Pro-gun rights lawmakers keep low profile after shootings

Senate Republicans and centrist Democrats who support gun owners’ rights kept away from Sunday talk shows, to the frustration of hosts and producers who wanted to question them about their views.

Bob Schieffer, the host of CBS’s “Face the Nation”, marveled Sunday that he could not find Republicans or centrist Democrats to even discuss gun control on air.

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“It's not just that Congress is reluctant to pass laws,” Schieffer said. “Members, as we found out this weekend when we tried to get guests to come on and talk about this on ‘Face the Nation,’ people are just reluctant to even discuss it.

“I think they're more reluctant to talk about this than they are about raising taxes, when you come right down to it,” Schieffer said.

Betsy Fischer Martin, executive producer of NBC’s “Meet the Press”, noted the reluctance of senators who favor gun owner’s rights to come on television after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 children dead.

“BTW, we reached out to ALL 31 pro-gun rights Sens in the new Congress to invite them to share their views on ‪@meetthepress- NO takers,” she reported in a post on Twitter.

The National Rifle Association has also kept a low profile since the shooting. The group canceled a Twitter chat with country music singer Colt Ford.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) was scheduled to appear on “Face the Nation” but pulled out.

Her spokesman, Dean Pagani, however, said it wasn’t because she did not want to discuss gun control.

“She actually has laryngitis. We booked it on Friday night hoping she was going to feel better by this morning. She didn’t,” he said.  

On Friday, hours after the shooting, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced GOP leaders would withhold the weekly address so President Obama could speak for the entire nation during a time of morning.

Republican Reps. Louie Gohmert (Texas) and Jason Chaffetz (Utah) made appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows.

Gohmert said he wished Dawn Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School, had an M-4 assault rifle when she confronted the shooter, Adam Lanza.

Hochsprung was one of six adults shot and killed by the assailant.