Gun-control advocates are lamenting that even in the wake of Friday's shocking mass murder in Aurora, Colo., efforts to restrict gun ownership still appear to be political non-starters.
“We’ve basically given up,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, told Rev. Al Sharpton Monday on PoliticsNation. “We don’t do anything to make it harder” for people to obtain guns.
Rep. Blumenauer spoke on the floor on the House of Representatives today, criticizing Congress for its “spineless” behavior in legislating gun control and slamming colleagues for bowing to the NRA.
“It’s reached the point where the NRA has actually colluded with some of its allies in Congress, that it’s illegal for the federal government to collect the information, to be able to analyze it, to study it,” Bluemenauer told Sharpton.
“More restricted gun laws may not have prevented James Homes from allegedly killing 12 people,” said Sharpton on Monday. “But what is certain is that the statistics of gun fatalities aren’t budging."
The number of mass shootings—around 20 a year—has stayed stable for years, while the number of homicides due to gun violence has remained around 10,000 for the last decade as well.
James Holmes, the alleged shooter in Aurora, is said to have obtained more than 6000 rounds of ammunition on the internet in preparation for his movie theater rampage. “He did this all with a click on the internet, without any sort of background check,” Sharpton added.
According to Bluemenauer, the NRA’s lobbying and campaigning efforts are “paralytic” to the government’s effort to legislate gun control. The NRA is “so extreme, they’re out of touch with the majority of their own members,” he said.
The country needs to heal from the tragedy first, but it does need to act, Blumenauer said. “It’s not acceptable to ignore it, to walk away,” he said, “this doesn’t happen in any other civilized country.”