Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has taken to the Senate floor to call out the Republicans’ decades-long opposition to gun control legislation in the aftermath of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting.
“Maybe the thought of putting yourself in the shoes of these parents instead of in the arms of the NRA might let you wriggle free from the vise-like grip of the NRA to act on even a simple measure,” the New York Democrat says. “For the sake of these children, these 9-year-olds, these 10-year-olds, these 11-year-olds, these beautiful children, please, damn it.”
The Democrats’ desperate pleas to Republican colleagues reflect a long history of congressional inaction on gun control since a gunman killed 20 schoolchildren in Newtown, Connecticut, nearly a decade ago.
Democratic lawmakers have introduced countless proposals that would have required a background check of the gunman in Texas. All failed to pass, mostly due to the filibuster.
Schumer pledges Wednesday to move forward with or without Republican lawmakers. “If we can’t find a good, strong bill that has bipartisan support, we will continue to pursue this issue on our own,” he says.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell delivers his own address in which he focuses on the mental state of the shooter, echoing GOP arguments that emotional health and not guns are the issue.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio tells CNN that Americans should continue to be able to buy AR-15 rifles, claiming that if the shooter didn’t have access to the semi-automatic weapon, he would have found another way to kill 19 children and two adults in a matter of minutes.
“Listen, at the end of day, you’re arguing about what they’re using to commit this, and the truth of matter is these people are going to commit these horrifying crimes whether they have to use another weapon to do it; they’re going to figure out a way to do it,” Rubio says.