Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton are each calling for increased gun restrictions in the wake of Wednesday’s deadly shooting, which saw two young journalists killed.
WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were murdered as they shot an early morning segment near Roanoke, Virginia, by a man said to be a former employee of the station. Following the tragic shooting, some were quick to note that Virginia has repeatedly rejected efforts to expand background checks, and recently repealed a law that prevented people from buying more than one handgun per month.
One of those people was McAuliffe, who said in a radio appearance this morning that the state had a “horrible history” with mass shootings. He recalled the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, which saw 32 people killed. However, following that mass shooting, gun control laws actually grew weaker in the state. Along with repealing the one-gun-a-month rule, the state also passed legislation allowing hidden firearms in bars and restaurants, and guns in glove compartments.
“This is why need to restrict access to guns,” said McAuliffe, who is a gun owner and vocal gun control advocate. McAuliffe specifically lamented Virginia’s background check laws, which don’t require background checks for purchases made at gun shows, and state law that doesn’t prohibit domestic abusers from purchasing firearms.
It is unclear at this time how the shooter obtained his gun.
Nationally, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton also called for measures to stop gun violence in the wake of the shooting — though she did not say what controls, specifically, she was advocating.
“Heartbroken and angry,” Clinton tweeted on Wednesday afternoon. “We must act to stop gun violence, and we cannot wait any longer.”
Heartbroken and angry. We must act to stop gun violence, and we cannot wait any longer. Praying for the victims' families in Virginia. -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 26, 2015
Clinton appears to be the only presidential candidate so far who has addressed the shooting from a policy perspective. Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Ben Carson have all said that they are “praying” for the victims.
Generally, conservatives do not like to talk about gun control following mass shootings, saying it “exploits” the tragedy.