A mass shooting in California has again reignited the debate over guns in America and Congress.
A gunman opened fire at a bar hosting a “college night” in Thousand Oaks late Wednesday night, killing 12 people and injuring many more, according media reports. Among the dead was a sheriff’s sergeant who charged into the bar to confront the shooter.
With a new majority in the House, Democrats say they’re emboldened to make changes once they take control in January.
Here’s how Democrats reacted to the shooting and said what they’ll do in the new Congress:
Florida Rep. Ted Deutch previewed legislation to create a “National Gun Safety Administration.” Deutch’s district includes the Parkland school where 17 children and adults were shot and killed nine months ago.
There are always people who complain that we don’t blame cars for traffic deaths. And they say it’s people not guns.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is a federal agency whose mission is, “Save lives, prevent injuries, reduce vehicle-related crashes." — Rep. Ted Deutch (@RepTedDeutch) November 8, 2018
Nevada Rep. Dina Titus has gotten little traction on her proposals to reform gun laws, but vowed, “that will change come January.” Titus represents a district that encompasses most of Las Vegas, which saw the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history when a gunman used bump stocks to kill 58 concertgoers from a hotel window last year.
I’ve introduced and supported numerous pieces of common sense legislation to address gun violence, yet the Republican-controlled Congress has refused to even consider them. That will change come January.— Dina Titus (@repdinatitus) November 8, 2018
“I worry that we’ve become desensitized to this,” Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes told CNN. Himes called for Congress to take up some of the measures that have been implemented in Connecticut like an assault weapons ban, but acknowledged the divided Congress makes the likelihood of any legislation becoming law much more remote.
Democratic @RepJAHimes reacts to the California shooting: "I'm embarrassed to say ... my first thought was 'Here we go again: It's this week's mass shooting'" https://t.co/2WYS34tLcF pic.twitter.com/KnaM9WJdRu— New Day (@NewDay) November 8, 2018
Rep. Julia Brownley, who represents the California district that includes Thousand Oaks, told the families of the victims who were shot and killed Wednesday night, “our community is here for you.”
I am deeply, deeply saddened by the horrific news of a mass shooting at Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks. To the families of the 11 victims and Sgt. Ron Helus – I cannot even begin to fathom the pain you are experiencing, but please know that our community is here for you.— Congresswoman Julia Brownley (@JuliaBrownley26) November 8, 2018
Some Republicans extended their condolences to the victims’ families, but did not join Democrats in suggesting policy solutions. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that the shooting will “strengthen our resolve to heal the wounds in our society and move forward.”
My prayers go out to the victims and grieving families of the horrific mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, CA. These acts of violence test our unity as a nation. But they will only strengthen our resolve to heal the wounds in our society and move forward.— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 8, 2018
Another Republican in the California delegation, Rep. Ed Royce, praised law enforcement on the scene in his first statement about the tragedy.
Marie and I mourn for the victims of Thousand Oaks and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department who lost family and friends. In the face of overwhelming tragedy, we lift up the heroes and first responders who bravely sacrificed everything to save others.— Ed Royce (@RepEdRoyce) November 8, 2018
On the Senate side, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said tragedies like the one in Thousand Oaks are “depressingly pervasive” and called on her Republican colleagues to vote on bills to ban military-style assault weapons, outlaw bump stocks and close the gun show loophole. She blamed the inertia on the issue to a lack of “intestinal fortitude” among Congressional Republicans.
These mass murders are depressingly pervasive. Schools. Theaters. Malls. Offices. Synagogues. Grocery stores. Bars. Concerts. Churches. They’re inspired by racism, revenge, terrorism or just pure hatred. The one common attribute: easy access to guns. pic.twitter.com/cuA7K34ZqM— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) November 8, 2018