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Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Wednesday that crime rates in places like Chicago and New York “disprove” the thesis that tougher gun laws prevented the mass shootings that killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.
During a lengthy news conference about Tuesday’s shooting, Abbott was pressed on whether he would support “real” gun control measures in an effort to prevent another tragedy.
“I know people like to try to oversimplify,” Abbott replied. “Let’s talk about some real facts, that there are ‘real’ gun laws in Chicago. There are ‘real’ gun laws in New York. There are ‘real’ gun laws in firearms in California.
TEXAS SCHOOL SHOOTING: LIVE UPDATES
“I hate to say it, but there are more people getting shot every weekend in Chicago than there are in schools in Texas,” he continued. “And we have to realize that people who think, ‘Well, maybe we could just implement tougher gun laws, that’s going to solve the problem.’ Chicago, LA and New York refute this thesis. And so if you are looking for a real solution, Chicago teaches that what you are talking about is not a real solution. Our job is to find real solutions that we can implement .”
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the suspect in Tuesday’s shooting, Salvador Ramos, 18, legally purchased two AR platform rifles from a licensee. local federal firearms license, one on May 17 and another on May 20. The suspect also purchased 375 rounds of 5.56 on May 18, the ATF said.
DEMOCRATS USE UVALDE’S SHOT TO DEMAND HR 8 SENATE PASS, WHICH WOULD NOT AVOID TRAGEDY
Abbott said 18-year-olds have been able to buy semi-automatic rifles in the state for decades and mass shootings like this are a new phenomenon.
“The ability for an 18-year-old to purchase a long gun has been in place in the state of Texas for over 60 years,” he said. “And think in those 60 years, we haven’t had episodes like this. And why in the majority of those 60 years, we haven’t had school shootings? And why do we have them now?
“The reality is that I don’t know the answer to that question,” he continued. “However, what I know from talking to leaders here, as well as leaders and other places in the state, and that’s one thing that has changed significantly is the state of mental health in our communities. What I do know is, and that’s us as a state, we as a society need to do a better job with mental health. Anyone who shoots someone else has a mental health issue, period. As a government, we need to find a way to target this mental health challenge and do something about it.”
In the wake of the shooting, Democrats asked the Senate to pass the bipartisan Criminal Background Checks Act of 2021, which would expand the nation’s Instant Criminal Background Check system to require background checks for all drug sales. firearms, including private sales between two without a license. people. But because Ramos purchased his guns legally from a licensed gun dealer, the measure would not have affected the transactions in which he acquired his guns.
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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., signaled Wednesday that he was not putting the bill to a quick vote and would instead try to broker a deal with Republicans.
“My fellow Republicans can work with us now,” Schumer said in the Senate. “I think it’s a thin prospect. Very thin, too thin. We’ve been burned so many times before. But it’s so important,” Schumer said. “We need to continue the action and even ask the Republicans to join us again.”
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