On Wednesday, Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) spoke with KSEV 700’s morning AM radio program, The Lance Roberts Show, and offered an especially hot take on Democrats’ response to the Las Vegas shooting that left some 59 people dead: all of their suggestions in the wake of the massacre are part of a bigger ploy to get rid of the Second Amendment.
“Democrats don’t seem to be as concerned about the victims as they are about guns,” he said, adding that the left’s “real agenda” was to ban guns altogether.
They are just beside themselves about guns. They don’t talk too much about the shooter — they don’t want to talk about him and his motives for the killing and that he was the one responsible for the killing. The guns are responsible for the killing, and so we have to eliminate guns everywhere we can in the United States. They want to have a society where only government has guns, like they do in Russia and China and North Korea. Only government has guns, and citizens don’t have guns. That’s their plan.
Poe added that the left desperately wants to control people’s lives and take away personal freedoms, pointing to security measures like metal detectors as proof that they had gone too far. “Rather than looking at what could’ve prevented this — and they haven’t come up with an answer yet — their only answer is, ‘Well, we need to eliminate all guns,’” Poe lamented.
Poe’s claims are, of course, unfounded. None of the current gun control legislation being introduced on the Hill in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting would replace the Second Amendment or “eliminate all guns.” (It’s also important to note that the process for actually repealing a constitutional amendment requires a lengthy, burdensome process requiring majorities that Democrats simply don’t have.)
At the moment, there are a few legitimate suggestions floating around Congress for increased gun control measures meant to limit the number of casualties in case of another shooting. On Wednesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a bill that would ban sales of bump stock equipment meant to effectively turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic weapons. According to Jill Snyder, the agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ office in San Francisco, investigators found several bump stocks in the hotel room of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock this week. Bump stocks are currently legal and can be bought online for as little as $50.
“We’ve now witnessed the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, which saw nearly 600 people killed or injured. An American concert venue has now become a battlefield. We must stop this now,” Feinstein said in a statement. “Automatic weapons have been illegal for more than 30 years, but there’s a loophole in the law that can be exploited to allow killers to fire at rates of between 400 and 800 rounds-per-minute. The only reason to fire so many rounds so fast is to kill large numbers of people. No one should be able to easily and cheaply modify legal weapons into what are essentially machine guns.”
Feinstein’s bill does not, in any way, call for the Second Amendment to be replaced or for all guns to be eliminated.
Democrats have also pushed back against a measure that would make it easier to buy silencers, part of a larger piece of legislation called the Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (or SHARE Act), which would also “allow gun owners to transport registered firearms across state lines [and] carry guns in national parks”, according to The Los Angeles Times. Proponents of the bill claim that it protects hunters from suffering hearing damage, but opponents say it would make gun-related incidents and mass shootings more deadly.
“A silencer on [the Las Vegas shooter’s] weapons would have probably meant that the law enforcement response would have been slower,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said in an interview with VA Talk Radio Network on Thursday. “They still would’ve found him, but because silencers reduce the glare of the muzzle…they can affect [law enforcement’s] ability to tell where the sound is coming from. It would’ve slowed down the response, and there could’ve been more people shot or killed.”
In a press conference on Wednesday, Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) spoke out against inaction on the Hill on common sense gun control measures.
“We’re here because we know we can do something. You know we can do something. And we must do something,” he said. “We also believe that we should pass common sense gun violence prevention legislation, [including] a bill that would require anyone who buys a gun through a commercial sale to undergo a background check. …For the last four and a half years, we’ve been working on gun violence prevention measures. Everything that we’ve brought forward doesn’t cut the mustard with the Republican majority. They won’t give us a hearing, they won’t give us a vote. Well, if you don’t like what we’re bringing forward, you bring something forward.”
Added Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), “The time for action is now. Enough blood and tears have been shed. Enough families have been broken apart. Let’s do something to stop this death — otherwise we do not deserve to be here.”
Notably, neither Thompson nor Kelly called for all guns to be eliminated or a repeal of the Second Amendment.