Republicans and Democrats get in heated back and forths on assault weapons ban: GOP Senators say Indiana Good Samaritan mall shooting shows why guns are needed as activist David Hogg is escorted out by security
- The Democratic-controlled House panel debated legislation that would ban certain assault-style rifles like the ones used in a recent spate of mass shootings
- The House Judiciary is also debating a second bill that would lift immunity for gun manufacturers, allowing them to be sued for unlawful misuse of firearms
- ‘Will our Republican colleagues choose to defend the weapons of choice for mass murderers?’ Committee chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., asked
- In the Senate Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering pleaded lawmakers to enact a federal assault weapons ban
- Her community faced seven deaths and dozens of injuries when a gunman opened fire on a 4th of July parade
Gun control was yet again a key focus on Capitol Hill Wednesday when the Senate Judiciary Committee debated mass shootings and the House Judiciary marked up an assault weapons ban for the first time in two decades.
The Democratic-controlled House panel debated legislation that would ban certain assault-style rifles like the ones used in a recent spate of mass shootings while their Republican colleagues argued doing so would make communities less safe by leaving law-abiding citizens unarmed in dangerous situations.
The House Judiciary is also debating a second bill that would lift immunity for gun manufacturers, allowing them to be sued for unlawful misuse of firearms.
Even if both bills clear the House, they are unlikely to make it through the Senate.
‘Will our Republican colleagues choose to defend the weapons of choice for mass murderers?’ Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., asked.
Meanwhile in the Senate Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering pleaded lawmakers to enact a federal assault weapons ban. Her community faced seven deaths and dozens of injuries when a gunman opened fire on a 4th of July parade.
Rotering outlined the horrific moments she witnessed that day.
‘A photo of a teary-eyed toddler clutching a blanket flashed on my phone. Whose child was this? People were hiding in an underground garage wondering why nobody was looking for this missing child. Later we learned that it was two-year-old Aidan McCarthy dried blood on his legs, socks and his Tiger sneaker. He had been found under his father’s body and carried to safety. No one was frantically looking for him because both his father and mother had been murdered a the parade.’
‘Will our Republican colleagues choose to defend the weapons of choice for mass murderers?’ Committee chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., asked
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee use charts to press their defense of the Second Amendment during a markup on the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021
‘You must instate a federal assault weapons ban. Today is the day to start saving lives,’ Rotering said.
In defense of gun rights, Sen. Ted Cruz pointed to the Greenwood Mall shooting Sunday evening where 22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken, who was legally armed while shopping with his girlfriend, took down 20-year-old Douglas Sapirman, who killed three and wounded two by firing 24 rounds from an AR-15-style rifle.
‘It’s not complicated why when you disarm law abiding citizens, the result is the criminals don’t follow the laws. They have the guns and the law abiding citizens are unable to defend themselves,’ Cruz said. ‘Many more lives would have ben lost in Indiana that day if Mr. Dicken had not been there had not exercised his Second Amendment right.’
Incidents where an armed bystander neutralizes a mass shooter are rare, according to data from the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training at Texas State University.
Of the at least 434 active shooter attacks between 2000 and 2021, an armed bystander shot the attacker in 22 incidents.
Rotering said ‘a good guy with a gun would have had no impact on the shooter’ in Highland Park, where the gunman was hidden on the roof of a building.
Meanwhile in the Senate Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering pleaded lawmakers to enact a federal assault weapons ban
‘And we had good guys with guns on site who are trained, who got there within seconds, and it was just too hard to see where he was,’ the Highland Park mayor added.
Meanwhile on the House side, gun control activist and Stoneman Douglas shooting survivor David Hogg was escorted out of the hearing after interrupting with a fiery diatribe.
Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Chip Roy, R-Texas, descended into talks about how the ‘open’ southern border was leading to gun fire in communities in South Texas and that cartels were becoming ‘increasingly armed and dangerous.’
‘You are reiterating the points of a mass shooter,’ Hogg shouted. ‘Guess what ?those guns are coming from the United States! They aren’t coming from Mexico, you are reiterating the points of a mass shooter. You are perpetuating this violence,’ he said as a staffer grabbed his elbow and dragged him out.
Rep. Jim Jordan, senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee, replied that the Democrats’ ban would make ‘millions of guns in the homes of law-abiding citizens’ illegal. He advised them to instead try to repeal the Second Amendment, a process certain to fail.
A 10-year assault weapons ban expired in 2004 and efforts to renew it have thus far come up short.
At the end of June President Biden signed into law Congress’ most sweeping gun reform bill in 30 years. Though too narrow for the liking of many Democrats, the bill included incentives for states to pass so-called red flag laws and closed the so-called ‘boyfriend loophole,’ allowing those convicted of domestic abuse, even for dating partners not just spouses or live-in partners, to be banned from owning guns.
The bill also expanded background checks on those seeking to buy weapons between the ages of 18 and 21, but did not ban the sale of assault-style weapons to those under 21 as many in Congress had wanted.