While President Obama has tried to work with Republicans in Congress to pass sensible gun safety laws, almost all Republicans refused to take commonsense steps and blocked reform.
Now, Republicans on the presidential campaign trail and here in the Senate and House are firmly in the grip of the NRA and its lobbyists and at odds with their constituents on universal background checks: 88 percent of Americans, including 79 percent of Republicans, support background checks.
And Republicans opposed a bill that would prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns, in a shocking display of ineptitude that goes against their rhetoric of making the country safer from terrorists.
Here are the Republican excuses for inaction on gun violence:
- Jeb Bush: “It’s just — it’s very sad to see, but I resist the notion, and I did — I had this challenge as governor. Because we had, look, stuff happens, there’s always a crisis. And the impulse is always to do something, and it’s not always the right thing to do.”
- Marco Rubio: “We have a serious societal problem…But we’re focusing too much on what it is people are using to commit violence, and not enough on why it is that people are committing violence…These gun laws just aren’t effective at preventing this.”
- Rubio: “Guns are what they’re using to commit the violence. And, again, in many of these cases, the laws that are actually being proposed wouldn’t have prevented them.”
- Ben Carson: “Obviously, there are those that are going to be calling for gun control, but that happens every time we have one of these incidents. Obviously, that’s not the issue.”
- Carson: “Of course it is the person behind the gun — guns don’t kill people.”
- John Kasich: “I don’t believe that gun control would stop this…I don’t think any president can stop mass shootings.”
- Carly Fiorina: “So, before we start calling for more laws, I think we ought to consider why we don’t enforce the laws we have.”
- Mike Huckabee: “We have not so much a gun problem; we have a problem with sin and evil…I hear people say, ‘We just have to do something.’ Well, we need to do something that makes sense and something that actually helps.”
- Chris Christie: “I don’t think there is [a correlation between New Jersey’s tough gun laws and its low murder rate]…In many of the places around this country where they have the toughest gun laws, they have the highest violent crime rates.”
- Nevada Senate candidate Joe Heck repeatedly refused to support the Manchin-Toomey gun control legislation and effectively voted against legislation that would have helped prevent suspected or known terrorists from purchasing guns. This week, Heck threatened to withhold funding for the president’s executive orders on gun safety.
- Senator Pat Toomey opposed an amendment that would have helped prevent known or suspected terrorists from purchasing guns.
- Senator Kelly Ayotte ignored the 83% of New Hampshire voters who support common sense gun safety laws and voted against background checks and preventing potential terrorists from purchasing guns.
- Senator Ron Johnson voted against expanding background checks, saying after the Sandy Hook mass shooting that background checks would just “be another government program at additional cost.”
Published: Jan 12, 2016