Republicans skip a Sunday morning debate on gun control
There weren't many Republicans on the Sunday shows this week.
David Gregory announced on "Meet the Press" that the show had invited 31 "pro-gun" senators to appear on the show and none had accepted. On "Face the Nation," host Bob Schieffer said they had invited all the Republican members of the Judiciary Committee, along with representatives from the National Rifle Association, and found no takers.
That left Democrats virtually unopposed in proclaiming their hope for new gun regulations in the wake of the tragic killing of 20 children in Connecticut.
"I think we could be at a tipping point," said Sen. Chuck Schumer on "Face the Nation."
Schumer, who helped author the Brady Bill in the early 1990s, sounded more optimistic than he has in years, and said the public would respond to the fact that the shooting at Sandy Hook seemed to be part of a larger pattern of mass shootings and because it involved the murder of so many innocent children.
Schumer said Congress had been "gridlocked" on the issue, and called for a "new paradigm," in which gun-control advocates acknowledge the Second Amendment, and gun owners acknowledge the need for certain regulations.
He said Democrats would focus their efforts on a new assault weapons ban, limiting the size of clips "to maybe no more than 10 bullets per clip," and making it harder for mentally unstable people to obtain guns.
Schumer's list was a little more specific than that of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who appeared on "Meet the Press" to call on President Obama to "stand up and lead" on the issue.
Schumer said he thought Obama had been good on gun control.
"The president has been strong on this issue," he said. "During the 2012 campaign he didn't shy away from his positions."
Schieffer objected to say the president had been criticized for not doing enough on the issue.
"Look, I've talked to the president, he cares about these issues," Schumer. "His positions are crystal clear. The problem has been the gridlock that I talked about. And no one person, not even the president, can break that until we get a new paradigm. And that's what I'll be attempting to talk about and do over the next several months."
(On "Meet the Press," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, one of Schumer's partners in passing gun-control bills in the early 1990s, said she plans to introduce a new assault weapons ban next month, on the first day of the new Congress.)
The only Republican who made himself available to publicly defend the pro-gun position on Sunday morning was Rep. Louie Gohmert, an outspoken former judge from East Texas, who appeared on "Fox News Sunday" to make the case that more guns actually increase public safety.
"Every mass killing of more than three people in recent history has been in a place where guns were prohibited, except for one," he said. "They choose this place, they know no one will be armed."
Gohmert said he wished the principal at the Sandy Hook elementary school had been armed.
"I wish to God she had had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and she didn’t have to lung heroically with nothing in her hands, but she takes him out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids," he said.