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Time for Congress to Do Something

October 5, 2017
In The News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas renewed Democrats’ calls Monday for gun safety legislation, but their pleas fell on deaf ears in the Republican-controlled Congress. At the same time GOP legislation aimed at loosening gun rules stood in limbo, facing an uncertain future.

Before the shooting that killed at least 59 people — the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history — House GOP leaders had been moving forward with bills to ease regulations on gun silencers and allow people with concealed-carry permits to take their weapons to other states.

Republicans have been upbeat about prospects for legislation as they control both the House and Senate and have an ally in the White House in President Donald Trump. But no votes on either bill were scheduled as of Monday.

Democrats seized on the violence in Nevada to demand tougher gun restrictions.

Lawmakers reaction to the massacre

(KOIN) — Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy was the most direct: “It’s time for Congress to get off its ass and do something” on gun control.

Politico reported: “The NRA’s website, Twitter feed and Facebook page — all of which are typically updated frequently throughout the day —went dark on Monday, posting no new content, and the group did not respond to several calls and emails seeking comment.”

Here’s how Oregon lawmakers responded in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre:

“This horrific shooting came tragically on the anniversary of the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. My question to my colleagues in Congress is this: How many more parents need to bury their children before Congress acknowledges the need to take action to reduce gun violence? We shouldn’t accept massacres as the price of living in America. We can do better and still respect Second Amendment rights. When you have weapons of war in wide circulation, you get war-like casualty counts. That’s not what the Founders had in mind.

“The House bill that would make it easier to access silencers would result in even more carnage in these kinds of shootings. It is a terrible idea, and I will fight to stop it.

“Meanwhile, I will continue to fight for common-sense gun safety measures to reduce the number of senseless gun deaths of our fellow Americans.” — Oregon US Sen. Jeff Merkley

“There are basic, widely supported steps Congress could take right now to reduce gun violence in this country and treat it like the public health crisis it is. Lifting the ban on funding for gun violence research is certainly one common-sense action Congress could take. Americans must push for change at every level of government and if Congress doesn’t act, voters must hold their lawmakers accountable for failing to make changes to our country’s gun laws.” — Oregon US Sen. Ron Wyden

Representative Suzanne Bonamici sent a series of tweets on the issue, beginning with “I am filled with grief about the horrific mass shooting in #LasVegas. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims.”

Read Rep. Bonamici’s full Twitter feed here

Then she sent a series of 12 tweets in rapid succession. Among them: “Congress should take action to require background checks for all firearm purchases…get military-style assault weapons off the streets…study the effects of gun violence in our society…and keep weapons away from abusers and stalkers.”

In a statement Tuesday, Bonamici said:

“Today, I met with my colleagues on the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force to discuss our responsibilities as lawmakers in response to the Las Vegas massacre. We are committed to reducing gun violence through commonsense measures that make our communities safer. The path for commonsense legislation will be difficult in this political landscape, but we can’t be silent and we have to try. We owe it to our children, families, and neighbors.”