US Senator Dick Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) is painting Republicans as accomplices to mass murder, saying they’re “complicit” in the gun violence that plagues the nation because they won’t support Democrats’ gun-control bills.
“They’re the ones who are ducking that responsibility and become complicit in all of these shootings,” Blumenthal said on Tuesday, in a CNN interview. “It’s not just Boulder,” he added, alluding to the Colorado supermarket shooting on Monday that left 10 people dead. “It is 100 killings a day, not to mention the emotional traumas and injuries that result, the eight children lost every day of guns that are stored unsafely.”
Blumenthal’s comments come as President Joe Biden and other Democrats try to use the Boulder massacre and the killings last week of eight people at three Atlanta-area massage parlors as a springboard to push through tighter gun laws. The Democrat-controlled Senate held a hearing Tuesday to debate how to respond to the violence, leading to a verbal clash between Blumenthal and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
After Blumenthal suggested that Republicans obstruct gun legislation while offering no solutions, Cruz said the Connecticut Democrat knew that claim to be false because Cruz and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) previously introduced a bill that would help block felons and people with serious mental illness from buying firearms. Fifty-two senators, including nine Democrats, supported the bill in 2013, but Blumenthal and other opponents blocked it from getting a vote through a filibuster, Cruz said.
“Every time there’s a shooting, we play this ridiculous theater, where this committee gets together and proposes a bunch of laws that would do nothing to stop these murders,” Cruz said. He added that Democrats try to use every mass shooting to take guns away from “law-abiding citizens.”
Cruz said such laws make violent crime worse, pointing to cities with the strictest gun controls and high rates of crime and murder, and saying that when you disarm law-abiding citizens you make them “more likely to be victims.” He added:
“If you want to stop these murders, go after the murderers.”
Blumenthal brushed off Cruz’s past bill and returned to the attack. “I think my Republican colleagues are going to be put on record,” he told CNN. “We’ll have a vote.” He said Republicans offer “thoughts and prayers” after each mass shooting, “but then they oppose common-sense, Constitutional measures to separate people from guns when those people are dangerous.”
After calling the Atlanta shooting suspect a “misogynist and a racist” – contradicting preliminary findings by law enforcement regarding motive – Blumenthal said the man became a “monster and a mass murderer” when armed with a gun. “In Boulder, that shooter was a deeply disturbed man who became a mass killer because he had an assault weapon that could kill people with the efficiency and speed meant for the battlefield,” he added.
But Blumenthal, who was ridiculed and nicknamed “Da Nang Dick” by former President Donald Trump for lying about serving in the Vietnam War, invited more mockery from conservatives with his accusation of Republican complicity in mass shootings.
“I bet Blumenthal has a gun,” one Twitter commenter said. “After all, [he] is a Vietnam vet.” Another observer agreed, saying, “Well, he is a decorated combat veteran, after all. I guess we should listen to him.”
So all 100 million gun owners are Republicans. Hmm. Well we know who will win the war. I bet Blumenthal has a gun…after all is a Vietnam vet 😂😂😂😂
— Grumpy and Loving It (@GrumpyPart) March 24, 2021
Well, he is a decorated combat veteran, after all: I guess we should listen to him… 😉
— Señor Droolcup (@SenorDroolcup) March 24, 2021
Conservative commenter Daniel Baranowski argued that Democrats are stoking more violent crime through open borders policies. “Looks like Dick is at it again,” he said. “I’ll tell you who’s complicit in flooding our country with illegal and criminal activity, and it’s not Republicans.”
Looks like “DICK” is at it again! I’ll tell you who’s complicit in flooding our country with illegal & criminal activity & it’s not Republicans!The human trafficking, drugs, smuggling & wholesale crime crossing our Border is on Democrats! It’s deadly.https://t.co/rjReaIaJlc
— Daniel F. Baranowski (@DFBHarvard) March 24, 2021