6, November 2017
The deadly mass shooting in a Texas church that killed over two dozen people on Sunday has once again sparked gun control debates in the US, with former President Barack Obama and other figures weighing in on the issue.
“May God also grant all of us the wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst,” Obama wrote in a tweet on Sunday night, after a former US Air Force serviceman killed 27 people at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Former vice president Joe Biden also reacted by urging Americans not to give in to “hopelessness” and “persist in our efforts to prevent gun violence.”
The shooting came a little more than a month after the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history in Las Vegas, which killed over 50 people and injured hundreds more at a concert.
Following in footsteps of the former Democrat president, Democratic Senators Bob Casey Jr., Dick Durbin and Kamala Harris also voiced concern and urged the Republican-dominated Congress to act in response to the latest deadly shooting.
“The shooter turned his gun on people — kids — in a place of worship. America is in the grips of a gun violence crisis. Congress must act,” Durbin wrote in a tweet.
Harris, a possible 2020 presidential contender, condemned “senseless gun violence” after the incident.
Senator Richard Blumenthal, another Democrat, went one step further and accused Congress of “complicity.”
“Enough is enough. Now is the time for commonsense gun violence prevention steps. Congressional complicity must end,” he wrote on Twitter.
Other Democratic heavyweights like Senators Dianne Feinstein and Elizabeth Warren also commented on the issue. While Feinstein called for immediate action, Warren pointed the finger at Republicans.
“Thoughts & prayers are not enough, GOP. We must end this violence. We must stop these tragedies. People are dying while you wait,” she wrote in a tweet.
The issue of gun violence has provoked a lot heated debates under Republican President Donald Trump, one of the most pro-gun US heads of state.
Once a strict supporter of banning assault weapons, Trump’s views on gun control have shifted so much he now takes pride in defending the constitutional right to own arms and refuses to tighten up gun regulations.
Facing questions in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, Trump reluctantly said the US will “be talking about gun laws as time goes by.”
There was no hints towards a possible change of views in his response to the recent church shooting either.
“May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan,” wrote the president, who is on a 12-day trip to Asia.
The lackluster Republican response to the issue continued after Representative Steve Scalise, a victim of a shooting himself, called the shooting “devastating” in a tweet. House Speaker Paul Ryan also said the shooting was “devastating.”