The Democrats are increasing their pressure on Republicans to consider a new gun control bill soon, giving as justification the deadly Las Vegas shooting that claimed the lives of 59 people and wounded more than four hundred others. The Republicans, however, are refusing to take the bait.
Senate Majority Whip John Corryn of R-Texas has spoken about the matter. He said: “I just think politicizing this terrible tragedy is beyond disgusting and we ought to wait a respect full period of time, out of respect for people who lost their lives or were injured before we get into the push and shove of politics around here.”
Sen. Mike Rounds, R- S.D. agrees and said it might be too early to talk about gun control legislation in reaction to what just happened in Las Vegas as they need clearer minds to think things over.More importantly he wants to focus on the victims and their families for now.
He said: “We do much better work when we allow the haze to clear. Most people I’ve talked to and visited with have been more focused on victims and their families right now and we’ll start out by offering our condolences to the families of those who are injured. Then, let’s get the facts about what happened and determine how this individual obtained the firearms. Did he have mental issues? Let’s get the facts.”
The Democrats are urging Congress to do something to reduce gun violence, and they see gun control as the only way to achieve that. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., an avowed proponent of gun control since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012 has spoken anew and blasted his colleagues on the matter. He said:”To my colleagues: Your cowardice to act cannot be whitewashed by thoughts and prayers. None of this ends until we do something to stop it.”
The Republicans have consistently argued that the perpetrators of mass shootings are already law breakers, and new laws would not be necessary. And neither would they be effective to solve the problem.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. has sent a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan demanding that he create a bipartisan Select Committee on Gun Violence to “end the crisis” through “common sense legislation.”
The Democrats have also found an endorser in former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz. who was shot in the head in 2011 by a mentally ill man. Giffords showed up in front of the U.S. Capitol Monday afternoon to call on Congress to pass new gun laws.
Despite stepping up pressure, the Democrats will be in for a tough battle to have their preferred gun control laws enacted. Members from both parties from pro-gun rights states have always opposed gun legislation, and Democrats have many times in the past years failed to gain enough support even from their own ranks.