HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Uvalde, Texas is the latest town burned into the American psyche, but it won’t be the last community to be caught in the crosshairs of a uniquely American problem.
Pennsylvania House Democrat Mike Schlossberg said, “Every other country has very similar circumstances that we do in terms of mental illness, video games, family life, levels of poverty, etc. but we’re the only ones that has this type of access to deadly weapons. I think we need real gun control.”
Schlossberg wants to ban assault-style weapons like the ones used in the horrific events in Uvalde.
“Why are my colleagues on the other side of the aisle saying we can stop abortion with abortion bans, but we can’t stop gun massacres with gun safety measures? It makes zero sense,” Schlossberg added.
Pennsylvania House Republican spokesman Jason Gottesman says the Commonwealth has spent hundreds of millions of dollars strengthening school security, creating the Safe2Say program for anonymous tips about potential school violence, and has a rigorous background check for anyone attempting to purchase a firearm.
Gottesman also added that the Pennsylvania Constitution has distinct language regarding gun ownership. “Which says the right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be questioned. Actually, it’s a stronger protection for firearm rights here in Pennsylvania than the federal constitution provides,” said Gottesman.
According to Gottesman, most people in the House Republican Caucus stand by the United States Constitution, and do not support any restrictions on guns or gun ownership.
Hours after the school shooting in Uvalde, House Democrats signed a petition to force a bill that would ban assault-style weapons onto the floor; Republicans shot it down.
“When you’re talking about creating more gun laws, you’re creating more gun laws that people can violate and ignore,” said Gottesman.
Schlossberg disagrees, stating that these tragic events are a uniquely American problem that require legislation. “There are people alive right now that in a month won’t be because their lives will be stolen because we didn’t act.”
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While Pennsylvania does have stricter background checks than most states, the Commonwealth has done nothing to close the so-called gun show loophole despite repeated attempts.