Politicization of tragedy is the last thing we need from our leaders

Politicization of tragedy is the last thing we need from our leaders
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Just hours after the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday evening, which killed 59 people and injured 400 more, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE took to Twitter to offer her sympathy to those affected. In addition to expressing her condolences, Clinton wasted no time launching direct, undeniably political, attacks on the National Rifle Association.

“The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get,” Clinton wrote, referring to the Hearing Protection Act, which is a congressional bill that is supported by the NRA which calls for reversing federal restrictions on the ownership of gun silencers. “Our grief isn't enough,” Clinton added. “We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.”

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Despite Clinton’s call to put politics aside in the effort to stop mass shootings such as Las Vegas from occurring, her attack on the NRA less than 24 hours after the shooting is irrefutably political in nature. This is not to say, by any stretch, that Clinton is the only prominent figure who politicized the Las Vegas shooting.

In the wake of mass shootings such as Las Vegas, which have become far too frequent, it has become almost instinctual for those on both the left and right to promote calls to action which advance partisan policies, but ultimately provide no real solutions. The result of this continued politicization is that there has been no successful bipartisan effort to enact meaningful, common sense gun reform policies.

President Trump’s statements indicate that he and his administration may be willing to work across the aisle on the issue of gun reform and this is a good start. To be sure, I do not read too much into this, but at least the president is saying we need to engage in a national dialogue. Now is the time for Democrats and thoughtful Republicans to take this step.

Some of the most logical and practical means of doing so include closing the background check loophole in states across the country that allows criminals and domestic abusers to acquire firearms and strengthening penalties on gun dealers and manufactures who sell illegal guns, especially automatic firearms and firearms that are easily modified to become automatic in use.

It is truly sobering and saddening that mass shootings such as this have become a regular occurrence. But what is arguably even more disturbing is that the ultimate response from our elected officials is almost always in the form of politicization instead of action. Now, in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in United States history, it is incumbent upon our elected officials to set aside partisan rhetoric and political agendas.

It is time for party leaders to work across the aisle in order to enact impactful, common sense gun reform laws. It is certainly understandable that President Trump is not divulging too much regarding his intentions for gun reform, as it has been just days since the massacre in Las Vegas.

Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmerica isn't ready to let Sessions off his leash Schumer celebrates New York Giants firing head coach: ‘About time’ GOP should reject the left's pessimism and the deficit trigger MORE (D-N.Y.) made remarks on the Senate floor on Tuesday which called upon President Trump to work with party leaders across the aisle on enacting rational, common sense gun reform. “President Trump, before he ran for office, was for certain sane, rational, limited aspects of gun control,” Schumer said. “Maybe he can have a bit of a reawakening because of the horror of what happened as he goes to Las Vegas tomorrow.”

President Trump has proven that he is willing and able to work with Democrats on certain issues, as evidenced by his siding with congressional Democrats last month on the issue of the debt ceiling. I hope that the president’s comments indicate an intent to work with Democrats to enact common sense, agreeable gun laws that make our country and the jobs of law enforcement safer.

Douglas E. Schoen (@DouglasESchoen) served as a pollster for President Clinton. A longtime political consultant, he is also a Fox News contributor and the author of 11 books, including “Putin’s Master Plan: To Destroy Europe, Divide NATO, and Restore Russian Power and Global Influence.”