REDMOND, Wash. — After the mass shooting in Las Vegas, amid the pain, loss, and confusion over what happened, how long do we wait before “making something political”?
“It is time to act,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
She was incensed Monday morning about inaction and obstruction in Congress on firearms reforms.
She wants a national background check system and is on board with the near-universal support to ban or restrict bump stocks that boosted the firing speed of the Las Vegas killer’s weapons.
Republicans like Rep. Dave Reichert are cautious.
“We talk past each other when we talk about gun control. Gun control is not the answer. Fighting gun crime is,” said the outgoing congressman.
He says the polarized climate in Washington, D.C., is part of the problem. He doesn't want new laws, just expansion of community policing programs to combat crime -- crime that happens to use a gun.
Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., was blunt: Thoughts and prayers aren't working.
“Including moments of silence on the floor of the United States House, but, unfortunately, zero moments of action out of the United States Congress and I think that needs to change,” he said.
Like the other Democrats, he pointed out the GOP doesn't support research on gun use. Since 1996, the Centers for Disease Control has been barred by law from looking into gun violence.
“I think the fact that there's a ban on doing basic research into the causes of gun violence is very telling. It says we have folks, Republicans primarily, who said we don't even want to talk about this. We don't even want any more information,” said Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash.
The delegation says it's obvious that silence and inaction aren't working.
Another horrible attack, but a chance to try something -- anything new.
“We cannot normalize this. We have to talk about it. We have to ask the questions. We have to keep it prominent in our conversations. We have to challenge the norms,” Murray said.