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GOP baseball shooting

Another shooting, and once more Democrats call for gun control, while Republicans defend gun rights

 (AP file photo)
(AP file photo)

It’s a recurring theme that sends partisans to their respective corners after every high-profile shooting.

Democrats call for stricter gun-control reforms, while Republicans call such efforts an infringement on the 2nd Amendment rights of citizens.

On Wednesday, hours after a gunman opened fire on members of Congress at a northern Virginia baseball field, it was much the same.

Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said this wasn't time to talk about gun control, but then essentially did just that.

“I have long advocated — this is not what today is about — but there are too many guns on the streets,” he said to reporters. He added, "I have long talked about this --- background checks and shutting down gun show loopholes.  And that’s not for today’s discussion, but it’s not just about politicians. We worry about this every day for all of our citizens.”

In the wake of the 2012 mass shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, gun-control advocates pushed for new federal laws on firearms. Those efforts have stalled. Instead, many states -- Colorado, Connecticut and California, to name a few -- passed stricter laws that, among other things, placed limits on ammunition magazines and beefed up background checks.

Last year, in the wake of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in which a gunman killed 49 people, an effort to create stricter background checks on gun sales faltered in the GOP-controlled U.S. Senate. Polls have consistently shown strong public support for background checks.

And this year, House Republicans voted to rescind an Obama administration rule that heightened scrutiny of mentally impaired people who seek to purchase a firearm. Critics of the rule, mostly Republicans, said it would strip law-abiding citizens of their constitutional rights. Among those who voted to end the rule: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. He was among those injured during Wednesday’s shooting.

For Scalise, he’s often touted his opposition to stricter gun-control reforms and has a earned himself an A+ rating from the National Rifle Assn.

As McAuliffe and some liberals on social media called for stricter gun-control laws on Wednesday, Republicans pushed back.

“I can only hope that the Democrats do tone down the rhetoric," Rep. Chris Collins  (R-N.Y.) said on WBEN radio. "The rhetoric has been outrageous – the finger-pointing, just the tone and the angst and the anger directed at Donald Trump, his supporters. Really, then, you know, some people react to things like that. They get angry as well. And then you fuel the fires."

He vowed to start carrying his handgun at public events.

"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," Collins said.

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