Less than two weeks after a gunman used an AR-15 assault-style rifle to at a Florida high school that led to seventeen deaths, the US Republican leaders announced on Tuesday that they were focused on improving the background checks conducted for gun buyers. This is the second deadliest shooting to have occurred at a public school in the US and has brought the long-running debate of issuing gun rights in the country back to the surface. This has prompted the president, Donald Trump to come up with potential responses, which include increasing the minimum age for purchasing firearms or for providing arms to teachers.
Paul Ryan, speaker of the House of Representatives, said that lawmakers would concentrate on improving the background checks that are performed on any potential gun buyers. John Cornyn, the Number 2 Senate Republican as the lawmakers to pass a bill for tightening and improving the federal background check system. Speaking at a news conference, Ryan said that law-abiding citizens should be deprived of guns. Instead, the focus should be on ensuring that those who are not fit to have gun shouldn’t get them. The massacre was carried out on February 14th in Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. This is Fort Lauderdale’s affluent suburb.
According to prosecutors, the rifle used by the 19-year-old gunman, Nikolas Cruz, was legally purchased. Local and federal law enforcement agencies have acknowledged that they had received a number of warnings about the potential of violence in Cruz ahead of time. Due to this incident, there has been a lot of pressure on Donald Trump. He has to show that he is responding to the situation without taking any steps that would alienate Republicans who are against any restrictions placed on gun rights. A meeting was held on Monday with 35 governors in which different ideas were floated by the president.
This included reopening mental hospitals as a means of avoiding school attacks as well as giving arms to the teachers. The deadliest shooting in US history that happened at a public school was in 2012 when 26 young children and teachers were massacred in Newtown, Connecticut. After the incident, there had been lots of efforts to introduce national legislation and restrict gun sales, but these measures have been blocked by the National Rifle Association. Charles Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader said that Congress must attempt to pass gun legislation once again. He said that this should include conducting comprehensive background checks for gun buyers.
Speaking on the Senate floor, he said that selling guns without proper background checks was outrageous. He added that half-measures were simply not acceptable after the Florida massacre and various other tragedies. The Republican governor in Florida, Rick Scott and the lawmakers in the state have all proposed to raise the minimum age for purchasing assault weapons from 18 to 21. According to local law enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been criticized for not looking into tips about Cruz’s potential and capacity for violence.