EL PASO, TX – Lawmakers across the nation have responded with increased calls for inaction following news that a lone gunman armed with an AK-47 killed at least 20 people and wounded dozens more at a Wal-Mart in El Paso, TX on Saturday.
In the aftermath of the horrific incident that killed numerous women and children, Texas Governor Greg Abbot tweeted “We unite in support of all the victims. We thank First Responders for their swift action. We ask God to bind up the wounds of all who’ve been harmed, but we must never take any action to prevent this from happening again.”
Texas Senator Ted Cruz issued a statement that read in part “the cowardly actions of this one individual do not represent the values we hold as Americans, but what are you going to do… ban guns? That won’t work, so we can only ask God to protect us from crazy individuals who wish to do us harm.”
“Since Sandy Hook, there have been 2,190 mass shootings, and each year, 40,000 people die from gun-related incidents,” said Iowa Congressman Steve King, who added “and gun reform would have had zero effect on those numbers, which is why it is imperative that we offer our thoughts and prayers, and nothing more.”
While most lawmakers dismiss claims that access and availability of guns has anything to do with gun violence, many recognize that underlying issues such as mental illness may play a role, including Kentucky Senator Rand Paul who stated “guns don’t kill people. Mentally ill people kill people, which is why we should focus on mental health solutions at a federal level. But seeing as that costs money, we can not ask the public to fund such programs when we’re running a trillion-dollar deficit.”
Many on the right have renewed accusations that Democrats will use this tragedy as an opportunity to pass gun control legislation, to which Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded “don’t worry, we’re not really going to do anything about it.”