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October 03, 2013
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) grilled Washington, D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen over public urination laws in the city.
During a Wednesday House Oversight hearing on D.C., Boebert used her time to focus on proposed changes to the criminal code.
"In November of 2022, you led the charge to reform D.C.'s crime laws," Boebert charged. "And these charges, these changes, are now law here in D.C., correct?"
"No, those are not the law," Allen stated.
"Those are not the law?" Boebert replied.
"You overturned them," Allen said of Congress.
"Mr. Allen, did you or did you not decriminalize public urination in Washington, D.C.?" Boebert asked.
"No, we did not," Allen said.
"Did you lead the charge to decriminalize public urination in Washington, D.C.?" Boebert asked again.
"No, ma'am," Allen answered.
"Did you ever vote in favor of decriminalizing public urination in Washington, D.C.?" Boebert pressed.
"The revised criminal code that was passed by the council kept it as a criminal offense," Allen noted.
"We have records that show that you were in favor of removing that criminal offense and allowing public urination," Boebert insisted.
"No," Allen pushed back.
Watch the video below.
There are 535 seats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and another six non-voting seats for delegates. After Monday's horrific mass shooting at a private Christian elementary school, where three nine-year olds and three adults were shot to death, very few Members appeared on-camera to talk with reporters about the tragedy.
The Democrats who did advocated for various gun control measures, including reinstating the federal assault weapons ban signed into law in 1994 by President Bill Clinton that Republican lawmakers and President George W. Bush refused to renew in 2004, after which mass shootings and gun violence skyrocketed.
President Joe Biden this week repeatedly called on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban, a call he has made over and over again.
In addition to calling for an assault weapons ban, House and Senate Democrats responded to the mass shooting at Covenant Presbyterian Elementary in Nashville by calling for tighter gun control measures including implementing red flag laws.
The parents of the Nashville shooter have said their child had an emotional disorder and should not have had any firearms. Three were used in the assault and another four were found at the shooter's home. Tennessee has no red flag law so police were not legally allowed to take the guns away.
After last year's school mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two adults were shot to death, some states took action. Tennessee, where the Nashville school shooting became the nation's 130th this year, did little.
"We’re not looking at gun restriction laws in my administration right now," Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, a Republican, said after the tragedy. "Criminals don’t follow laws, criminals break laws. Whether they are a gun law, a drug law, criminals break laws.”
“We can’t control what they do.”
But in a sense, Governor Lee did control what they do.
In 2021 ago he signed into law a permit-less open-carry law: no permit required, no training required, no background check required.
A Tennessee Republican U.S. Congressman, Tim Burchett this week repeatedly decreed there's nothing that can be done.
Echoing almost word-for-word Governor Lee's remarks from three years ago, in now-viral video, Rep. Burchett infamously on Monday declared, "We're not gonna fix it. Criminals are going to be criminals."
He did, however, invoke religion, calling for a Christian revival, and declaring that was the answer to fixing mass shootings and gun violence.
On Tuesday Rep. Burchett was back in front of the cameras, furthering his call to do nothing.
"I don't know what law we could pass," he said. "Evil people are going to do evil things."
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) appeared on CNN this week and responded to the Nashville slaughter by defending his threat to President Biden to try to take his AR-15 away.
In a rare example of excellent journalism, CNN's Phil Mattingly pressed Buck after the far-right Republican tried to change the topic.
"If Joe Biden is interested in reaching a resolution on the issue let him deal with the Southern border," Buck defiantly declared, literally blaming President Biden's border policies for gun violence.
He also tried to link the Nashville mass shooting to a mental health problem and then tried to link that to drug laws and a lack of funding for states for mental health services.
Rep. Buck last year voted against two mental health bills, and since 2019 has voted against the vast majority of 40 or so health care bills.
"What's the burden on you?" Matttingly asked Buck.
Unyieldingly, Buck replied, "My burden is to follow the Constitution, and the Second Amendment protects – there are more than two million AR-15s."
Republican U.S. Congressman Andy Ogles, who represents Nashville, Tennessee and came under fire again this week for his 2021 Christmas card showing him and his family, including young children, holding assault weapons, was asked about banning AR-15s.
Rep. Ogles' response was to answer the question with another question: "Why not talk about the real issue facing this country?" which he declared, like Rep. Buck and others, is mental health. He then walked away.
U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) took a different tact on the GOP's do-nothing policy while supporting the GOP's walk-away response.
He equated assault weapons with politics and emotions.
"If you're gonna talk about the AR-15 you're talking politics now," he told CNN's Manu Raju. "Let's not get into politics. let's not get into emotion, because emotion feels good, but emotion doesn't solve problems."
He then just walked away.
But perhaps the greatest example of the Republican response to gun violence and mass shootings came from House Republican's leader, Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
On Tuesday, McCarthy stood in the Capitol's Statuary Hall to pose for photos with some tourists.
CNN's Manu Raju asked the Speaker about the "incredibly serious situation" in Nashville, suggesting it required a response from the Speaker of the House.
He refused to provide one, then walked away.
Watch the videos above or at this link.
"The View" panelists clashed over the role mental health plays in mass shootings in the wake of yet another at a Christian elementary school in Tennessee.
A shooter killed three children and three adults Monday at Nashville's private Covenant School, and co-host Sara Haines said gun manufacturers profit handsomely from the sale of the expensive and highly efficient AR-15 rifles used in the great majority of massacres.
"The NRA is funded by these millions and D.C. is funded by the NRA," Haines said. "No one wants to talk about that conversation because it would be a reduction in profit, so I think the two conversations, you're making a good point, would be agreeing that during that time there was an AR-15 assault rifle ban gun deaths did go down."
Co-host Sunny Hostin pointed out that gun deaths went down by 40 percent in that period, which Haines agreed was a huge number, but said gun safety advocates should concede that firearms weren't the only factor in mass killings.
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"The conversation needs to come from both sides because I do think mental health is a big problem," Haines said. "I think it's harder to wrap your head around how we solve that, but I do think these assault weapons, the majority of people believe, need to go away."
Hostin and co-host Joy Behar disagreed, saying that other countries had problems with mental illness but not gun violence.
"I'm really sorry, but I have so many mentally ill people in my family," Hostin said. "They are more likely to be the victims of crime than be criminals. That is a fact, and it has been studied in this country for over 60 years. So I'm so sick of people conveniently saying this is a mental health issue or you can't look at this issue without mental health."
Conservative co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin interrupted to ask whether Hostin believed the Nashville shooter was of sound mind.
"That is not the point," Hostin said, over Griffin's objections. "The point is, if she did not have access to those weapons, those three 9-year-olds would be in school today."
Watch the video below or at this link.
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