Democrats, Trump Tussle Over Gun Control After Massacre

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The Texas church massacre provoked a new political debate on gun control.  Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), a leading advocate for gun control, said, “The terrifying fact is that no one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do absolutely nothing in the face of this epidemic,” The Hill reports. He challenged other senators to think about whether the political support of the gun industry is worth the blood that flows endlessly onto the floors of American churches, elementary schools, movie theaters, and city streets.” Other Democrats piled on. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) tweeted, “Screw the @NRA & can you help Dems take back the House.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted, “How many more people must die at churches or concerts or schools before we stop letting the @NRA control this country’s gun policies?” Citing the Ruger AR-15-style assault rifle used in the attack, Josh Sugarmann of the Violence Policy Center said that, “Besides the gun industry’s bottom line, there is no reason to allow the continued sale of military bred assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.”

President Trump rejected calls for tighter gun control, describing the massacre as the product of a “deranged individual” in need of better access to mental health care, Politico reports. “This is a mental health problem at the highest level,” the president said during a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe when asked what policies he would propose in response to the tragedy. “This was a very deranged individual,” Trump said, adding, “We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries. This isn’t a guns situation.” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told Fox News, “This is going to happen again. And so, we need people in terms of professional security or in terms of arming the parishioners or the congregation so that they can respond when something like this happens again.”

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