All of the 31 U.S. senators who’ve supported making guns and ammunition more accessible to buyers declined to appear this morning on “Meet the Press” or “Face the Nation” to discuss their positions. The invitations came in response to a rash of gun violence that some leaders blame on the loosening of firearm restrictions.
“We reached out to all 31 pro-gun rights senators in the new Congress to invite them on the program to share their views on the subject this morning,” said “Meet the Press” host David Gregory. “We had no takers.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., did join the program, however, to announce that Senate Democrats will introduce a new bill banning assault weapons on the first day of the next Congress in January.
The Friday slaughter of 26 people, most of them children, at a Connecticut elementary school has set off new calls for responsible gun control among progressives. Meanwhile, Republican-controlled state legislatures continue to ease restrictions. The same day of the killings in Connecticut, lawmakers in Michigan voted to allow concealed carry in churches, schools and stadiums.
Meanwhile, the NRA has remained silent since the shootings and quietly shut down its Facebook page, which had 1.7 million “likes.”
On the same day as the shootings in Connecticut, a northern Indiana man was arrested after allegedly threatening to “kill as many people as he could” at an elementary school near his home. Officers found 47 guns and ammunition hidden throughout his home.
Von. I. Meyer, 60, of Cedar Lake, was being held today without bond at the Lake County Jail, pending an initial hearing on the charges, police said in a statement.
Cedar Lake Police officers were called to Meyer’s home early Friday after he allegedly threatened to set his wife on fire once she fell asleep, the statement said.
Meyer also threatened to enter nearby Jane Ball Elementary School “and kill as many people as he could before police could stop him,” the statement said. Meyer’s home is less than 1,000 feet from the school and linked to it by trails and paths through a wooded area, police said.
Police said in the statement that they notified school officials and boosted security at all area schools Friday – the same day 26 people, including 20 students, were shot and killed at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
On Saturday, a man opened fire in an Alabama hospital, wounding an officer and two employees before police fatally shot him.
Also yesterday, a Newport Beach, Calif., man was arrested after firing about 50 shots in the parking lot of a Southern California shopping mall, prompting a lockdown of stores crowded with holiday shoppers.
No one was injured, but the gunfire caused panic, coming a day after the Connecticut shootings and just days after a deadly mall shooting in Oregon.