Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) blasted Congress for “shirking its responsibility” and signaled a new focus on gun violence in the wake of the Washington Navy Yard shooting that
left 13 dead and wounded 14 others on Monday.
Aaron Alexis, the gunman who allegedly killed 12 people in the rampage, used an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun, and a semiautomatic pistol in the shooting, according to reports.
“This is one more event to add to the litany of massacres that occur when a deranged person or grievance killer is able to obtain multiple weapons — including a military-style assault rifle — and kill many people in a short amount of time,” Feinstein said in a statement.
“When will enough be enough?
“Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country. We must do more to stop this endless loss of life.”
Feinstein took a lead role in the gun control debate the last time it raged in Congress — after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last December.
Earlier this year, a Feinstein-sponsored bill to ban assault-style weapons failed by a large margin in the Senate. A bill to expand background checks, the legislation that had the best chance of passage, also failed in a high-profile and emotional vote.
The Obama administration has quietly moved forward on gun control since the failure. Late last month, President Barack Obama introduced two new executive actions aimed at tackling gun violence.
On Monday, he also hinted at a desire for a new gun control push in the wake of the Navy Yard shooting, lamenting in a press conference the dawn of “another mass shooting.”
“It’s a shooting that targeted our military and civilian personnel,” he said. “These are men and women who were going to work, doing their job, protecting all of us. They’re patriots, and they know the dangers of serving abroad — but today, they faced unimaginable violence that they wouldn’t have expected here at home.”
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