- Republicans Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Rep. Carlos Curbelo, and Sen. James Lankford all voiced their support for gun legislation on the Sunday morning talk show circuit.
- The change in tune came after the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday left 17 dead.
- Even conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh came out in favour of some gun regulation.
In the wake of the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School this week, several Republican lawmakers broke with their party’s historic position and called for “common sense” gun legislation.
As the students who survived the tragedy are calling on lawmakers to act, many are wondering if this time will be different, and whether Congress will get something done.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich came out swinging on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“Common sense gun laws make sense,” Kasich told host Dana Bash, who challenged him on Republicans’ inaction. “I’m not calling for some outright ban. I’m talking about small steps that can be taken that can be effective. And the Congress ought to do it.”
Kasich appealed directly to President Donald Trump to use the bully pulpit to make change, and blamed legislators on Capitol Hill for inaction.
“I think the Congress is totally dysfunctional. I’ve never seen anything like it … they just can’t seem to get anything done,” Kasich said. “And do I think they can do anything on guns? I hope they prove me wrong and they can, because I have no confidence in them.”
Kasich also had some critical words for die-hard gun rights supporters.
“If you’re a strong Second Amendment person, you need to slow down and take a look at reasonable things that can be done,” the governor said.
Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida took a similar stance on ABC’s “This Week.”
“We’ve inherited this world of binary choices where we either have to repeal the Second Amendment or have no gun safety regulations whatsoever, and younger generations of Americans don’t see the world that way,” he told host Martha Raddatz. “I want to get something done.”
Curbelo did not expand on what exactly he hoped to do, but his words seemed to echo Kasich’s calls for moderation.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sen. James Lankford told host Chuck Todd that he was in favour of stricter regulations.
“I have no issue was extensive background checks,” he said. “It is a major issue in this country … We have good clear background checks on each person.”
But Lankford defended the use of the AR-15 rifle – the weapon 19-year-old shooter Nikolas Cruz used to kill 17 people in Parkland, Florida – saying a lot of people use it to hunt.
AR-15 have been used in several recent mass shootings, and have gained notoriety for their military-grade design. Several efforts to ban the weapon at the federal level have failed, as did legislation last year to ban bump stocks, attachments that can be used to increase rifles’ fire rate and make them function like assault rifles.
A host of proposals from victims and pundits
In the wake of the devastating shooting – which was the most deadly school shooting since 2012’s Sandy Hook massacre – many of the high school students who survived the ordeal have voiced their support for sensible gun regulation, and have called on lawmakers to act.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas junior Cameron Kasky made a major announcement on “Fox News Sunday” about his and his classmates’ plan to keep the conversation going.
“One of the things we’ve been hearing is that it’s not the yet time to talk about gun control, so here’s the time we’re going to talk about gun control: March 24th we have the March for Our Lives,” Kasky said. “The March for Our Lives is going to be in every major city and we are organising it so students everywhere can beg for our lives.”
Also appearing on Fox, talk show host Rush Limbaugh agreed that more needed to be done – but seemed to throw cold water on the students’ idea.
“Prayers, condolences, and a march won’t solve this,” he said. “The next shooter is out there.”
Limbaugh suggested beefing up armed security at schools to stop gun violence.
“The solution is we need concealed carry in these schools,” Limbaugh said, adding, “We have to realise this is what our country has become. Congress can’t legislate this away … It’s the fault of the people doing this and our inability to stop them.”
Watch clips below:
Gov. John Kasich calls Congress "totally dysfunctional": "Do I think they can do anything on guns? I hope they prove me wrong and they can, because I have no confidence in them" #CNNSOTU https://t.co/CnU1ehOkoy
— CNN (@CNN) February 18, 2018
— CNN (@CNN) February 18, 2018
Stoneman Douglas students announce March for Our Lives on March 24. "One of the things we've been hearing is that it's not the yet time to talk about gun control… so here's the time we're going to talk about gun control." pic.twitter.com/CLUf6JM9fs
— Axios (@axios) February 18, 2018
Conservative Radio Talk Show Host Rush Limbaugh tells Chris: “we need concealed carry in these schools.” Watch the full interview at 2P/10P on Fox News Channel. pic.twitter.com/nYSBZLetjM
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) February 18, 2018
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