Appearing on “MSNBC Live with Alex Witt” this past weekend, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz praised the 10 Senate Republicans who offered up a gun violence compromise, but at the same time warned that gun rights “extremists” would now target them and the entire U.S. Congress for doing so, adding that the proposal was “just the beginning” to stricter gun control.
“There’s going to be an onslaught of extremists who wlll be targeting both Senate Republicans and everyone in the Congress. We absolutely have an opportunity to move forward, and let me just be clear, Alex, for those of us who support much more significant reform, this is just the beginning,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. "We have to begin to make some progress, I’m glad that those 10 senators had the courage thus far."
Rep. Wasserman Schultz, who recently attended the March for our Lives gun-control rally last weekend in Parkland, Florida, has been pushing for an all-out ban on “assault weapons” like AR-15 style rifles and high-capacity magazines.
When asked about the Senate proposal not having addressed the ban on those “assault weapons” and raising the age to buy rifles to 21, Wasserman Schultz said that the recent shootings committed by “shooters under the age of 21-years-old,” would not have occurred because it would have taken longer for them to “get access to a weapon that would be able to commit these shootings.”
“We were expected moderate reform at best, I wasn’t expecting anything of significance,” added Wasserman Schultz. "Anything you can do to put an obstacle in the path of someone who would do themselves or someone else harm and save a life, is a step we should take while saying we should push for a lot more. This is only the beginning, it has to be only the beginning, not the end.”
Wasserman Schultz’s sentiment that broader gun control could be on the horizon, and that the Senate proposal could be a baby step towards that goal, is what many gun rights advocates across the country warn is a threat to the 2nd Amendment.
To some Democrats, Wasserman Schultz's home state of Florida is seen as the "model" for gun control after the Republican-led legislature and then-Republican Governor Rick Scott, ushered in gun legislation to prevent further shootings like the one at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 students and teachers dead.
The NRA and other gun rights organizations like Gun Owners of America contend that if gun control activists are given an inch, they will exploit the opportunity to take a mile in hopes to achieve their overall goal to ban all guns.
In response to the gun violence proposal, Ryan Petty, the father of one of the children killed in Parkland, called gun violence activists like Wasserman Schultz and David Hogg “gun grabbers” that should be upset that “their 3 big wishlist items” were not addressed.
Those wishlist items are:
- Universal background checks
- Assault Weapons Ban
- Raising the age to purchase to 21 At this point,
Gun rights activists were quick to point out their concerns over the “red flag laws” embedded in the Senate gun proposal.
President Joe Biden, acknowledge and praised the bipartisan gun control effort by senators, but also said that while the measure “does not do everything that I think is needed, it reflects important steps in the right direction.”
With Senator Krysten Sinema having signed on to the proposal along with Sens. Susan Rice and the other Republican Senators, this measure is expected to pass in that governing body.