Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is once again very disappointed. Amid calls for action to stop gun violence and mass shootings, she told right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday that it is “extremely disappointing” that Americans want action now.
Collins, who sometimes bucks her party on gun issues but is most often there when the Senate Republican leadership needs her, has been non-committal on specific responses to the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton over the weekend.
Asked about the issue by Hewitt, she launched an attack — not on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has blocked all action on gun safety legislation, or President Donald Trump, who has fueled white nationalist violence with his racist rhetoric — but on the activists who are calling for change to the status quo.
“Surely this is the time when we could put aside politics and come together and our leaders could act as one to give our condolences to the victims’ families. And it’s just, it’s extremely disappointing,” she complained in the interview, posted by the progressive research group American Bridge 21st Century. “There are times for political debate, but this is not one of them.”
NEW: After two mass shootings, @SenatorCollins thinks it’s "extremely disappointing" that people are calling for gun reform.
— American Bridge (@American_Bridge) August 7, 2019
But there have been more than 253 mass shootings in the United States in 2019 alone, according to the Gun Violence Archive. That averages out to more than one every single day. If Collins believes it is inappropriate to discuss reducing gun violence in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting, it is hard to imagine when such “times for political debate” will come.