INDIANAPOLIS -- After the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, an Indiana state representative said he's "essentially given up" on trying to push gun legislation in the state.
State Rep. Ed Delaney (D) of the 86th District said with all the discussion of the Second Amendment, a key part of the First Amendment is being lost.
"Now what's under threat is the right of assembly," Delaney said. "The First Amendment guarantees me the right of assembly. Where do I want to go now? Do I want to go to an indoor place like that night club in Orlando? Do I want to go to a public school, like in Connecticut? Do I want to go sit outdoors and listen to a rock concert? Where am I going to be safe? Where can I assemble? We better start talking about that right."
Delaney said he's tried to bring up gun legislation for years, but he's blocked by Republicans and the NRA.
"I'm not inclined to bring it up. I've said it," Delaney said. "The people who love the guns, without limitation, love the NRA, don't care about my public assembly, don't care about the cost of metal detectors, they need to have the conversation. They need to lead the conversation. They have to admit that certain weapons are dangerous and that we need to deal with it. If they can't admit that, there's no point in conversing with them. So, good luck."
Rodric Bray (R) of District 37 said the details of the latest mass shooting don't match up with proposed changes to the law.
"We need to look at this in an objective way," he said. "Doing so right after a horrible event like this probably isn't the best time to really analyze that. Although we do need to spend a bit of time thinking about it."
Bray is the chair of a statehouse committee analyzing constitutional carry.
He said the Las Vegas shooting is different because the suspect, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, had an automatic weapon, which is regulated differently than carrying in public would be.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said he's waiting to see what comes from the statehouse before commenting on any legislative changes in Indiana.
"I'll look at what we bring forward, I'm not going to make any statements today during this tragedy," Holcomb said.
Delaney said he "gets away with more" than most legislators because he is a victim of gun violence himself. In 2009, Delaney was in Carmel when a man got into his car and pulled a gun on him.
He suffered three broken ribs, two broken bones in his face, and head contusions.
Police showed up as Delaney and the suspect were fighting. The suspect ran, and police apprehended him. He had a handgun when he was caught.
"[The other legislators] don't hoot at me, or scream at me, or call me bad names," Delaney said. "But how many more victims are we going to have before we get somewhere? It's tragic. It's literally tragic. It sucks the air out of America. That's what's going on. We're sucking the air out of our country. We have people afraid to have their kids go to school. Now we have people afraid to go to a rock concert or a country music concert. We have to move past this. They have to -- the NRA and its players in the Republican party. Now, shooting a Republican congressman in public hasn't moved them. Does this matter? I don't know. But I'm waiting for them."
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