new York Even after the recent massacre in Texas, calls for stricter gun controls have come to nothing for most Republicans. Former US President Donald Trump, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and Texas Senator Ted Cruz will be three prominent Republicans speaking at the NRA’s annual meeting this weekend as planned. Like many Republicans, they don’t blame the guns.
An attempt by the US Democrats to react with a law to recent gun attacks that have caused numerous deaths has failed in the Senate. Republicans on Thursday blocked a domestic terrorism bill that would have sparked debate on contentious issues such as hate crimes and gun control. The bill was quickly passed last week in the House of Representatives, where the Democrats have the majority.
Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Chuck Schumer, said before the vote that the law could become the basis for negotiations. The vote then went entirely according to party affiliation and ended 47:47. To deal with the bill in the Senate, 60 votes would have been necessary.
“We are disappointed,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. It was a shame that the gun lobby NRA and others stood in the way of moving forward with the bill. She called on Congress to pursue the issue further. The President made it clear “that it is time to act,” she said.
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“I’m tired of minutes of silence”
Democrats and prominent figures in sports and business have called for tougher laws again after an 18-year-old man killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in the small Texas town of Uvalde this week. San Francisco Warriors basketball head coach Steve Kerr has been pushing for action, as has basketball star Lebron James.
“I’m tired of minutes of silence,” Kerr clarified. There are 50 senators who are currently refusing to pass the gun purchase background check bill, which has been in place for two years. “It’s because they’re afraid of losing their power,” Kerr laments. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has told CNBC that he supports tighter controls on gun purchases and limits on automatic weapons.
US President Joe Biden, who plans to travel to Uvalde in the coming days, said in his televised address. “As a nation, we have to ask ourselves: When in God’s name are we going to stand up against the gun lobby?” “The idea that an 18-year-old teenager can go to the store and buy two automatic rifles is just wrong,” he said. Biden also asked, “What do you need an assault rifle for other than to kill someone?”
But most Republicans refuse to change the existing laws. The governor of Texas recently relaxed the handgun laws. During his visit to Uvalde, Abbott argued that Texans have been able to buy so-called “long guns” for 60 years. He doesn’t see a connection between more guns in his state and more killing sprees.
Gun lobby holds meetings in Texas
Republican Senator Cruz, for example, accuses the Democrats of using the tragedy for political purposes to enforce gun controls. “It doesn’t work, it’s not effective. It doesn’t prevent crime,” he said.
Many Republicans are not calling for fewer guns, but more guns in the hands of teachers and school police. Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted, “We don’t need more gun controls. We have to find our way back to God.”
Donald Trump Jr., the son of the former US President, shared a comment on his father’s social network “Truth” criticizing Biden’s foreign policy after the massacre: “Instead of sending $40 billion to corrupt foreign countries, we should use the money to get proper security for our schools.”
Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke interrupted an ongoing press briefing by Republican Gov. Abbott in Uvalde, criticizing him for his stance on gun laws in the state.
O’Rourke, who wants to challenge Abbott in the next Texas gubernatorial election in November, accused the Republican of not doing anything about rampant gun violence in the United States. “They do nothing,” criticized O’Rourke.
O’Rourke also tweeted that the governor should not attend the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting beginning Friday in Houston, Texas: “Governor Abbott, if you have any decency, you will immediately attend the NRA meeting at this… Cancel the weekend and get them to hold it somewhere other than Texas.”
Meanwhile, the NRA remains committed to its Houston, Texas meeting, saying, “As we gather in Houston, we will reflect on these events, pray for the victims, recognize our patriotic members and reinforce our promise to make our schools safer. So far, only singer Don McLean, known for his song “American Pie,” has canceled his appearance at the NRA meeting.
Shannon Watts, the founder of “Moms Demand Actions”, which advocates stricter gun laws, points out on Twitter about special security measures at the NRA meeting: “Guns are not allowed in the rooms where Donald Trump and the NRA leaders are speaking , because someone might try to kill her.”
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