Political Update: Politicians & Gun Control Measures
In the wake of last week’s shooting in Orlando, killing 49 people and injuring more than 50, responses from both Republicans and Democrats have been vastly different. Many Democrats are calling for stricter gun control policies, while Republicans have continued their stance of protecting the Second Amendment, and calling for more action against terrorism at home and abroad.
Many members of Congress were eager to bring gun control legislation to the floor following the events in Orlando; Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn) launched a 15-hour filibuster just three days after the shooting took place in order to bring two gun control measures to a vote. Murphy took to the floor at 11:21 a.m. on Wednesday, June 15, saying, “I’ve had enough of the ongoing slaughter of innocents, and I’ve had enough of inaction in this body.”
Early Thursday morning, a compromise was reached, and Senate Republicans agreed to hold a vote on whether to ban those on the terror watch list from obtaining a gun and whether to expand background checks on gun shows and internet sales. The senate will be voting on these measures tonight.
No matter which side of the issue politicians are on, it is clear that with gun violence on the rise and increased pressure mounting from citizens on both sides of the political spectrum, the issue of gun control has taken center stage in the presidential race in recent weeks. And as the general election quickly approaches, both presumptive nominees for the Republican and Democratic parties are responding to the issue.
Donald Trump responded to the tragedy by reiterating his call for a ban of all Muslims from entering the United States, and taking it a step further in a speech last week, calling for a suspension of immigration “from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or allies.”
This response was met with criticism from presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who, in her speech on Monday, June 13, pointed out her belief that the way Trump talks about terrorism
makes America less safe.
“Threatening to ban the families and friends of Muslim-Americans as well as millions of Muslim businesspeople and tourists from entering our country hurts the vast majority of Muslims who love freedom and hate terror,” she said.
As the campaign continues and each party’s convention approaches, one thing is clear: gun control will be one of the most talked-about issues of this year’s presidential campaign, and will be at the forefront of politics for many months to come.