Gun debate under Trump tested by congressman's shooting

Modesto Morganelli
Giugno 19, 2017

Last year, a young ISIS sympathizer planned a shooting at one of the largest churches in Detroit.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was shot in the hip and was in stable condition after this morning's attack on a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va. Rep. Roger Williams' (R-Texas) aide Zachary Barth, Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika and two Capitol Police officers were also wounded: David Bailey and Krystal Griner. "I have long advocated - today is not what this is about - but that we have too many guns on the street", he said.

"Did you mean to say 93 million?" one reporter then asked.

A few others broached the issue.

On the day that gunfire shattered the morning calm of suburban Washington, dozens of family members of those killed by past gun violence had gathered in the capital to lobby against Republican-backed legislation to make it easier to buy gun silencers. But, now that he's experienced senseless gun violence firsthand, his perspective may shift. And "perhaps most importantly, Australian shooters believe that attending to gun laws, respecting the concept of gun laws, is a crucial part of being a good shooter; this is the essence of civic duty that Australian shooters conflate with being a good Australian". New York Rep. Chris Collins lurched in the other direction, telling Buffalo's WKBW he would, going forward, "be carrying (a licensed firearm) when I'm out and about".

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe claimed Wednesday at a press conference (video below) that "we lose 93 million Americans a day to gun violence".

For anyone who thought a high-caliber assault on their own ranks might move Washington Republicans to reconsider their resistance to new gun control legislation, think again. "Background checks, shutting down gun show loopholes - that's not for today's discussion, but it's not just about politicians". "Congressmen, especially Republican congressmen, are very obedient to whatever the NRA tells them", said John Donohue, a Stanford law professor who studies gun policy. "I just wrote a paper on this. But here, we're not allowed to carry any weapons".

On Twitter on Wednesday, supporters of each side accused the other of politicising the incident for its own ends. Inevitably, there will be tasteless tweets in the rush to politicize the shooting-among today's early hot takes was one from Donald Trump, Jr., who retweeted an attempt to compare the Alexandria shooting to the Public Theater's now "controversial" production of Julius Caesar (never mind that Shakespeare, had Trump Jr. bothered to read it, is advocating assassinating Caesar the same way that Hamilton advocates assassinating Alexander Hamilton).

We must take steps now to stem the tide of this growing epidemic.

In 1999, as a state lawmaker, Scalise sponsored a bill that would protect gun manufacturers and gun retailers against civil lawsuits in an attempt to snuff out litigation that the city of New Orleans was pursuing.

"Until we get to a point where that is unacceptable, I don't see it changing anytime soon", Verma said.

But with death threats against members of Congress already on the rise before Wednesday, Republican leaders are in no mood to rethink their gun rights stances.

I suspect that Bishop spoke the truth when he said that his proximity to the shooting had "changed everything".

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