Congressman's shooting first test for Trump-era gun debate

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Democrats, who generally, though not uniformly, are more aggressive about gun control laws, expressed concern following the Alexandria incident, in which Republican Representative Steve Scalise and several other people were shot. Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, among the most passionate and prolific gun control advocates on Capitol Hill, kept his typically fiery Twitter feed at a low burn.

"Evil is real, evil exists and it makes no sense that the good can not protect themselves against evil", said Loesch.

Echoing those sentiments, the Republicans who control Washington dug in. "On a rare occasion I'd have my gun in a glove box or something, but it's going to be in my pocket from this day forward". That somehow Rep. Scalise would, like Ronald Reagan, would understand the great need for more focused national gun law with Donald Trump by his side. He noted the shooter had a criminal record and was from IL, which already has strict gun laws, "yet he was still able to access a firearm somehow".

James T. Hodgkinson from IL has been identified as the shooter.

But if the shooting has dispelled any illusion of their own immunity, the fact that the shooter was brought down by armed police officers seems to have redoubled Republicans' conviction that safety lies in more, not fewer, guns. Most chose to proceed with caution, issuing public statements that avoided the gun control debate altogether. "We need Democrats and Republicans to work together on common-sense gun reform that is supported by a majority of Americans and would save countless lives".

Whenever there is a mass shooting in America -so, like, every week - gun advocates race to say the solution is more guns.

Davis echoed what Paul had said about how different everything would have been if those officers had not been there with Scalise. He cited the massacre of schoolchildren at Sandy Hook Elementary School in his state of CT in 2012, and of club-goers in Orlando previous year.

All three MI congressmen justly credited Scalise's Capitol Police security detail, whose members engaged Hodgkinson nearly immediately, with saving their lives and those of other civilians on the playing field. "This is about prevention and education, about knowing the signs of someone who might commit an act of violence and how to stop it from happening in the first place".

For Republicans who did address the gun question, their remarks were consistent with the party's broad-based opposition to any tightening of restrictions.

They're pushing ahead in a harsh environment. There is also no gun registry in Virginia, and there is no such thing as a concealed carry permit for long guns.

"I am heartbroken for the pain of Congressman Scalise, the other victims, and their family, friends and colleagues who survived", she said in a statement.

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