Heather Caygle, Politico, July 8, 2016
The Congressional Black Caucus is calling for an immediate vote on a gun control bill following a wave of violence this week that left two black civilians and five police officers dead in three separate incidents.
“Republicans, what on earth–why are you recoiling and not giving us a debate on gun violence?” CBC Chairman G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) said at a Friday morning press conference in the Capitol. “We need legislative action now.”
The CBC members took care to equally condemn all three incidents, calling the police deaths a travesty. At the same time, they said the Black Lives Matter protesters should not be blamed for what happened in Dallas.
“People cannot use Black Lives Matter as a scapegoat. Those young kids came together to protest,” said Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.). “You can’t blame them for these incidents happening. And as much as people would like to call them thugs and other things, they do that for their comfort.”
“America is weeping. They are angry. They are frustrated. And Congress–and when I say Congress, I mean the Republicans in Congress–are refusing to address gun violence in America,” Butterfield said.
But Butterfield and other members of the CBC said Congress shouldn’t leave “the Hill this week or any week” without first voting on proposals to expand background checks and prevent people on terror watch lists from buying guns, two proposals backed by Democrats.
“If we fail to act, this will be a long, hot summer,” Butterfield said.