WASHINGTON – Another mass shooting, another predictable response on Capitol Hill: Outrage and demands for gun control from Democrats and clear opposition from Republicans.
“What is it about the dangerous gun agenda that the leadership continues to push forward that prevents us from being able to have a serious discussion about how to curb gun violence?” Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, asked during a committee meeting Tuesday.
Deutch noted the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations had waived jurisdiction on several gun-related bills, including one that would deregulate silencers.
“We’ve blocked reasonable debate for too long,” Deutch said. “After tragedies like Las Vegas, I just think that we ought to be able to find ways to come together in this bipartisan way. I know that a lot of my colleagues will not share the same views I have on how we prevent gun violence. But if we can’t all commit to work together to try to eradicate gun violence, then we’re not doing our jobs.”
Republican leaders have shown no appetite for engaging on gun control and have accused Democrats of politicizing the tragedy. Republicans, including those from Florida, focused on first responders and the loss of life, while calling the shooter a madman.
Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio typified the responses.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims of this horrific attack,” Democrat Nelson said Monday. “As the investigation continues, we will learn more about what led to this tragedy in Las Vegas, but at some point we, as a society, have to stand up and say enough is enough.”
Rubio said: “An individual acquired weaponry and used it to kill people, and it’s terrible. We don’t know the motivation. We’ll learn more in the days to come, and if there’s public policy that could have prevented an attack like that, then we most certainly would consider it. The problem with many of the recommendations I’ve heard in the past is that frankly they would not have prevented any of the attacks.... But I think we need to learn more about what happened in Las Vegas. What we know now is that it’s been a horrible tragedy, and it appears now to be the largest mass-casualty event -- shooting -- in American history.”