WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that the federal government is “not doing enough to protect our citizens,” adding that he supports President Barack Obama doing “everything he can administratively” — without congressional approval — on gun control.
The Daily Caller asked Reid what gun control measures he would support in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., shooting.
“I watched every word of — and I watched the prayers, I watched everything that took place in Connecticut Sunday night. No one law can erase evil. That’s what the president said, and he’s right. But we need to accept the reality that we’re not doing enough to protect our citizens,” Reid said on Capitol Hill.
“I’m very happy that the president’s going to do everything he can administratively. We must engage on a thoughtful debate about how to change laws and culture that allow violence not continue to grow. Every idea should be on the table as we discuss how best to keep our children safe.”
During an address Sunday in Newtown, Conn., Obama vowed to do “everything” in his power to prevent future mass shootings.
“In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens — from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators — in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this,” Obama said at the prayer vigil for families of the shooting victims.
Reid was asked for specific changes he would like Congress to enact.
“No, I’ve been very clear here. I think we have to have a full discussion,” Reid replied.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was also asked if now is the time for a Senate debate on gun control.
“It’ll be up to the majority leader. He’s indicated that’s the subject he’s likely to turn to next year. And at that time — I think right now people are properly thinking about the catastrophe in Connecticut last week, and the majority leader will have the opportunity to determine what matters will be scheduled,” he said on Capitol Hill.