WASHINGTON — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called for greater gun restrictions soon after the shooting in Alexandria Wednesday morning that wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others.
Asked at a news conference about what he believed could be done to protect politicians, McAuliffe, a Democrat, said, “Let me say this: I think we need to do more to protect all of our citizens. I have long advocated — this is not what today is about — but there are too many guns on the street. We lose 93 million Americans a day to gun violence.” He later clarified that he intended to say 93 Americans a day, not 93 million.
“I’ve long talked about this,” McAuliffe continued, mentioning background checks and loopholes at gun shows. He added, however, that the topic is “not for today’s discussion.”
Nevertheless, he added, “it’s not just about politicians. We worry about this every day about all of our citizens.”
When pressed as to why he brought up gun control if it was “not for today,” McAuliffe responded, “This is a very serious issue. You know, we just buried one of our great state troopers, a special agent with a wife and three children. So we’ve got to look at this.”
The governor was referring to the funeral he recently attended for slain State Police special agent Michael Timothy Walter, who was shot at a public housing complex May 26.
Minutes later, McAuliffe told CNN’s Kate Bolduan on air that it was his number one job as governor to keep the community safe.
“We have to do a better job,” he stated. “Obviously, this man should never have been in possession of a firearm. We as a nation … need to come together in a bipartisan way to stop the horrible gun violence we have.”