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Lawmakers Unified on Shooting, Divided on Gun Policy

by Countable | 6.14.17

The U.S. House of Representatives canceled all votes and some hearings today in the aftermath of the tragic shooting at an early morning Republican baseball practice. Members of the House did gather on the floor, many sitting next to colleagues from the opposing party, around noon for a prayer and unifying speeches from Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Many Republicans never changed out of their baseball uniforms, as they spent the day recounting the horrific scene to the Capitol press corps.

“Just a horrible, horrible experience. And actually now thinking the magnitude of the shots that were fired and the carnage that was there, I’m still in a state of shock,” Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) told reporters. Fleischmann says Democratic calls for more gun control are premature in the aftermath of the tragedy:

“What we need to do, is focus on keeping Americans safe. But I am, and will always be a strong supporter of the second amendment. Put it this way, if we had had more weapons there we’d be able to subdue the shooter more quickly. Thank god that the Capitol Police were there and were armed, because otherwise we’d have had a situation where there’d be a lot more damage.”

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) was at the plate batting when the shooting started. “I heard a loud noise and thought it was a construction site dropping a large piece of metal, and then the next thing I heard was ‘Run – he’s got a gun!” he tells reporters before dismissing a question on gun control:

“Come on, I’m not going to deal with policy issues right now. Let’s actually take a step back and realize, it’s the policy differences that people now in this country unfortunately, have turned into hate. And hateful rhetoric. We can discuss policy and policy differences all we want, but the bottom line, America saw a tragedy today that could have been much worse without the heroic behavior of the Capitol Police.”

But Democrats say the GOP refuses to talk gun policy after each mass shooting. They insist that has to change and are hoping this incident involving lawmakers themselves will help.

“Well I keep thinking when Sandy Hook happened I thought that would change the conversation. When our colleague Gabby Giffords was shot, I thought that would. I would think that this would change the conversation too,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) tells Countable. She continues:

“Democrats for gun safety were not opposed to people having guns that are licensed, and are for hunters and reasonable people. But we need background checks.”

Other Democrats say the party has to keep forcing the issue into their campaigns and at the state level, where they say support for gun control is growing. They’re trying to create a groundswell of support from outside of Washington to pressure lawmakers into acting.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) tells Countable:

“No one incident should change anybody’s views on this issue. What happened this morning is tragic, but there’s 80 people who will die over the course of the day from gun violence. I think we’re past the point where one incident is going to change this debate. It ultimately is going to be something other than a mass shooting that is decisive in Washington.”

— Matt Laslo

(Photo Credit: Scrumshus / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(267)
  • Jacob
    06/14/2017
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    Thoughts and prayers are not saving lives.

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  • Mary ann
    06/14/2017
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    Now the politicians are experiencing what regular Americans live with. This is what happens when you allow crazy people to have guns.

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  • Jan
    06/14/2017
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    Guns should regulated like cars. Training, insurance, license. If you are collector (legitimate) you can have multiple arms. Nobody needs 17 assault rifles or rifles. Military & Law enforcement should be the only people to have and use these arms.

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  • Pat
    06/14/2017
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    Of course we need to talk gun control after an incident such as this. The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting something to change. Then we blame everyone else when it doesn't. I've wondered if people who don't want any gun control would change their minds if they or their family was shot by some crazy person who could legally purchase a gun or was on the no fly list. We are so worried about middle eastern terrorist when the large majority of people in the US are killed, not by terrorist, but by US citizens with guns. Gun control would not violate the second amendment but it would sure make us safer. You would think that when the GOP congress starts getting shot they would change their mind. But, maybe not. We will see.

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  • Chris
    06/14/2017
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    Our politicians need to look at how they have been responsible for the ugly divisions in our country. When our leaders work towards keeping people divided and fighting by their policies and actions it will catch up to them. When our politicians refuse to work together and belittle each other it sends the wrong message. Enough is enough start working together!!!

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  • A
    06/14/2017
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    There are so many studies which show that more thoughtful gun regulation (like that which is supported by the majority of Americans) would stop many of there domestic terror attacks. You should focus on keeping guns from anyone with mental illness and/or history of domestic violence. These people (of all faiths) are killing Americans.

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  • Ticktock
    06/14/2017
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    The Congressional Republicans had a really horrible day today. Shots were fired but thankfully the only person that died was the shooter. If only there had been more guns available to increase the mayhem. However, the fear that these Republicans experienced will not deter their absolute support of the Second Amendment. Nor will their intelligence. Maybe they should spend some time with the parents of the children who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School or some of the families that will lose loved ones to the uncontrolled weapons today. Until this tragedy visits them in their home being shot at, been there done that, pales in comparison to actually having someone close killed needlessly. Doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result is insanity. Reasonable gun control is a good start for a compromise.

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  • Timnyc
    06/14/2017
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    This is a shame if this is what it takes for the house and senate to be united on something. Pray for them all they need it .

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  • Kay
    06/14/2017
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    My thoughts and prayers are with the shooting victims from this morning's horrendous act of violence. Let this be a step forward in the need to curb the hatred that fills the current political field. And let this change begin with whatever it takes to curtail the hateful attitudes and speech of the President. It needs to stop on both sides of the aisle. Perhaps this will lead to further, civil discussion of appropriate gun licensing.

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  • Hoosierkitty
    06/14/2017
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    We need to stop the massacres. Please vote for stronger controls on guns

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  • Linda
    06/14/2017
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    This just highlights the innocent people who are killed or severely injured through gun violence on a daily basis in this country. Never mind the decisiveness that this administration is causing. No other country has this gun violence problem. It is so common in this country that the shooting of 3 innocent people in San Francisco today hardly got any press time today. It's just awful. My father was killed in a robbery decades ago so I am personally effected by gun violence. More guns in this country mean more shootings and n this country. We need gun control st the national level now. Left to the states just means that guns not easily obtained in one state are then gotten in another state.

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  • Pru
    06/14/2017
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    This horrible incident is a direct result of legislation that enables crazy people and domestic violence perpetrators to have guns. Failure of congress to shore up loopholes and prevent a national registry. Home grown terrorists are scary and have caused an enormous number of deaths. Hopefully, a dialogue can address these issues. While I am appalled at this incident, I certainly expect more.

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  • Alisha
    06/14/2017
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    Please work toward common sense gun ownership. Having everyone armed with semi-automatic weapons at all times is not a solution.

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  • Eileen
    06/14/2017
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    Today's shooting was horrible! No doubt about that! Perhaps the members of congress will wake up and smell the roses! Or the gun Smoke! This cowboy vendetta has gone on long enough! Time to ban bullets or guns, pick one! Our children cannot attend school safely, nor can we attend church! Why are concealed carry guns banned in capital buildings and town halls? Fear! Welcome to our world! You can have all the guns you want, but you cannot get a single bullet! That's the course we need!

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  • NMorella
    06/14/2017
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    This is what Trump has done to our society.

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  • Clay
    06/14/2017
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    It's a horrible dilemma, you get what you give and reap what you sow. This type of scenario plays out across America on a daily basis. Sensible gun safety regulations are needed now. Don't allow the continuation of profiteering by the NRA gun lobby. I have a right not to be shot, but my rights are impossible to uphold once that bullet leaves the gun!

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  • Lauren
    06/14/2017
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    Responsible and common sense gun control legislation is coming, and the more an MoC protests and tries to delay, the earlier they'll be voted out. Our entire country recognizes the overwhelming need for universal background checks and waiting periods, just as we recognize the need for mental health access. These issues are connected and Americans absolutely recognize the need for both.

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  • Jane
    06/14/2017
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    When it happens to you it's a different story isn't it. Forget about Pulse, forget about Dandy Hook, forget about Gabby Gifford's... we need to have sensible gun laws that restrict those with mental illness and domestic abuse from gaining access. Can you hear us now?

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  • Christy
    06/14/2017
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    Anybody remember Reagan and Brady? Here we are and nothing has changed if anything it is much worse. Come on Republicans get a clue.

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  • Julie
    06/14/2017
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    One of your own gets shot and Republicans STILL refuse to acknowledge the gun problem in our country. Unbelievable. There are so many simple things we could do, like background checks, to improve gun safety. Stop letting the NRA and other lobbyists make decisions for you.

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