Congressman Steve Scalise talks recovery and his stance on gun control after being shot

Scalise talks about what he thought the moment he was shot in 2017, and about his return to Congress.
11:20 | 12/04/18

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Transcript for Congressman Steve Scalise talks recovery and his stance on gun control after being shot
Okay. Terrifying close to death when a gunman opens fire on him and other congressman. Thankfully he escaped with his life. And he's just written an aptly titled new memoir back in the game please welcome it's my honor congressman Steve Scully if thank you so much for coming on congressman is such an honor to have you here. You know what an honored be here thank bill for heaven may and while the raiders what are we thank. If you realize yes Matt Christmas Merry Christmas and we want to talk about your book but obviously we have to bring up. America's morning the lots of former president George H. W. Bush. What do you think of his like to see especially in regards to State's Republicans. Well you know president George H. W. Bush was such a warm and gentle man and yesterday I was at the ceremony. At the capitol it was just it's a wonderful celebration of his life yeah a lot of our really touching speeches. And you are speaker majority of the a leader in the senate and the vice president if some wonderful remarks and the crowd was teared up I teared up a few times and you could see president George W. Bush and his rest of the family tearing up as well largest celebrating the great life of a great man. And I just look what he did in New Orleans you know from New Orleans represent the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He and President Clinton they don't Bill Clinton had defeated him in the election. And yet they came together and put together the bush Clinton foundation raised over ninety million dollars from to help rebuild schools and churches and just. That's the kind of person that he he was and it's great to celebrate a wonderful life and I know Maggie and you. Have a similar celebration tough time but what a wonderful legacy you have to remembers well. Passing you and speaking of life it's a miracle that you're sitting with us today. It is a little over a year ago a U almost lost her life you write it based on congressional baseball practice remembered as I was covering the breaking news at the moment and no one knew. Really what was happening at that time you thought that it was a tractor that was back firing at what moment did you realize when it happened that you were shocked. You know the first shot you're a baseball field at 6:30 in the morning you know you don't think and that there's a shot being fired. The second shot I I knew was gunfire and by the third shot I was hit and went down my league's. Gave out the bullet shattered my femur and broke my hip and you know and so did a lot of internal damage I didn't realize how much damage it did but I went down and I just started crawling away. And die I could tell it was coming from third base someone second base. So I I didn't see the shooter but I I can just hear the gun frontal crawling away from it. In in my arms gave out after about twenty feet and at that point I started to pray said you know got us a putting God's hands and I prayed. You know the first there came a mine about a daughter she was ten years old at the time and as a god. Please don't let Madison have to walk on the Al alone is just the first member that came to me and and in blasters felt as incredible. Com come over me that god you know I put in his hands and he really. He did take care of me and there were so many miracles on the field a document a lot of those in the book things that you just maybe the first or second thing you go. That's a coincidence and after the third and fourth and fifth thing. You know Trent Kelly a congressman from. My Mississippi is playing third base maybe thirty feet from the shooter. And he shoots right at Trent said and the bullet hits a link in the chain link fence and just Beers enough to Wear when he said it's and he felt that the rabbis. Head that was directed for him. And and any looks over he sees the shooter and he takes off and he served in Iraq so he knew. My immediately it was a done then the gentleman who was also. To Dr. the Indian. To Brett what struck congress from Ohio colleague of mine. Typically he leaves at around 7 o'clock in the morning hit at 8 o'clock meeting mad at his office and then the media got canceled on his way to practice. So schedule said OK you don't have the 8 o'clock meeting so decides to stay late. And he goes to the batting cage and when the shooting starts. You know Brad was a combat surgeon and run. And so he's watching me and he's seeing mean he's looking for movement he sees my leg movement and he just wants to see if I'm still alive and as soon as the shooter went down. And my god capitol police David bailing personal griner capitol police officers are where there. Are in a shootout with the shooter both of them got hit during the shootout and kept going at it and as soon as the shooter went down. Brad comes over to me he sees that these there's an entry wound but there's no exit wound back and he saw similar case in in combat. And the man died. The soldier died so he knew what was going on sodomy in a new leading to stop the bleeding he put on a tourniquet. My trauma surgeon told me if that tourniquet was an applied just perfectly like Brad put it on. I would never even made it to the hospital itself so many Merrill Ashley and there are. Out if recovery was long and there were I'd imagine a lot of dark days what was the low point for you. And I'll you know the the lowest point. And I had a lot of setbacks and you know infections with seven and I go back to surgery at nine. Surgeries and doctor salve and the whole team I talk about them in the book and how the wonderful things that they did to keep me alive. But dumb idea I had a lot of nerve damage in my left leg and when one of my doctors factories have came to me and said. You know he did a lot of nerve tests and they said. We don't think the nerves in your foot are gonna come back and left foot. So I may never be able run again I love playing sports. But you know what I knew at the time OK I'd become a life of got my family. The things that I love I can still do and if I can't run again I'll come up with other hobbies but. I you know if that helps you focus on what's important in life. It's a sure we have setbacks I had setbacks let's talk about that the book but also talk about the things they gave me strength the people. Who gave me strength prayers from strangers friends from a bottle calling prime minister Netanyahu from Israel calling me from the hospital talk about his brother. Who died in the raid in Entebbe and talk about that experience it was just wonderful people that lift you up and you know there was one act of evil. But there were so many acts of of of kindness and in miracles and in it on the heroes and we talk about that in the book to so anybody who's got something they're dealing with that stuff in their life. You can get through it and relying on the people letter that are there you know not just your friends are calm but it's amazing how strangers just pop up along the way to win and give you strength. So I I. I'm me. Can't imagine. What this what you've gone through a slack. But I have to sound a bit surprised. That after all you went there and that you know I don't seem to have. An idea that there may be some warm gun control that we need to work on. With stuff like this let's people who maybe shouldn't have access to them and accept checks such asylum. Surprise that you. Don't feel that there is any war that we can do with Duncan child. You know right after I came back and you know three and a half months later came back to congress and got to go back to work again and it. People would ask me you know certain views different ongoing control or even on other issues than. Not that deep rooted conservative beliefs but they're rooted in what the fundamental foundation of this country is based on an in the constitution. Was written initially they didn't have a protection for guns because our founders just thought it was an assumed right. Later they added it in the bill of rights is the Second Amendment but they felt very strongly every American has the right to defend themselves. If you look they're bad people out there you know whether the use guns or knives or bombs. There are a lot of laws on the books you know somebody goes and use a gun to commit a crime. They've broken series of laws to get there live so let's enforce the laws better it look we found a lot of mental health problems. And then there's usually a common thread a lot of the shooters at their mental health issues. We weren't close a lot of those loopholes we just passed some new laws and they were very bipartisan so they didn't get a lot of attention. But laws that help close a lot of those loopholes and and Courtney lot of mental health problems in this country so that if somebody. Does have serious mental illness are going to be taking care of and a better way and and obviously the laws that that that. Protect them along when. So I have been at kind of a silly question that it has to go with this also. So we talk about the founding fathers from time to time because we have all these discussions about guns and gun laws and I'm I'm gonna own our. What do you think there were talking about what kind of does does this as a coupon to Alicia you have every right sin sin. You know carry on so what good does you think they were talking about you think they way where we're consent decree they had lost its data might think it's. Today you know powerful weapon write a note today we we laugh about about some Lebanon in what. Our founding fathers what they really talked about was that people had a right to defend themselves. Then and they felt her story wasn't just say militia but it wasn't just in looks the Supreme Court by the way answered this question a few years ago there was a question of whether or not the militia only meant. You have to be in the military to be able Lana garner can you owning individual who and the supreme it was a 54 decision which rules concerning ammunition have been. I'm 90 decision. A but the Supreme Court said very clearly you can own a gun not just as a member of the military but also. Individually to protect yourself and so that is what the true meaning of the Second Amendment is and again go back and read what our founders talked about before they wrote the constitution this was a fundamental belief. I'll back you know we. We may never agree and weigh about this it's important that you know we have this debate ends you know page you can talk about the mosque it's and what they did they didn't have you know airplanes and things that you can do to deliver bombs to yeah. Allow us to to you know deliver weapons in different ways. Congressman's policing and had nine surgeries and then you returned and had a standing ovation. And I wanted to know what that was lake finally coming back from at the state of the union and to this kind of applies. I was so happy to see you and walking and speaking in just you know back to in what you do best what was that moment. Like I saw the most special moments in my life from an obviously you know my wedding to Jennifer the birth my kids Madison and Harrison but to be able come back. I wasn't sure fouls going to be able to come back to work a lot of people wonder about that and so to be it would get back into the house chamber and see. My friends and Republican and Democrat people hadn't seen in months some people at a come visit me. And and the C that warm reception it just. It meant so much to be able to do that again when when it was a question whether or not it was going to be able to and so. You know that that kind of reaction shows you enemy's center Pritchard my colleague. From New Orleans who's probably is liberal. As you can be on the conservative Republican. He was sitting right behind me he was the first person come to the hospital. Right after the shooting and is. The Democrats have their practice going on the morning to when he showed up in his uniform a city just you know again it shows you there are real friendships you conform Republican and Democrat treat people with. Respect happier here congressman's release dates such an honor to have you think British Zell might think he's really a privilege comes about aging well thank you so much. Members of islands are getting a copy of his club back yeah.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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