“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.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.