At around the same time that a shooter in Santa Clarita, California, opened fire at Saugus High School, killing a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) was on the floor of the United States Senate trying to keep a gun control bill from being fast-tracked.
Hyde-Smith spoke about 45 minutes before the shooting began, according to Buzzfeed.
The Republican lawmaker said in her speech, “It should not be exempt from debate on the Senate floor. If this so-called common sense, bipartisan legislation was indeed crafted with strong bipartisan input, it shouldn’t have any problems advancing by regular order.”
Senator Hyde-Smith added, “If I wanted to give my best friend’s son or grandson my hunting rifle, would we first have to appear before a licensed gun dealer and go through a lengthy and potentially expensive background check?”
She closed by saying, “We can’t fast-track legislation that affects America’s 2nd Amendment rights.”
Almost the same moment gunfire erupted in Santa Clarita (about 11 ET), Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith objected to moving a background check bill added to the Senate calendar on March 4. Said it shouldn't be "fast tracked" and it might stop her from lending a rifle to a grandson. pic.twitter.com/jmxqL564OK— Michael McAuliff (@mmcauliff) November 14, 2019
Hyde-Smith has made a name for herself as a gun advocate. She has an “A” rating from the NRA and the gun organization endorsed her in 2018, saying in a statement, “Cindy Hyde-Smith is an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment and will work to ensure that our constitutional rights are protected,”
For months, Democrats have been fighting to get a gun bill passed in the Senate but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has refused to bring any gun control bills to the floor of the upper chamber.
In September, McConnell said that he won’t put any sort of gun control bill on the floor of the Senate unless President Donald Trump says that he will sign it.
Soon after Hyde-Smith spoke, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) was on the floor arguing for universal background checks and an aide passed him a note, apparently notifying him that while he was speaking the gunman had opened fire in Santa Clarita.