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Loebsack: It’s “past time for action” on shootings

Oct 03, 2017

By Ed Tibbetts, Quad-City Times


WASHINGTON D.C. — Iowa’s lone Democrat in Congress said Monday that “it is past time we act” in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting that left at least 58 people dead and hundreds wounded.

In a statement Monday, Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, offered condolences to the victims, but added that isn’t sufficient.

“We must take time to honor the victims, but words alone are not enough. It is past time we act to keep our families and communities safe. We must come together and work toward ending these heinous acts,” Loebsack said.

Loebsack didn’t expand in his statement on what that might be, but a spokesman later noted his past support for stronger background checks on gun sales and prohibiting people on terrorist watch lists from buying guns. His comments came as there were renewed calls in Congress for stricter gun control measures. They also were a contrast from Republicans in the state who offered condolences but steered clear of anything controversial.

“My prayers are with all of the victims in Las Vegas, and their loved ones affected by this senseless act of violence,” Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said in a statement. “As we learn more about what happened in the days ahead, let us come together and show our gratitude to our first responders and the other unsung heroes who put their lives on the line for others.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, also offered his prayers.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said the shooting was horrific and ordered flags flown at half staff. But she also told reporters that it wasn’t the right time to talk about policy changes. “Right now I think we just need to keep the families and the victims in our thoughts and prayers and really focus on the people,” she said Monday.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also told reporters it wasn’t the time for political debates. However, as details of the mass shooting, the worst in U.S. history, unfolded, many congressional Democrats disagreed. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said it was Congress’ responsibility to do something. “The notion that there’s no way to prevent gun violence is false — and without action to stop gun attacks, Congress is complicit in them,” Durbin said on Twitter.

Rod Boshart from the Des Moines Bureau contributed to this story.

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