are 50 percent less likely to abuse alcohol or engage in other destructive behavior.”
His national service initiative was first in a May op-ed published in the Washington Examiner. Legislation is forthcoming, he said.