Just hours after the deadly shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, gun control advocates tried to reignite the national debate over gun laws that had only just subsided.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat and a longtime gun control advocate, denounced “the litany of massacres” over the past few years and asked rhetorically, “When will enough be enough?”
Mrs. Feinstein, who was first thrust into the national spotlight as president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors announcing the shooting deaths of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, said, “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.”
President Obama was one of the first to link Monday’s incident to the larger issue of gun violence and the legislative effort to curb it, though he did so without explicitly calling, as he has done repeatedly, for gun control measures.
“So we are confronting yet another mass shooting, and today it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital,” Mr. Obama said as he opened an economic speech at the White House.
“Obviously, we’re going to be investigating thoroughly what happened, as we do so many of these shootings, sadly, that have happened, and do everything that we can to prevent them,” the president said.
The National Rifle Association had no comment on Monday, and pro-gun groups generally take the stance that days of particularly shocking crimes are not the time to discuss policy. Popular conservative blogger and former CNN commentator Erick Erickson admonished the rush to politicize the shooting, saying “seriously people, grow up.”
“I would not dare step in the way of America’s national pastime of bitching about the politics of everything on Twitter, but there has to be a better time for it than as the temperature of bodies on the ground in the Navy Yard are not even yet cold,” he said. “If you don’t have the judgment and good sense to understand that now is not the time to say it, you have no capacity to understand why.”