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Gun violence hearing - latest: Republican claims Democrats using 11-year-old Uvalde victim for political gain

House Oversight Committee holds hearing to hear stories of gun violence’s impact on families

Sravasti Dasgupta,Gustaf Kilander
Thursday 09 June 2022 04:14 BST
Related video: Buffalo police chief says slain officer killed in mass shooting ‘was the good guy with a gun’

The House Oversight Committee met on Wednesday for its own response to the twin massacres in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York following the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Tuesday regarding the rise of domestic terrorism.

Family members of the victims of the two shootings arrived on Capitol Hill for the first time since the two tragedies unfolded as a bipartisan group in the Senate met to discuss a path forward on firearms and school security legislation.

Lawmakers are debating a number of potential responses to the two deadly shootings, which both involved AR-15-style rifles wielded by suspects under the age of 21. The suspect in Buffalo, unlike in Uvalde, is thought to have had a clear racist motive for his attack.

But any path to legislation reaching Joe Biden’s desk must pass through the evenly-divided Senate, where it will need the votes of at least ten Republicans to pass.

On Tuesday, actor Matthew McConnaughey gave an impassioned speech on guns to the White House press.


Matthew McConaughey pounds lectern in emotional call for change after Uvalde massacre

Texas-born actor Matthew McConaughey delivered emotional remarks to reporters at Tuesday’s White House press briefing, calling for bipartisan action to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals which he contended were supported by responsible gun owners.

He also told stories of victims of the shooting in his native Uvalde, Texas, leading to an emotional moment where he struck the press secretary’s lectern while describing how one young victim was identified only by her signature green Converse sneakers.

John Bowden7 June 2022 20:18

Pro-gun group calls for ‘battle’ at Capitol complex hours before Jan 6 hearing

A group that is opposing any firearms restrictions after deadly massacres in New York and Texas is warning its supporters who are descending on Capitol Hill this week to be prepared for “battle”.

The warning came in a fundraising email from the American Firearms Association to its members on Monday, stressing that gun control activists including Moms Demand Action would be on the Hill this week for the hearings.

"Our federal legislative team believes that because of the enormity of the battle this week in DC, there will be thousands or even tens of thousands of Bloomberg-funded, red shirt radical, commie mommies all over the Capitol complex," the email said. "This is their Super Bowl. You and I should be looking at this battle in exactly the same way."

Read more from The Independent’s Graig Graziosi:

Pro-gun group calls for ‘battle’ at Capitol complex hours before Jan 6 hearing

The group suggested that left wing activists would try to disrupt its ‘systems’

John Bowden7 June 2022 21:20

Arizona police watched a man drown. Uvalde police stood outside the school. What are cops even for?

After several high-profile incidents in which police officers apparently declined or for some other reason failed to act in situations that would have saved lives, many Americans are reexamining the role of law enforcement in modern society.

In The Independent, writer Skylar Baker-Jordan asks: “What is the point of the police if they will not rescue an obviously drowning man or even rush in to protect the children of our nation?”

Arizona police watched a man drown. Uvalde police stood outside. What are cops for?

Sean Bickings called out, ‘I’m drowning,’ and, ‘Oh God, please help me,’ while officers stayed on land, with one stating, ‘I’m not jumping in after you’

John Bowden7 June 2022 22:20

Son of Buffalo shooting victim demands Senate address ‘cancer of white supremacy’

Garnell Whitfield Jr took senators to task on Tuesday at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the issue of domestic extremism.

Mr Whitfield Jr spoke to senators about losing his 86-year-old mother in what is thought to have been a rampage by a racist 18-year-old suspect who espoused white supremacist views.

He asked the members on Tuesday: “Is there nothing that you personally are willing to do to stop the cancer of white supremacy?”

“Because if there is nothing, then respectfully, senators, you should yield your positions of authority and influence to others that are willing to lead on this issue.”

Read more from The Independent’s Bevan Hurley:

Son of Buffalo shooting victim demands Senate address ‘cancer of white supremacy’

‘Imagine the faces of your mothers, as you look at mine and ask yourself, is there nothing that we can do?’

John Bowden7 June 2022 23:20

No political ambitions, says McConaughey

Actor Matthew McConaughey rejected the idea of seeking political office on Tuesday after making an appearance at the day’s White House press briefing and giving an impassioned speech about the Uvalde shooting.

Mr McConaughey told Fox News’s Bret Baier Tuesday evening in an interview: “I am not running for political office.”

But during his remarks earlier in the day, the Uvalde-born actor drew on his Hollywood charisma and played a leader’s role, begging the country’s two political parties to come together and make real change that would stop the tide of mass shootings in schools and other venues.

Read more from Andrew Feinberg in The Independent:

Matthew McConaughey shows Uvalde victims’ drawings in emotional White House briefing

The Uvalde, Texas native became emotional as he described his encounters with families of children who died in last month’s mass shooting

John Bowden8 June 2022 00:25

Lawmakers turning ‘anger into action’ with gun violence hearing Wednesday

Rep Carolyn Maloney, chair of the House Oversight Committee, urged her fellows in the House and Senate to listen with an open mind to stories of victims of gun violence that her committee will hear on Wednesday.

“After 19 innocent children and two teachers lost their lives in Texas just ten days after the mass shooting in my home state of New York, I’m turning my anger into action. Our hearing will examine the terrible impact of gun violence and the urgent need to rein in the weapons of war used to perpetrate these crimes,” the chairwoman said in a 3 June statement.

“It is my hope that all my colleagues will listen with an open heart as gun violence survivors and loved ones recount one of the darkest days of their lives. This hearing is ultimately about saving lives, and I hope it will galvanize my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation to do just that,” she continued.

Lawmakers in the Senate are currently huddling on a bipartisan compromise which currently looks to be proceeding around the issue of encouraging states to pass red-flag laws.

John Bowden8 June 2022 01:25

McConnell open to raising age limit for semiautomatic rifles, CNN reports

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has privatedly expressed openness to passing legislation aimed at raising the age necessary to purchase an assault-style rifle like an AR-15, CNN reported on Tuesday.

But the provision is not likely to make it to the Senate floor due to resistance from his own caucus, the news outlet further reported.

Senators are currently meeting to hammer out compromise legislation aimed at quelling the tide of mass shootings in America. Few areas of compromise are being discussed, and Democrats are cautioning that few of their priorities will likely be in the final legislation.

Read more at CNN:

John Bowden8 June 2022 02:23

Republican senator caught on his phone at opening of emotional hearing into domestic terrorism and Buffalo massacre

GOP Sen John Cornyn, the lead Republican negotiator on compromise legislation to respond to the horrific trend of gun violence and mass shootings in America, was seen browsing on his phone while witnesses testified at a committee hearing on Tuesday on domestic extremism.

Senators met on Tuesday to discuss a rise in domestic terrorism including attacks by the far-right wing, including white supremacists and Islamophobic incidents. The Buffalo shooting is thought to have been committed by an 18-year-old who espoused the racist “white replacement theory”.

Read more from The Independent’s John Bowden:

GOP senator caught on his phone at opening of emotional hearing into Buffalo massacre

Cornyn is senator leading GOP negotiations on gun reform after twin tragedies in Buffalo and Uvalde

John Bowden8 June 2022 03:20

John Cornyn can cut a deal with Democrats on guns — but he’s got a Ted Cruz problem

As senators meet to discuss a potential path forward for reforms aimed at stopping the trends of gun violence and mass shootings in America, the lead GOP negotiator is walking a delicate balance between working with Democrats to address a real problem and assuaging his party’s far-right base.

John Cornyn’s dangerous job is excacerbated by the presence of Ted Cruz, his Texas colleague and the state’s junior senator, who has come out strongly against further efforts to restrict firearm ownership.

The Independent’s Eric Garcia takes a look at the behind-the-scenes relationship between the two senators representing the Lone Star State:

John Bowden8 June 2022 04:15

11-year-old Uvalde survivor to testify to Congress

11-year-old Miah Cerillo who survived the Uvalde shooting by smearing a deceased classmate’s blood over her body and playing dead will testify before Congress on Wednesday.

She will join those impacted by the Buffalo shooting to speak before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform for a hearing titled “The Urgent Need to Address the Gun Violence Epidemic”.

Miah was one of a group of 4th graders trapped for about an hour in a classroom with Uvalde gunman Salvador Ramos.

The Independent’s Josh Marcus has more:

Uvalde survivor who covered herself in blood and played dead to testify to Congress

Survivors of Uvalde and Buffalo shooting will join hearing

Sravasti Dasgupta8 June 2022 04:48

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