Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) struggled to explain how his plan to expand gun control would have prevented the latest horrific mass shooting in Virginia Beach.
On Friday, 12 people were murdered by a gunman in a Virginia Beach municipal building. According to authorities, the killer used a .45-caliber pistol with a “sound suppressor” device and “extended” ammunition magazines. A federal agent reported that the gunman purchased his weapon legally.
As IJR previously reported, Booker has a plan to overhaul gun laws in the country by requiring a license to own a gun and a ban on “military-style” weapons and “high capacity magazines.”
Booker took to Twitter after the shooting to claim that he would work to pass these gun control laws to prevent similar shootings from happening in the future.
11 people dead. My heart breaks for those killed in another senseless act of gun violence & the loved ones of the victims whose lives are now shattered. We have the power to stop this—we can & will pass commonsense gun safety laws to end these tragedies. https://t.co/twaqJ99l95
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) May 31, 2019
During an interview on “State of the Union” on Sunday, host Jake Tapper pushed back on Booker’s claim that any of his proposed laws could have prevented this shooting.
“How would your plan have stopped this tragedy, if at all?” Tapper asked.
Booker explained that his plan is “bold” and “evidence-based,” but failed to tie it to the shooting in Virginia Beach.
Watch Booker’s answer:
“This idea that we are helpless to stop this, the evidence points differently. We know that everything like licensing like Connecticut dropped gun violence in their state by 40%, suicides by 15%. We know there are communities like Oakland that did things, by treating gun violence like a public health problem and investing in communities and empowering them, they were able to lower gun violence. I have a comprehensive plan that people say is bold. But I’ll tell you what, it’s not bold. It’s common sense evidence-based things we can do to lower gun violence.”
Tapper cut Booker off and asked, “I’m sorry to interrupt, but you keep saying we’re not helpless. So I’m saying: What would have prevented this tragedy? I mean, I think that’s one of the issues that people wonder about when there are these horrible tragedies. What steps specifically would have stopped the massacre in Virginia Beach?”
Booker struggled to answer Tapper, instead opting to bash the “corporate gun lobby” and noting that his policies could cut gun violence overall.
Tapper gave up on trying to get Booker to explain how his policy could have stopped the Virginia Beach shooting, telling the senator, “I hear you not talking about this specific massacre, but talking about gun violence in general.”
As IJR previously reported, Booker is one of several 2020 Democrats proposing additions to gun control laws in the U.S.