Democrats renew calls for gun control after Texas massacre
by Evan Wilt
Posted 11/06/17, 11:01 am
WASHINGTON—Democratic leaders have renewed calls for new gun control measures after a man killed 26 people at a Texas church Sunday. “The terrifying fact is that no one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do absolutely nothing in the face of this epidemic,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said in a statement after the attack. “The time is now for Congress to shed its cowardly cover and do something.” According to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, state officials denied shooter Devin Patrick Kelley a permit to carry a gun, but law enforcement officials say he bought a Ruger AR-556 rifle in April from an Academy Sports and Outdoors store in San Antonio. Sunday’s attack is the deadliest church shooting in U.S. history and the fifth deadliest act of gun violence ever recorded in the United States. The victims at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs ranged from an unborn baby to 77 years old. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., joined Murphy in asking how many more mass shootings need to occur for Republicans to reconsider the nation’s gun policies: “Thoughts & prayers are not enough, GOP,” she tweeted. “We must end this violence. We must stop these tragedies. People are dying while you wait.” Democrats similarly called for new gun laws after last month’s massacre in Las Vegas and in the wake of the June 2016 mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla. President Donald Trump told reporters Sunday the suspected shooter was a deranged individual and said his actions had more to do with mental health issues than gun policies: “This isn’t a guns situation. Fortunately, somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction.”
Editor’s note: This article has been edited to include a 27th death in the shooting, an unborn child, and correct the age range of the victims.
UPDATE: On Tuesday, Nov. 7, officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety said their count of 26 deaths from the shooting included the unborn child of Crystal Holcombe, who was pregnant when she and three of her other children were killed.
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Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.