Friday’s deadly school shooting north of Seattle has proponents of gun-control legislation vowing to, in the words of Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), “keep guns out of the hands of children and out of the hands of unstable people and certainly out of the hand of criminals and kingpins in the drug business and everywhere else.”
Freshman Jaylen Fryberg opened fire on his cousins and friends in the cafeteria at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, killing Zoe Galasso, 14. Gia Soriano, 14, passed away from her head wounds on Sunday night.
Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15, are in critical condition with head wounds. Nate Hatch, 14, is in serious condition after being shot in the jaw. Andrew and Nate were the cousins of Jaylen, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Jaylen used a .40-caliber handgun belonging to his father. He was apparently infatuated with Galasso and upset that she was now with his cousin Andrew.
“Every time we have a tragedy like this, after Sandy Hook and there have been 87 shootings in school since Sandy Hook, 20 since August when our colleague Gabby Giffords was shot. After each of these terrible incidents, I think Congress will have a political will to pass these common sense bills to get the guns off the streets and keep them out of the hands of mentally sick people or criminals, yet the political will never seems to be there,” Maloney told MSNBC.
“We need to ban assault weapons. We authorize of banning assault weapons, background checks. Do you know it is not even a felony now in America to traffic in illegal guns?” the congresswoman continued. “…There’s so many common sense — a liability insurance on guns, gun safety locks for children, making sure that they`re locked up correctly. There are many steps that you can take to keep it out of the hands of people that are just going to use it to kill people.”
“More people have died from guns in a two-year period, over 58,000 in America than in the entire war in Vietnam which killed 58,000 Americans. How many people have to die before Congress has the political will to act? And raising this is so important.”
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) said the gun violence in his district is “oftentimes young kids shooting others.”
“It is easier to get a gun than a driver’s license in the United States of America. That just does not make sense to me,” Meeks said.
“Access to guns is just far too great and I would hope that common sense and, you know, I think that it falls on the people that are representatives in government but also the people that elect us to the elective offices.”
Maloney said she hopes voters “will make gun safety part of the criteria that they consider” at the ballot box.
“We’re — people that want a gun to protect themselves that are law-abiding, that want to go hunting, fine. But criminals and drug addicts and unstable people should not have access to guns,” she said.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), whose gun-control compromise amendment with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) failed in 2013, said he “would like to think that we can have elected officials with enough fortitude to basically look at gun sense.”
“I am a lifetime member of the NRA. I am a gun person. I enjoy — I just came off of a hunt yesterday. And we were at Hunters Feeding the Hungry. I enjoy this, and I think it’s for good purpose,” Manchin told CBS on Sunday.
“I’m not going to do something wrong just because I own a gun,” the senator continued. “But I also am a law-abiding gun owner, be responsible that if I go to a commercial gun show, if I go on the Internet, I want to know who wants to buy my gun, and I would think they would want to know who they’re selling their gun to.”
“That is common gun sense. And most of America and most gun owners agree with that.”