- The Washington Times - Monday, February 19, 2018

Rep. Jim Himes said Monday that Republicans refuse to have a debate on stricter gun laws because of financial backing from the National Rifle Association.

“People like Marco Rubio and Speaker [Paul] Ryan will not allow that conversation to happen because it will cut off the flow of money from the NRA and groups like it that are funding these guys precisely to stop any meaningful change on gun safety,” Mr. Himes, Connecticut Democrat, said on CNN.

Mr. Himes, who’s own state suffered a mass shooting in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary, said Republicans avoid the “facts” that increased gun laws reduce gun deaths. He said his state passed stricter gun laws and have seen a decrease in gun-related deaths.

“The facts are incontrovertible here,” Mr. Himes said. “They can’t allow the conversation to go to facts.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican, said on the Senate floor Thursday that stricter gun laws wouldn’t have stopped the mass shooting in his home state of Florida last week, but added that more restrictions should be put in place to make obtaining a weapon more difficult. Mr. Himes slammed Mr. Rubio for saying that the violence wouldn’t have been stopped by stricter gun laws.

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead and sparked a national outcry for more gun laws. The shooting suspect, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, bought the weapon legally over a year ago, despite having a history of behavioral issues.

The FBI missed multiple warnings from those who noted Mr. Cruz’s online posts about guns and violence, as well as his emotional instability.


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