Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said today that Democrats will be making a major push on gun control this spring and warned lawmakers in Congress that they planned to make it a major issue in the upcoming elections.
“We’re going to push for it to happen this spring, at the end of spring, before the summer. And I agree totally that our colleagues who fail to support common sense action will hear one word as a remedy – elections,” he said.
“We’re going to have this issue as not only an animating one, it will be galvanizing, and motivating, and mobilizing, and we’re going to count on all the energy, and passion, that we see on the street and at state capitals in this spring and the coming months,” he added.
Blumenthal made the comments on a conference call with reporters with John Feinblatt, the President of the gun-control-advocacy group, Everytown for Gun Safety.
Blumenthal blamed gun-rights special interest groups like the NRA for Congressional inaction on what he deemed to be common sense gun-control measures like universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons like the AR-15, the high-powered rifle that has been used in several mass shootings like the one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, last month, and the one at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, in 2012.
“Not only has nothing changed in the last month, and congress had earned a well-deserved ‘F,’ but nothing has changed since Sandy Hook, five years ago,” he said.
“These measures have been unachieved because of the vice-like grip of the gun lobby and particularly the NRA on our Congress. Congress has been complicit in the ninety deaths everyday resulting from gun violence. And the hearing tomorrow is simply one more example of it. The hearing tomorrow is about see something, say something. What’s missing is doing something. Congress is doing nothing,” Blumenthal said, referring to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing tomorrow on the failure of law enforcement to pick up on warning signs that could have prevented the Parkland tragedy.
Also participating in the call was 2016 graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Bradley Thornton. Two of Thornton’s closes friends survived the Parkland shooting.
“Today I’m asking our lawmakers in Congress to show me and my peers that you care about us, that you care about the safety of all communities across the United States, that you will take action to reduce gun violence. Real action, that makes a difference,” he said.
Feinblatt highlighted that it is often outside forces, such as pressure from states and grassroots activists, rather than pressure from within the Capitol that forces Congress to act. “Often it takes states and the public standing up and showing where the American public stands before Congress is acting,” he said.
“The truth is, Congress is not where things begin, it’s actually where they end,” he added.