SC Representative says now is not the time for gun debate

Kimberly Atkins from the Boston Herald reports:

As President Obama renewed the call for gun control after this week’s deadly South Carolina church massacre, South Carolina lawmakers from both parties pushed back, saying it is not the time for that debate.

“We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,” Obama said at the White House yesterday afternoon. “At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”

But U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said a gun-control debate now would just be an obstacle to addressing the crucial issue of America’s racial divide, alienating people who need to be part of that conversation.

“One of the problems we have is we get caught up on word construction,” Clyburn, whose district includes parts of Charleston, told the Herald. “We are not trying to control guns. We are trying to have people use guns responsibly. I just think that these terms are what throw off the conversation.”

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), said it was too soon to discuss the politics of guns. “Too often in the wake of tragedies like this, advocates on both sides of the debate use the debate towards their own end,” Sanford, whose district includes the historic black church where nine people were killed Wednesday, told CNN.

Read the full story at the Boston Herald.