Alma Adams: Mass killings must not become our ‘new normal’

U.S. Rep. Alma Adams of Charlotte meets with staff members from International House, which works to integrate immigrants into the local community, January 20, 2017. (Photo: Qcitymetro.com)

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U.S. Rep. Alma Adams weighed in Saturday following the mass murders in El Paso, Texas, saying, “We cannot allow this to become our new normal.”

Adams, who represents a district that covers much of Charlotte, had been in El Paso a day earlier to “investigate the impact of the Trump administration’s failed, inhumane immigration policies,” she said in a statement prior to her departure. She had gone there with nearly two dozen other members of Congress.

Twenty people died and 26 were injured in the border town when a man opened fired at a Walmart. Many of the dead and injured were Mexican national. Authorities believe the suspect was motivated by a hatred for Mexican immigrants.

Like other congressional Democrats, Adams called on the Republican-led Senate to take up gun safety legislation that passed the House last spring.

Context: In March, Democrats in the House passed two gun-related bills:

  • One would give the FBI 10 days (instead of the current three days) to complete a background check on someone trying to buy a gun from a licensed dealer.
  • Another bill pass by Democrats would expand background checks to include firearms sold at gun shows, online and by private individuals.

Did You Know: House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn of South Carolina introduced the bill that would give the government more time to conduct background checks. The bill is meant to close what’s known as “the Charleston loophole.” In 2015, Dylann Roof was able to buy a gun even though the FBI needed more time to complete his background check. An avowed racist, Roof used that gun to murder nine black people during a prayer service inside a Charleston church.

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