For a few hours after a gunman shot a member of Congress and four other people at baseball practice in the Northern Virginia suburbs on Wednesday, lawmakers were unified against the political vitriol that seemed to drive the attack.
But when questions inevitably shifted to how lawmakers would respond to the bloodshed of yet another mass shooting, it became clear that the brief display of agreement was more symbolism than substance.
Democrats and Republicans both were quick to stake out their standard positions in the seemingly intractable debate over gun violence. At a press conference shortly after the shooting, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) expressed concern that “there are too many guns on the street,” and called for legislative action “to protect all of our citizens.”
For some Republicans, however, the immediate answer to the violence ― the 153rd mass shooting of this year, but the first of 2017 to involve lawmakers ― was more guns.
Arming more civilians is hardly a solution to mass shootings, which have become more frequent in recent years. The more-guns argument is grounded in a controversial belief that allowing more people to carry weapons in more places is a good way prevent violence ― a belief based on scant evidence.
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING?
President Donald Trump seemed to confirm he is under investigation, and blamed his own Justice Department. The president accused the deputy attorney general of a “Witch Hunt.”
Trump unveiled new restrictions on travel to and trade with Cuba. The new regulations roll back several Obama-era policies.
The annual congressional baseball game went on as planned, one day after the shooting at a GOP practice. The annual bipartisan event raised over $1 million for charities, and featured many tributes to Rep. Steve Scalise, who was injured in the shooting and remains in critical condition.
Former Vice President Joe Biden says he’s rooting for Trump to succeed. “It’s desperately in all of our interest to do that.”
After Wednesday’s shooting, a Senate hearing on extremism only focused on Muslims. And it featured testimony from anti-Muslim extremists pushing conspiracy theories.
Americans spent centuries mistreating Native American children. Trump is making it worse by proposing devastating cuts to education in his budget.