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‘Big Pitch For Gun Control’: Colorado Shooting New Rallying Cry For Democrats

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A mass shooting at a King Soopers supermarket in Boulder, Colorado that left 10 people dead has culminated in a renewed call by Democrats for gun control reforms. One unidentified man whose family members hid during the shooting called the incident “a big pitch for gun control.”

Police apprehended the shooter, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said. However, police haven’t yet released information about how the shooter acquired the gun.

A man whose daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren hid during the shooting told CBS News, “This is not OK with me, and has put in a big pitch for gun control. When it’s your family, you feel it.” Legal authorities safely recovered the man’s family members from the supermarket.

In a statement, Democratic Colorado Representative Joe Neguse lamented the shooting and the long lack of congressional action on firearm reforms.

“It doesn’t have to be this way,” Neguse wrote. “There are steps we can take — and must take — to protect our community; common-sense, broadly supported proposals that will save lives. If we are truly invested in saving lives, then we must have the willpower to act and to pass meaningful gun reform. The time for inaction is over.”

In a tweet, Democratic California Representative Adam Schiff wrote, “Once again, a gunman has turned a public space into a site of tragedy. We don’t have to live in fear like this. We must pass commonsense gun reforms.”

As horrifying reports continue to emerge from Colorado, my heart is with the victims, their families, and the Boulder community.

Once again, a gunman has turned a public space into a site of tragedy.

We don’t have to live in fear like this. We must pass commonsense gun reforms. https://t.co/mnykteLyi6

— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 23, 2021

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York wrote, “I’m praying for the Boulder community and the first responders. I’m mourning for those we’ve lost. This Senate must and will move forward on legislation to help stop the epidemic of gun violence.”

We are closely monitoring the situation on the ground in Boulder, Colorado.

I’m praying for the Boulder community and the first responders. I’m mourning for those we’ve lost.

This Senate must and will move forward on legislation to help stop the epidemic of gun violence. https://t.co/PrTeQeiw6F

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 23, 2021

Democratic Texas Representative Joaquin Castro wrote, “Yet another act of senseless gun violence…. Congress must finally pass common sense gun safety legislation.”

The people of Colorado are in my prayers tonight.

Yet another act of senseless gun violence. This time a gunman opened fire in a grocery store in Boulder and killed at least six people, including a police officer.

Congress must finally pass common sense gun safety legislation.

— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) March 23, 2021

Democratic Illinois Representative Marie Newman wrote, “Being afraid to go to the grocery store, school, or work for fear of being shot is an assault on everyone’s freedom. It’s past damn time we make universal background checks the law.”

Gun safety reform is not an assault on anyone’s freedom. 

Being afraid to go to the grocery store, school, or work for fear of being shot is an assault on everyone’s freedom.

It’s past damn time we make universal background checks the law.https://t.co/kipfUNWPlS

— Marie Newman (@Marie4Congress) March 23, 2021

Democratic Massachusetts Representative Jim McGovern wrote, “Time and again we see that thoughts & prayers aren’t enough. We need action on commonsense gun safety laws & we need it now.”

My heart breaks for #BoulderColorado — the lives lost, families devastated, friendships cut short & communities forever scarred.

Time and again we see that thoughts & prayers aren’t enough. We need action on commonsense gun safety laws & we need it now.https://t.co/6BeOMaX4KK

— Rep. Jim McGovern (@RepMcGovern) March 23, 2021

Democratic New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy wrote, “Devastated by today’s mass shooting in Boulder that took at least six lives, including a police officer. Tammy and I are praying for the victims, their families, and all of Colorado. We must eradicate the scourge of gun violence from our country.”

Devastated by today’s mass shooting in Boulder that took at least six lives, including a police officer. Tammy and I are praying for the victims, their families, and all of Colorado. We must eradicate the scourge of gun violence from our country.

— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 23, 2021

Democratic Illinois Representative Sean Casten wrote, “Over 90% of Americans—including gun owners—agree: we must take commonsense measures to end the senseless gun violence in this country. Every day we don’t, we fail to save more precious lives.”

I am heartbroken for the victims and families grieving tonight in Boulder, Colorado. Over 90% of Americans—including gun owners—agree: we must take commonsense measures to end the senseless gun violence in this country. Every day we don’t, we fail to save more precious lives. https://t.co/38wA2gNJUR

— Rep. Sean Casten (@RepCasten) March 23, 2021

Democratic Rhode Island Representative Jim Langevin wrote, “My heart is with the Boulder community and the victims of this terrible tragedy. Inaction in Congress has cost too many American lives. We must act now to stop these heinous acts of gun violence.”

My heart is with the Boulder community and the victims of this terrible tragedy. Inaction in Congress has cost too many American lives. We must act now to stop these heinous acts of gun violence.https://t.co/2X1spPzFgJ

— Jim Langevin (@JimLangevin) March 23, 2021

In contrast, Republican Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert, who is known for touting her gun ownership and support for the 2nd Amendment’s right to bear arms, wrote, “My prayers are with the shoppers, employees, first responders & others affected by the shooting in Boulder. May God be with them. While we are still awaiting important information and details in this case, random public shootings & senseless acts of violence are never ok.”

My prayers are with the shoppers, employees, first responders & others affected by the shooting in Boulder.

May God be with them.

While we are still awaiting important information and details in this case, random public shootings & senseless acts of violence are never ok.

— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) March 22, 2021

According to the Giffords Gun Law Scorecard, Colorado has some of the nation’s tougher gun laws after the 1999 Columbine High School mass shooting, the 2012 Aurora movie theater mass shooting, the 2015 Planned Parenthood shooting and other shootings in the state.

Giffords is an organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence. It was named after former Democratic Arizona Representative Gabby Giffords who suffered a severe brain injury during a 2011 assassination attempt involving a firearm.

On March 11, House Democrats approved two firearm reform bills which will likely face Republican opposition in the Senate.

The first bill would require background checks for people who buy firearms over the internet, at gun shows and in certain private transactions, Reuters reports. Though the bill closes a longstanding legal loophole, only eight Republicans supported it.

The second bill would extend the amount of time federal authorities have to complete background checks for firearm purchases. Currently, authorities have three days to complete such checks. The bill would extend the period to 10 days. Two Republicans supported the bill.

In a March 16 interview, Schumer called the background check bills a “test” to see if Republicans will support reforms supported by a majority of Americans. Schumer said 90 percent of the American people support such background checks as do 80 percent of gun owners.

Schumer took his percentages from a June 2017 Quinnipiac University poll and a 2015 Public Policy Polling (PPP) poll. PPP is a Democratic polling firm.

“We would welcome Republican support, no question about it…. If [Republicans] go along with us, great,” Schumer said about the proposal. “But if not, as I said we’re going to have to put our caucus together, put our heads together in our caucus and figure out the best way to go. Everything’s on the table.”

“Everything” includes proposals to reform or eliminate the Senate filibuster.

Under the current filibuster rules, most legislation needs at least 60 votes in the Senate to pass. With an evenly-split Senate—50 to 50—and GOP lawmakers largely opposed to Biden’s agenda, convincing 10 Republican senators to back Democratic bills seems like a nearly insurmountable obstacle. All 50 senators in the Democratic Caucus would need to support ending or modifying the filibuster for changes to be made.

Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and Democratic Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema have both publicly voiced their opposition to eliminating the filibuster. Biden has voiced support for maintaining the filibuster as well.

Republicans and some moderate Democrats say that eliminating the filibuster will kill any hope of senatorial bipartisanship.

A mass shooting at a King Soopers supermarket in Boulder, Colorado has occurred amid Democrats proposals for firearm reform. One unidentified man whose family members ran and his during the shooting has called the incident a “a big pitch for gun control.” In this photo, supporters of gun control and firearm safety measures hold a protest rally outside the US Supreme Court as the Court hears oral arguments in State Rifle and Pistol v. City of New York, NY, in Washington, DC, December 2, 2019.
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty

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