Democratic Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona expressed his frustration with the lack of action on gun laws, saying 'it's f***ing nuts to do nothing about this'; Kelly's wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords, was shot in the head in an assassination attempt in 2011 (above is a picture of the couple in January)
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Democratic Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona expressed his frustration with the lack of action on gun laws on Wednesday, calling it ‘f***ing nuts.’

Kelly, whose wife – former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords – suffered a severe brain injury during an assassination attempt in 2011, let loose speaking with reporters on Capitol Hill.

‘It’s f***ing nuts to do nothing about this,’ he said.

His comments came as Democrats and some Republicans in the Senate discussed tightening reviews of gun buyers following the deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade, although members of both parties acknowledged action was unlikely.

There is a wide gap between the two parties with Republicans arguing that new limits on legal gun purchases will do nothing to deter crime, despite impassioned pleas by Democratic President Joe Biden and some of his Senate colleagues to act.

Democratic Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona expressed his frustration with the lack of action on gun laws, saying 'it's f***ing nuts to do nothing about this'; Kelly's wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords, was shot in the head in an assassination attempt in 2011 (above is a picture of the couple in January)

Democratic Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona expressed his frustration with the lack of action on gun laws, saying ‘it’s f***ing nuts to do nothing about this’; Kelly’s wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords, was shot in the head in an assassination attempt in 2011 (above is a picture of the couple in January)

‘My Republican colleagues can work with us now. I know this is a slim prospect, very slim, all too slim,’ Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a floor speech a day after a gunman killed 19 young children and two teachers at a Texas school.

Democrats control razor-thin majorities in Congress but Senate rules mean they need at least 10 Republicans to pass major legislation in the evenly-split chamber. That’s a tall order with less than six months to go before November elections when Republicans aim to retake the majority.

Similar debates have erupted following the many mass shootings that have occurred in the United States over the past decades, with little to no action by Congress.

The Senate will hold a procedural vote on Thursday to launch debate on legislation to fight domestic terrorism that passed the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives after a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, earlier this month.

Tuesday’s shooting in Texas saw gunman Salvador Ramos kill 19 children, and two adults, including special ed teacher Eva Mirales, before he was shot dead by a cop, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. 

Each of the victims – all aged under 11 – were killed inside a single classroom, the Texas Department of Public Safety revealed Wednesday, as authorities continue to assess the situation and identify all the victims.

Ramos, who just days before the attack and shortly after his 18th birthday, bought two AR-style rifles and paraded them on social media. He indiscriminately rained bullets on the room, before being fatally shot himself by police.

It is the deadliest elementary school shooting since the 2012 Sandy Hook killing. 

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, who was the Democratic Congressman for Connecticut’s fifth district, where Sandyhook is located, pleaded the Senate to enact gun reform.

‘Fourteen kids dead in an elementary school in Texas right now. What are we doing? What are we doing?,’ he said in an impassioned speech on the Senate floor.

He went on: ‘I am here on this floor to beg. To literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues: find a path forward here. Pass laws that make this less likely.’

Republicans Susan Collins and Pat Toomey said they had been in contact with Murphy about possible legislation to deny weapons to people deemed dangerous and to tighten background checks for gun purchasers.

David Hogg, a survivor of the 2018 Parkland, Florida, high school shooting and a gun-control activist, urged lawmakers to act.

‘I want anything. We gotta save lives now. Kids are dying right now,’ Hogg, who was on Capitol Hill Wednesday to lobby lawmakers, told Reuters. ‘Even if it just saves one life, because it´s an updated background checks bill, or an expansion of extreme risk protection orders, or anything like that.’

‘The thing that would have the best chance would be the thing that’s gotten Republican support before, which is expanding background checks,’ said Toomey, who told reporters he has been in contact with Murphy.

Collins said the details of the Texas shooting suggested a role for ‘red flag’ legislation that would employ the courts and medical profession to deny firearms to people deemed mentally ill.

Murphy said he would go on pursuing a bipartisan deal.

‘I’ve asked Senator Schumer for the space to have that conversation over the next 10 days,’ Murphy said. ‘Over the course of a week and a half, we’ll know whether there’s an opportunity to get a bipartisan bill or not.’

Scenes at Robb Elementary School, where mourners are pictured bringing flowers to the school

Scenes at Robb Elementary School, where mourners are pictured bringing flowers to the school

Tuesday's shooting in Texas saw gunman Salvador Ramos kill 19 children, and two adults, including special ed teacher Eva Mirales, before he was shot dead by a cop, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde

Tuesday’s shooting in Texas saw gunman Salvador Ramos kill 19 children, and two adults, including special ed teacher Eva Mirales, before he was shot dead by a cop, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde

Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat who has stood as a roadblock to some key Biden priorities, told reporters he would not agree to change Senate rules to allow Democrats to pass gun legislation on their own but held out hope for a bipartisan solution.

Meanwhile, Schumer implored his Republican colleagues to cast aside the powerful gun lobby and reach across the aisle for even a modest compromise bill. But no votes are being scheduled.

‘Please, please, please damnit – put yourselves in the shoes of these parents just for once,’ Schumer said as he opened the Senate.

He essentially threw up his hands at the idea of what might seem an inevitable outcome: ‘If the slaughter of schoolchildren can’t convince Republicans to buck the NRA, what can we do?’

Republicans assert a right to bear arms protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The political stalemate angers Democrats.

Schumer’s Republican counterpart, Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, on Wednesday condemned the murderous actions of a ‘deranged’ gunman and a ‘maniac’ without addressing prospects for legislation.

Republicans became the target of gun violence themselves in 2017 when a gunman attacked lawmakers and colleagues at a baseball practice just outside Washington. Representative Steve Scalise was wounded in the attack.

Republican Senator Mike Rounds said that banning assault rifles or placing age restrictions on gun purchases would not have prevented the Texas shooting.

‘Show us what would stop this from happening,’ Rounds said.

One known deal-maker, Democratic Sen. Krysten Sinema of Arizona, told reporters Wednesday she’ll start having conversations with senators on red flag laws or others. 

In the House, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he would bring a federal red flag bill forward. A vote is set for the week of June 6, heading toward the midterm elections.

‘To Members of Congress, I say: your political survival is insignificant compared to the survival of America´s children,’ Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues.

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