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Teen Shoots Family to Death: Here Are 5 GOPers Who Still Think We Don't Need Gun Control

It's hard to argue that fewer mass shootings of innocent children wouldn't be a positive thing. But some Republicans do.
 
 
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The mass shooting of six- and seven-year-old children at Sandy Hook Elementary was a terrible tragedy, made all the more painful by each unnecessary gun death that follows. This weekend the country saw another awful incident, in which a teenage boy apparently gained access to an assault rifle and killed five individuals, including three young children, at a home near Albuquerque.

CNN reports that the victims included a local former pastor and his family members; each victim was shot multiple times. The shooter "may be a family member," according to police.

"Initially responding deputies entered the home and found the five deceased inside the residence, so obviously it was a very gruesome scene," [Lt. Sid] Covington told reporters. There was no indication of a motive so far, he said.

Of course, shooting deaths happen every day in the U.S., but mass shootings, especially those involving children, have a way of focusing attention on our nation’s gun violence problem. And rightly so. President Obama has attempted to channel the grief over Sandy Hook into legislation by announcing an array of gun measures meant to prevent similar shootings from happening in the future. It’s hard to argue that fewer mass shootings of innocent children (or anyone, for that matter) wouldn’t be a positive thing. With stronger laws, perhaps we could prevent shootings like the one that just happened in New Mexico. And yet, many right-wing politicians are fighting the measures tooth and nail. Here are some of them.

1. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) told the AP recently: “The right to bear arms is a right, despite President Obama’s disdain for the Second Amendment.”

2. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) is leading the conservative battle cry to impeach Obama over the new gun measures. “I will seek to thwart this action by any means necessary, including but not limited to eliminating funding for implementation, defunding the White House, and even filing articles of impeachment,” he said in a statement.

3. When asked about impeachment, Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL)told a right-wing blogger, “All options should be on the table, undoubtedly.” He went on to incorrectly describe the measures as an executive order to ban guns, to take guns away.”

4. Republican Texas State Rep. Steve Toth wants to pass a law allowing “Texas police officers to arrest federal law enforcement agents who attempt to enforce any federal bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines within the state,” the Huffington Post reports. "We can no longer depend on the federal government and this administration to uphold a Constitution that they no longer believe in," he said in a statement.

5. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant also wants to block any new gun control laws in his state. He said that Obama’s announcement “infringes our constitutional right to keep and bear arms as never before in American history.... I am asking that you immediately pass legislation that would make any unconstitutional order by the President illegal to enforce in Mississippi by state or local law enforcement.”

It’s worth noting that it’ not just Republicans who might make it difficult for substantive gun safety measures to pass; red-state Dems may pose a hurdle as well.

Lauren Kelley is the activism and gender editor at AlterNet and a freelance journalist based in New York City. Her work has appeared in Salon, Time Out New York, the L Magazine, and other publications. Follow her on Twitter.