House committee was set to quietly ease gun restrictions hours before baseball field rampage
Mere hours after a gunman opened fire at an early-morning Congressional baseball practice, a House committee was set to consider a bill that would make it easier to buy silencers for firearms.
The House Committee on Natural Resources Wednesday cancelled “until further notice” the legislative hearing on the SHARE Act. As mic.com reports, embedded in the GOP version of the bill is a provision that would loosen restrictions on firearms, including allow felons and domestic abusers to buy silencers.
The House meeting was scheduled for 10 a.m. Instead, shortly after 7 a.m., James Hodgkinson left the Alexandria, Va. YMCA and travelled to a local baseball field, where he shot at Republican Congressmen practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) remains in critical condition at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
But, despite the tragedy targeting members of their own party, Republicans on Wednesday indicated the assault will have no impact on the party’s pro-gun stance.
“I don’t see this as gun control issue,” House Freedom Caucus leader Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said. “I think to default to that would be a missed opportunity to be thankful for every moment we have, be thankful for our law enforcement, and ultimately to understand that the mental health component is an important thing for us to address.”
“It’ll have the same ending as all the other conversations about gun control,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said. “I don’t know how this guy got a gun. I don’t know if he did it legally. I don’t know if he did it illegally. I have an AR-15. I’m not going around shooting people with it.
“Guns, knives, cars, bombs. That’s the world in which we live,” Graham added.
Even Democratic Congressmen, including Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who’s advocated for stricter gun laws since the tragic murder of 26 people—including 20 children—in Newtown, CT in 2012, admits stricter gun laws are a pipe dream.
“I think we’re beyond the place in which Washington responds to mass shootings,” Murphy said. “We don’t.”