Following the deadly mass shooting at a Chesapeake, Virginia, Walmart Supercenter Tuesday evening, State Sen. Louise Lucas sat with Don Lemon and the “CNN This Morning” team Wednesday to decry her state legislature’s ongoing inaction when it comes to gun safety and reform.
“I’m just sick and tired of legislators talking about how their hearts and their thoughts and prayers go out to these families when they’re doing nothing to prevent this gun violence in the first place,” Lucas said. “That’s where the metal meets the road, and so until the legislature is prepared to do something about that, I don’t want to hear any more about thoughts and prayers!”
The shooting broke out in the state senator’s district late Tuesday when a reportedly disgruntled employee opened fire in the Walmart’s break room, killing at least six employees before turning the gun – a pistol – on himself. The shooter has not yet been identified.
“Can we talk about what more you think this legislature can do?” co-host Poppy Harlow asked Lucas, who video-called in from Virginia. “What do you actually think can be done in this next session?”
The state senator was reluctant to cite her colleagues by name, but she said that it was clear who was to blame – just look at the elected officials’ voting track record on gun reform.
“Well I’ll tell you what, the only thing that I can tell you is that it takes the people who are in control of a legislature to do something to make that difference. We can’t do it without a majority of people in the House and the Senate being in agreement that it’s time to stop the gun violence. That’s where the rubber meets the road,” she said. “It all depends, though, who is in the legislature, who is introducing the bills, and who is taking those votes. Look at the roads. All you have to do is go back and look at past legislation that we’ve introduced and you will see exactly who’s been voting against these bills. I don’t want to start pointing fingers this morning because I think you all know who those folks are.”
Asked by Lemon to clarify what she meant – “This is a national show, an international show. We don’t know who they are. You don’t want to point fingers, but what do you mean by that, specifically?” – Lucas emphasized that the issues faced by her constituency in Virginia are not unique to her district. The Walmart Supercenter is just the latest example in an ongoing national pandemic of gun violence. (Left unspoken was the fact that Colorado Springs’s Club Q was just met with a deadly shooting this past weekend; where a shooting happens next is only a matter of time.)
“A lot of this stuff is copy cat. All across this nation, you see one person goes into a school and kills a lot of innocent children; go into a Walmart, kill a lot of innocent people; go into a church, kill a lot of innocent people,” Lucas said. “It is a global issue, it is not local, it is not just Virginia. I am just relating to it as Virginia because it’s hit me right where I live. But I’m saying on a national level, we need to do something to prevent this gun violence, and it’s all across the nation. It’s like a pandemic, it’s hitting everywhere.”
Watch a clip from the “CNN This Morning” interview in the video above.