Virginia senators weigh in on gun legislation
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine are talking tough on the need for Congress to act on sensible gun legislation, blaming other politicians who offer only "thoughts and prayers."
Both say they are fed up. They say Congress needs to be held accountable for what's happening in the country when it comes to mass shootings and gun control.
"I am tired of our politicians that come out and say they are going to pray for somebody and offer thoughts and prayers and then do squat," said Warner.
Across the halls of the U.S. Capitol building, some senators are saying something needs to change when it comes to gun control. Virginia's senators share this goal.
"The Nashville shooting made me think again about this," said Kaine.
"It’s embarrassing," said Warner.
This hit close to home for both senators due to recent shootings in Virginia, like the one in Chesapeake where a Walmart employee opened fire on others or when a six-year-old shot his teacher in Newport News.
"What really struck me when visiting with the parents and teachers, was just how afraid they are of what'll happen at school," said Kaine.
Warner says it will all come down to Congress.
"It is going to take federal legislation," said Warner. "President [Joe] Biden is right. He has taken it as far as he can go with executive action."
Sarah Shalf, an expert at the University of Virginia School of Law who is working on an article about gun violence prevention laws passed at the state level, says the passage of federal legislation and any potential revision of the Second Amendment is impossible unless Congress cooperates.
"If Congress is unable to come together in a bipartisan effort to prevent gun violence, then it is much harder to change the Constitution than it is to pass a federal law," she said.
Warner says it will likely come down to the ballot box.
"If Virginians or Tennesseans are angry, then change the people who you send to Congress, so that you hire people that will do the will of the people and put sensible gun legislation to place," he said.
Warner, who says he supports the Second Amendment, also believes investing in mental health services will help put an end to shootings.