The debate over gun control in the U.S. starts all over again after the Virginia shootout, where five people were wounded including Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
The Shooting Incident
Batting practice for Thursday’s Congressional baseball game was going on when James T. Hodgkinson opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, firing randomly at the players, as people ran helter-skelter.
GOP House Majority Whip Steve Scalise began to scream, as he was shot. Security and other people who had guns started shooting back at the gunman, who was shooting from over the fence and ordering everybody to stay down.
Rifle Vs. Pistol
In a short time, police came and returned fire. Ultimately, five people were injured during the shooting, including Rep. Scalise, who was shot in the hip and is recuperating at George Washington Hospital.
Hodgkinson also sustained serious injuries and later died in the Hospital. Originally from Belleville, Illinois, he recently relocated to Virginia. According to the Washington Post:
“Hodgkinson was charged in April 2006 with battery and aiding damage to a motor vehicle, according to online records in St. Clair County, Illinois. The charges were dismissed, records show.”
Gun control Advocates said the attack has proved the need for safety on the streets of U.S., saying:
“All Americans, including our elected leaders, should live in an environment where they can pursue everyday activities without fear of being shot”.
Congressman Barry Loudermilk of Georgia suggested that if members of the Congressional baseball team had been armed themselves, in addition to the police bodyguards, the situation could have been resolved more quickly.
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head on January 8, 2011. She said that Congress needs to have resilience and unify “in the face of such an attack.” That the shooting is:
“…An attack on all who serve and on all who participate in our democracy”.
Rep. Chris Collins said that he has decided to carry his gun with him everywhere he goes, saying:
“I have a carry permit … On a rare occasion I’d have my gun in the glove box or something, but it’s going to be in my pocket from this day forward.”
Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina who sponsored the bill said he spoke to the shooter, and claimed that he had asked whether those practicing were Republican or Democrat.
Debate on Gun Control
The Virginia Governor, Terry McAuliffe wants more background checks to close the “gun-show loopholes,” but acknowledges that now is not the time for political debate.
During a news conference after the shooting, he said:
“We need to do more to protect all of our citizens … This is not what today is about, but there are too many guns on the street.”
The National Firearms Act regulates silencers and machine guns, and has for 80 years now. At one time, it was backed by the National Rifle Association, but the Duncan’s Hearing Protection Act effectively remove silencers.
Advocates for control advocates say that congress members backed by the gun lobby are attempting to sneak the silencer provision into the bill, which has passed three years prior without it.
Featured Image: Screenshot Via YouTube Video.