Will Congress Take Action on Gun Laws After This Weekend’s Mass Shootings?

Will Congress Take Action on Gun Laws After This Weekend’s Mass Shootings?


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Two mass shootings within 24 hours over the weekend not only left more than 30 victims dead, but raised real questions whether the nation’s political leaders could ever adequately address the crisis of gun violence.

The nation’s news was whipsawed over the weekend with apparently unrelated shootings, in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

“If 249 mass shootings in the space of a year is not enough to force political change, why would the 250th one be? Jeffrey [Goldberg] reminded me he and I sat at this table on this panel the morning after the Tree of Life shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh and we had no particular answers then and I don’t know that we have anymore answers now about why this would be the turning point that so many Americans say they want to see,” journalist Susan Page said during a panel discussion on the CBS News program Face The Nation.

Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat who represents an Ohio district in Congress in Congress and is among some two dozen Democrats running for president, had particularly sharp language for congressional Republicans who have been blocking passage of even modest gun control measures.

“You watch videos and see Dillards [department store] in the background or a church in the background, and no one feels safe anymore,” Ryan said. “And there is a bottleneck in the United States Senate with [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell. We passed in the House of Representatives a few weeks back, background checks. A basic step 90 percent of the American people support, and the Republicans need to quite frankly get their shit together and stop pandering to the NRA. All the people we saw, they had hopes and dreams. They had plans this week. They were going to do things. They were going to meet with their friends. They were going to meet with their family. They were going to go to church. And now they’re gone because in this country we’re so dysfunctional that we can’t do basic things.

“And it’s got to stop, and we have to put pressure on Mitch McConnell to start with the background check bill,” Ryan added.

Former Ohio governor and congressman John Kasich agreed that solution involves continued public pressure.

“You want to gun control legislation people need to start marching like Parkland, Florida,” Kasich said, referring to the shooting at a 2018 high school in a Florida town which left 17 students and staff dead. “Florida had no interest in passing gun control legislation whatsoever until thousands of incredibly brave students demanded it. The people of the state demanded it.”

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