Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) aren’t shy about how they view some of their fellow lawmakers after the school shooting in Texas and their inaction on gun reform.
“I’m disgusted and I’m fed up with colleagues who value money from the gun lobby more than protecting our kids,” McGovern said in an exclusive interview with Spectrum News on Thursday.
The gun lobby and specifically the National Rifle Association have received a lot of criticism since the shooting in Uvalde, Texas. This is due, in part, because the NRA refused to cancel or postpone a planned convention in Dallas this weekend. Uvalde is located a few hours south of Dallas.
Markey shared his outrage with a group of protesters gathered outside the Capitol on Thursday morning. During his remarks, Markey said the rise in the nation’s gun violence can be attributed to the current lack of legislation to address it. He said lawmakers in Congress who affiliate themselves with the NRA are also to blame.
“The Republican Party is within a vise-like grip of the NRA... They do whatever the NRA tells them, everything they should do. What the American people want is for the NRA to stand for Not Relevant Anymore,” said Markey. Raucous applause from the crowd followed his comments.
Around 200 protesters from groups like “Moms Demand Action” and “Students Demand Action” were in attendance. Members of “Everytown,” an advocacy group created after the Sandy Hook School shooting, were also there.
Markey told protesters that if they want to change the gun laws in America and they live in a state where the lawmakers don’t support gun reform they should vote them out this fall.
“This time, the American people understand that they have to ensure that on the ballot this November, that gun safety is on the ballot and if you do not change your mind, the American people are going to change you as their representative in the United States Congress,” said Markey.
Several other lawmakers joined Markey at the rally. The Massachusetts senator is among those leading efforts to find a bipartisan solution. Since the shooting in Uvalde, he’s been working with Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Alex Padilla(D-CA).
McGovern is a member of the House of Representatives, which is already in recess until the week of June 6, but it’s on the Senate side gun reform legislation lacks enough support to pass. The House has already passed several pieces of gun reform legislation and some of these bills are being considered by Senate Democrats to pass something quickly on the issue.
“The problem is, we have members of Congress, who are, you know, but an own by the gun lobby, who are corrupt, who is so corrupt, that they care more about that money than they do about protecting America’s students. And… I’m sick of it,” McGovern said.
While Democrats who spoke with Spectrum News said they’d like to believe they can pass meaningful gun reform right now, they won’t be able to vote on any proposals until they return from a little more than a week in their home districts.
Some lawmakers working on creating bipartisan legislation on gun reform have said they’ll need that time to have discussions about what both parties can agree on.