A devastating mass shooting near San Jose, California on Wednesday claimed the lives of nine people and left more wounded, according to reports. Now, as has become her ritual, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is connecting the tragedy with a call for heightened gun control.
According to The Hill, Speaker Pelosi said in a statement that she was “personally devastated” by the tragic loss of life in her home state earlier this week before she shifted gears toward politics, insisting that Democrats “will not relent” on their gun reform efforts until they see bills turned into laws.
“All Americans join the San Jose community in sadness and shock over today’s horrific mass shooting,” the speaker said in a statement issued by her office. “As a Californian, I am personally devastated.”
Condolences and gun control
She went on to thank first responders on the scene “for their heroic actions” before moving swiftly to the topic of gun control.
“The gun violence crisis inflicts unfathomable anguish and pain on families and communities across the nation, taking a staggering toll of 40,000 American lives each year,” Pelosi said, neglecting to clarify that the majority of those gun deaths don’t come from mass shootings.
“Inaction is not an option — and House Democrats will not relent until H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446, our bipartisan gun violence prevention bills, are enacted into law,” the speaker added.
“Today and in the days to come, the nation stands with the San Jose community,” Pelosi said. “May it be a comfort to the loved ones of those killed that so many mourn their loss and pray for them at this sad time.”
Biden weighs in
According to The Hill, the two bills reference by Pelosi — H.R. 8 and H.R. 1146 — both cover background checks for firearms purchases. The former seeks to effectively ban the private sale of firearms by mandating that such exchanges go through a licensed dealer, while the latter seeks to extend the time period for these reviews by the FBI.
Both passed in Congress’ lower chamber back in March, The Hill said.
But it remains unclear if either of those measures would have prevented the tragedy in San Jose this week. Local NBC affiliate KCRA reports that, according to Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith, the gunman — later identified as 57-year-old Samuel Cassidy — opened fire on co-workers at a Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) railyard around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday with at least two semi-automatic handguns and multiple magazines.
The gunman reportedly turned a gun on himself as police arrived on the scene.
In a statement of his own, President Joe Biden acknowledged that officials are “still awaiting many of the details” regarding the shooting. With that, it seems a bit premature to be insisting on alleged reforms that may not even have prevented the incident — but that’s never stopped Pelosi.