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Dems slam Trump for inaction on mass shootings

2019-09-02

President Donald Trump talks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. (Susan Walsh/AP)

Democrats in New York and around the country pounced on President Trump and Republicans for their inaction on gun violence as the nation reels from the 25th mass shooting this year.

“They’ll send thoughts and prayers to Odessa and Midland. Like they did after El Paso,” Mayor de Blasio tweeted.

“They’ll stall and wait out the anger. Like they do every time. We have to BREAK the cycle. We need leaders to LEAD. Mitch McConnell: Bring the Senate back to pass commonsense gun control W.”

The frustration comes after a gunman Saturday killed at least seven people in Odessa, Texas — the same state where another mass shooting last month prompted renewed calls for gun control. Following the Aug. 3 massacre in El Paso, Tex., in which 22 people were killed, Trump indicated interest in gun restriction proposals.

But after a phone call with National Rifle Association boss Wayne LaPierre, Trump backed down.

“We have very, very strong background checks right now, but we have sort of missing areas and areas that don’t complete the whole circle,” he told reporters on Aug. 20. “I have to tell you that it’s a mental problem.”

Gov. Cuomo was exasperated as well, demanding in a terse statement, “Mr. President: DO SOMETHING.

“How many more families will lose loved ones, how many more communities will be torn apart?” he said. “How many more tragedies will it take before “leaders” act? The bloodshed must end now.

“DO SOMETHING.”

On Sunday, Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro accused Trump of “going back on his word” on establishing universal background checks for gun buyers.

“The biggest lie that the president has told include that he is going to do something about universal background checks,” Castro, a former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“He said that twice. After Parkland and then after El Paso and Dayton and he’s gone back on his word."

Castro also slammed Republican lawmakers, saying, “It’s the same old thing."

“You know it’s happy talk and this promise that, ‘We’re going to do something, we’re going to look at it.’ But they never actually do it," he said.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives in February passed a bill aimed at ending a loophole allowing sales of weapons at gun shows without background checks. Another bill would extend the length of time gun sellers must wait for a reply from the existing background check system before completing a sale. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has refused votes on the measures in the Senate.

Nevertheless, a Republican senator insisted Sunday Trump wants to do “something meaningful” about gun violence.

“I have spoken with the president repeatedly and recently about this topic. He is very interested in doing something meaningful,” Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.”