- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Senate Democrats joined with gun-control activists Tuesday on Capitol Hill to demand tougher firearms laws in response to recent shootings in Charleston, Chattanooga and Lafayette, which they dubbed the “summer of gun violence.”

They called for the resurrection of legislation that would expand criminal background checks for gun buyers and close the so-called gun show loophole.

“Too many guns are sold without a complete background check because of human mistakes, systemic mistakes and loopholes. The task before us is to fix this great net we have created or else we will continue to wake up to headlines of preventable tragedies,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democratic leader.

“We need to repair the net, we need to tighten the net, and we need to expand the net. Unless and until we do those three things, we will continue to see promising young lives vanish in an instant. We’ll continue to reflect on tragedy after tragedy and wonder what we could have done,” he said.

The measure was pushed by President Obama in 2013 after the shooting massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. But it couldn’t gain traction in Congress and has virtually no chance of getting a vote this year in the Republican-run Congress.

Mr. Schumer was joined by fellow Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both of Connecticut, and activists from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown, the gun-control group formed by billionaire and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Victims of gun violence also pleaded for tougher laws.

“In the days after the murder of my mother and cousins in Charleston, nothing made sense. But, I’ve seen the power of rising for action and know I need to share my voice to say: Enough,” said the Rev. Sharon Risher, whose mother Ethel Lance and cousins Susie Jackson and Tywanza Sanders were killed in the shooting last month at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

“Demanding action is why I’m here in our nation’s capital today — to demand a vote from Congress on background checks on all gun sales,” she said. “Avoiding this issue is unconscionable. I’ve prayed on this issue and now I’m acting on it — it’s time for our leaders to do the same.”

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