Bobby Jindal has sometimes struggled to garner attention for his presidential campaign by declaiming on issues important to hardcore conservatives. Unsolicited, he weighed in on Rudy Giuliani’s musing that Barack Obama doesn’t love America (Jindal agreed). When other states backed off so-called religious-freedom laws and orders, Jindal went out of his way to issue an executive order doing the same in Louisiana.
Jindal’s latest comments might attract the attention of strong conservatives, but they’re unlikely to meet with approval. Speaking on CBS’s Face the Nation, the Louisiana governor discussed the shooting at a theater in Lafayette on July 23, in which a gunman killed two women before shooting himself. Jindal noted that Louisiana reports information on involuntary commitments for mental illness to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
“I think every state should strengthen their laws,” he said. “Every state should make sure this information is being reported in the background system. We need to make sure that background system is working. Absolutely, in this instance, this man never should have been able to buy a gun.”
That’s a notable statement because elected Republican officeholders have generally tended to oppose any expansion of gun laws. Although polls showed that a great majority of Americans favored at least modest new restrictions on gun access—including, notably, expanded background checks to close existing loopholes—legislation to implement such measures failed in Congress in 2013 on strong opposition from Republicans.