- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 2, 2022

Rep. Sylvia Garcia blamed Republicans for several mass shootings that have taken place in recent years, saying they’ve fostered an agenda that’s cultivated hate and violence.

The Texas Democrat said GOP lawmakers were responsible for the shootings that took place at a Walmart in El Paso in 2019, an LGBT nightclub in Orlando in 2016, and the supermarket shooting in Buffalo last month.

“Republicans are complicit for the shooter in Buffalo for encouraging white supremacy and promoting replacement theory,” Ms. Garcia said. “Republicans are complicit for the lives lost in Pulse Florida for their homophobic and anti-human rights narrative. Republicans are complicit for the massacre in El Paso for their anti-Latino, anti-immigrant narrative and for putting the gun lobby above people’s lives.”

Ms. Garcia made the comments at an emergency House Judiciary Committee hearing on gun reform.

Democrats are seeking to advance a series of gun control bills in a package dubbed Protecting Our Kids Act. The legislation would include incentives for states to implement red flag laws, make gun trafficking and straw purchases a federal offense and raise the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 years old.

Republicans are opposed to the bills, arguing that the proposals infringe on Second Amendment rights.

Rep. Dan Bishop, North Carolina Republican, pushed back on Ms. Garcia’s comments that faulted his party for the rise in shootings.

“You are not going to bully your way into stripping American citizens of fundamental rights,” Mr. Bishop said.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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