Democrat Leaders Express Outrage – Sen. Murphy Tells Congress to ‘Get Off Its Ass’ on Gun Control
Democratic lawmaker, Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut is demanding that Congress gets off its ass and do something about gun control in the wake of the worst mass shooting in modern American history in Las Vegas, Nevada. Police say Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock left at least 58 dead and sent more than 500 to the hospital Sunday night.
The police has declined to release additional information about how the gunman acquired the weapons.
“This must stop,” a visibly shaken Sen. Murphy said. “It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren’t public policy responses to this epidemic. The thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference. It is time for Congress to get off its ass and do something,” Murphy added.
Following the tragedy in Las Vegas, Murphy wrote on his Twitter account, “To my colleagues: your cowardice to act cannot be whitewashed by thoughts and prayers. None of this ends unless we do something to stop it.”
To my colleagues: your cowardice to act cannot be whitewashed by thoughts and prayers.
None of this ends unless we do something to stop it.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 2, 2017
Democrats leaders like former Vice President Joe Biden expressed outrage that Congress has not done more to restrict access to deadly firearms five years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Biden, who led an Obama administration task force on gun violence, said on his Twitter account, “How long do we let gun violence tear families apart? Enough. Congress & the WH should act now to save lives. There is no excuse for inaction.”
Democratic senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, said he was “furious” at Congress’ inaction. Connecticut was the catalyst for the gun control debate after the Sandy Hook massacre
“It has been barely a year since what was previously the largest mass shooting in American history — the deadly attack at Pulse nightclub,” Blumenthal said in a statement, referring to the 2016 massacre in Orlando, Florida. “In the interim, thousands more have been lost to the daily, ruthless toll of gun violence. Still, Congress refuses to act. I am more than frustrated, I am furious.”
Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) expressed little hope that Congress would respond any differently this time. “The problem is that ‘enough’ was many years and many brutal deaths ago,” he said on Twitter.
Congress is currently debating two major laws to loosen gun restrictions. One bill would make permits to carry concealed weapons valid across state lines, effectively undermining states that have chosen to enact stricter gun laws. The other would make it easier for people to buy silencers, which advocates say would limit the hearing damage for hunters and recreational shooters, but which opponents say could make it harder for police to locate shooters during an active shooting.
Hillary Clinton, the former Democratic presidential nominee, urged supporters to “stand up to the NRA” on gun control. Clinton said on her Twitter account, “Our grief is not enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.”
Our grief isn't enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 2, 2017
Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City Mayor and leading gun control advocate, said leaders should “resolve to stop mass shootings in America and back up our words with actions.”
“Our grief is not enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.”
Republicans’ response after any mass shooting tends to follow a familiar script by saying Democrats are too quick to politicize tragedies and defending gun rights. Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a conservative Republican who challenged Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a primary a few years ago, slammed Democrats describing them as “political opportunists.” Bevin said on his Twitter account, “To all those political opportunists who are seizing on the tragedy in Las Vegas to call for more gun regs…You cannot regulate evil…”
After years of inaction on guns, Democrats on Monday seemed to have run out of patience. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said on Twitter “Thoughts & prayers are NOT enough, adding that “[w]e need to have the conversation about how to stop gun violence. We need it NOW.”
Sen. Sen Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I) asked, “How many lives must be lost before we act?” In his Twitter account, Sheldon said, “My soul aches over Las Vegas. My prayers are with the victims, and my prayers are with our nation, may we resolve to do more stop such evil.” Also, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said, “My colleagues need to do more than express sympathy.”
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) the party’s former vice presidential nominee and a moderate up for re-election next year, lamented, “We suffer these horrific events repeatedly and do nothing to stop them. We must do better.”
According to an August NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, The public has been divided on gun control, largely along party lines. Half of the poll respondents said they were concerned the government will go too far in restricting the rights, while 45 percent said they were worried the government would not do enough.
Also, while some gun restrictions, like universal background checks, tend to poll overwhelmingly favorably, the voters who care most about guns tend to be those opposed to new restrictions, and they vote, volunteer and donate to politicians who support that view.
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