East Texas politicians respond to President Biden’s address to gun violence

June 3, 2022 – TYLER, Texas (KETK)

One week after 19 students and two teachers were gunned down at a Texas school and one day after four were shot and killed at an Oklahoma hospital, President Joe Biden addressed the nation on gun violence Thursday evening.

Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert spoke during the House Judiciary Committee hearing on gun control legislation.

“Democrats control the cities with the worst murder rates,” said Louie Gohmert. “That’s right. Your ideas have been shown to get people killed.”

Jerry Smith is the Democratic Chairman for Marion County.

“What do we value more? The ownership of a gun, or the life of our children?” asked Jerry Smith.

Some Americans are calling for gun reform after the recent rise in mass shootings, while others say that guns are not to blame.

David Stein is the Republican Chairman for Smith County

“The problem is all we’re focusing on is the gun,” said David Stein. “We’re not focusing on the process. You know, there have been murders committed since before guns went into existence. So people will find a way to do harm and to do mass harm.”

Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the most recent target of mass shootings, following Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York.

“Yes, there was a heinous crime that happened,” said Stein. “This was a mentally unstable individual. Where all kinds of problems existed, but nobody did anything about it and there lies another problem.”

Gun laws have always been a hot-button topic among politicians, but after the increasing number of massacres, Democrats are looking for ways to make changes.

“We need to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and if we can’t ban assault rifles, we need to raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21,” said President Biden.

Smith said that there should be another look taken at what the constitution means by the right to bear arms.

“You know, this is not a well-organized militia we’re talking about anymore. This is actually people who have enough guns to kill all their neighbors, said Smith.

Lawmakers on both sides have been negotiating gun laws since the Uvalde shooting, and some GOP members fear losing their Second Amendment rights.

“If you cavalierly weaken the Second Amendment, then what’s to stop people from doing it on another one of the amendments, so we’ve got to make sure that we defend that wholeheartedly,” said Stein.

The President and the Democratic party argue that we need stricter gun laws.

“Address the mental health crisis deepening into the trauma of gun violence as a consequence of that violence,” said President Biden.

Although Stein and Smith were opposed on most of their views, both politicians agreed that addressing mental health is important.

In a statement, State Representative Matt Schaefer, who represents Tyler in Austin, wrote to KETK:

“If Biden’s gun control ideas work, why do so many people in Chicago get shot every weekend? Criminals ignore the many laws we already have. My faith is with law-abiding Texans and our Constitutional principles that stand the test of time.”

 

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