ICYMI: Rep. Waltz Pushes National Service Initiative to Combat Mass Gun Violence

August 8, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) spoke with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum to advocate for a national service initiative as one way to address mass gun violence following the El Paso and Dayton shootings.

“The answer 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.”

Waltz then advocated for a national service program to incentivize young men to reintegrate into their communities. Social isolation is considered a risk factor for mass shooters.

“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. 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.”

Meanwhile, numerous studies have found positive benefits correlated with volunteering and service. 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.

Waltz first explained his intent to return to a national service initiative in a May op-ed published in the Washington Examiner. Waltz's legislation to promote a national service program is forthcoming.

A video of the interview is available here.