“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims of senseless acts of violence,” Goodlatte said. “However, good intentions do not necessarily make good laws, so as we investigate the causes and search for solutions, we must ensure that any proposed solutions will actually be meaningful in preventing the taking of innocent life and that they do not trample on the rights of law-abiding citizens to exercise their constitutionally-guaranteed rights.”
Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., called it a “sad thing” that Republicans didn’t stand when Obama called for an up or down vote on guns. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., said it was “a brilliant idea” to invite gunshot victims, saying, “It added an emotional element to have people there who have been directly affected by gun violence.”
“The president’s serious about this,” Schakowsky said. “The vice president spent nearly two hours at the Democratic retreat talking about one issue. The administration is fully engaged, and I think the American people are fully engaged now, and I think that there’s a growing consensus that something has to be done.”
Carolyn Phenicie and Cristina Marcos contributed to this story.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.