Jared Golden has spoken out about his past opposition to gun bans and his future plans to support gun control efforts after his hometown suffered a mass shooting.
Mass Shooting Sparks Change of Heart
In the wake of Wednesday’s mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, Representative Jared Golden (D-Maine) has opened up about his change of heart regarding gun bans.
Golden’s Past Pro-Gun Stances
Speaking at a press conference, Rep. Golden detailed his reasons for previously opposing gun bans.
“Out of fear of this dangerous world that we live in…among many other misjudgments, I have opposed efforts to ban deadly weapons of war, like the assault rifle used to carry out this crime.”
Recent Action Against Gun Control
As recently as 2022, Golden joined only a handful of other Democrats who opposed a law to ban some semi-automatic guns.
“I Now Call on the United States Congress to Ban Assault Rifles”
He continued, “The time has now come for me to take responsibility for this failure…I now call on the United States Congress to ban assault rifles, like the one used by the sick perpetrator of this mass killing in my hometown of Lewiston, Maine.”
Outreach Across Party Lines
Golden said he planned to use his remaining time in Congress to push for gun control measures and plans to work alongside “any colleague to get this done.”
Golden Apologizes to Constituents and Victims
He also apologized for his previous record on gun control.
“To the people of Lewiston, my constituents throughout the 2nd District, to those who lost loved ones, and to those who have been harmed, I ask for forgiveness and support as I seek to put an end to these terrible shootings.”
Maine Senator Shares Her Thoughts
Golden’s fellow Mainer and colleague in the Capitol, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), was more reserved when asked about her thoughts.
Evading a direct question about whether she also would change her stance on guns, Collins shifted the focus.
Are “Very High-Capacity Magazines” the Problem?
“…I think it is more important that we ban very high-capacity magazines. I think that would have more input and more effectiveness,” she said.
Decades-Old Gun Control Measures
Describing the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1995, Collins said that she supported that original bill, but not later attempts to to expand it, citing that those attempts led by Diane Feinstein were “based not on functionality, but on cosmetic features.”
“There’s Always More That We Can Do”
“There’s always more that we can do.” Collins went on to discuss other bills she had supported and co-authored that related to gun access.
“Our Hearts Are Heavy With Grief”
“Today is a dark day in the state of Maine,” Collins said. “Our hearts are heavy with grief.”
A Heart-Wrenching Record
Collins described Wednesday’s tragedy as “the worst mass shooting that the state of Maine has ever experienced and could ever imagine.”
First Responders Answer the Call
In her speech, Collins expressed gratitude to Maine law enforcement, first responders, and hospital workers for their response to the shooting.
Gunman Has Not Been Caught
At the time of the press conference, the Lewiston shooter was still at large.
At least eighteen were dead and more than a dozen were injured as search efforts continued.
A Future Uncertain
As more information becomes available, Representative Golden and Senator Collins will be discussing what comes next for Maine’s recovery from the shooting.
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