Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued a statement on today’s Walmart shooting in El Paso, Texas that laid the blame for congressional inaction on sensible gun regulations directly at the feet of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Pelosi began by offering heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and gratefully acknowledged the contributions of the tragedy’s first responders who apprehended the suspected shooter.
“Today’s horrific mass shooting in El Paso breaks the hearts of all Americans. Our prayers are with the friends and families of the victims and the entire El Paso community which has been devastated by this brutal act of terror and murder,” Pelosi said in her statement. “We are grateful for the courage and heroism of our brave first responders who kept people safe and cared for those in need, and whose swift action brought the suspects into custody and prevented further harm.”
Her statement then turned to the root causes of the increasing number of mass shootings in our nation — the refusal of Senate Republicans, many of whom have received substantial donations from the NRA gun manufacturer lobbyists, to take any meaningful action on enacting regulations that would ban assault rifles, mandate universal background checks, eliminate gun show loopholes, and take other important steps to reduce the prevalence of gun violence in America.
“Too many families in too many communities have been forced to endure the daily horror of gun violence. Enough is enough. The Republican Senate’s continued inaction dishonors our solemn duty to protect innocent men, women and children and end this epidemic once and for all,” Pelosi continued. “We will continue to insist on commonsense steps to keep our families and our communities safe.”
While the House of Representatives has already passed several bills tightening gun regulations this year since Democrats took the majority in that chamber of Congress, Majority Leader McConnell has refused to even bring the bills up for a vote in the Senate.
Contrast Speaker Pelosi’s statement on today’s massacre with that of Senator McConnell’s.
While Pelosi adds a vow to action to her condolences, McConnell has nothing but the usual cliched offer of “thoughts and prayers”, tweeted out only minutes ago, hours after the tragic and perfectly avoidable shooting…avoidable if the proper regulations had already been enacted.
The entire nation is horrified by today's senseless violence in El Paso. Elaine's and my prayers go out to the victims of this terrible violence, their families and friends, and the brave first responders who charged into harm’s way.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) August 3, 2019
McConnell’s weak response indicates that he’s merely waiting for the anger over this latest outrage to subside and will continue to favor the interests of avaricious gun manufacturers over the safety of the American public.
How many mass shootings, how many deaths, how many grieving family members must there be before Republicans will allow the type of gun regulations overwhelmingly favored by a vast majority of Americans? This is a question you must ask yourself every time you enter a voting booth or fill in an absentee ballot.
The time to act is now. If Republicans refuse to participate in finding solutions to the epidemic of gun violence in this country, they must be voted out of power before we suffer even more mass shootings.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.
Original reporting by Bob Brigham at RawStory.