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  • Ilhan Omar and Bernie Sanders held NRA accountable for the gun violence in the country.

    Ilhan Omar and Bernie Sanders held NRA accountable for the gun violence in the country. | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 June 2019

Ilhan Omar and Bernie Sanders called out NRA for gun violence in the U.S. after 12 people were killed in Virginia Beach shooting.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Senator Bernie Sanders held the National Rifle Association (NRA) accountable for gun violence after a shooting in Virginia Beach municipal center in Virginia, United States.

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The Friday mass shooting which killed 12 people, was carried out by a man named DeWayne Craddock. According to the police, he was a disgruntled city engineer and co-worker of most of the victims.

“Jane and I are grieving for the victims in Virginia Beach and their families,” U.S. presidential hopeful Sanders wrote on Twitter. “The days of the NRA controlling Congress and writing our gun laws must end. Congress must listen to the American people and pass gun safety legislation. This sickening gun violence must stop.”

Somali-American congresswoman Ilhan Omar expressed a similar sentiment, saying NRA's promoting of guns ownership leads to violence.

“I am outraged and heartbroken. How much longer will we ignore the pain of our communities? We need to immediately confront the power of the NRA and end the epidemic of gun violence in this country,” the congresswoman wrote on Twitter.

NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch responded to Omar’s comments by saying that the group was not related to the shooting.

“This was a heinous tragedy. Your remarks move me to ask: What do 5 million members of the NRA have to do with this man’s crime? Was this man a card-carrying member? His purchases were legal, whose fault is that? Does he bear any blame at all? Serious questions,” Loesch said.

She was also criticized by many right-wing pro-gun people. Some even called her “anti-American” for holding the NRA accountable.

Omar blamed the NRA in the past also. In February, after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, the congresswoman said the NRA is the “true enemy” and the only thing that will ensure the safety of people in the country is “sensible gun laws.”

Gun violence has been on the rise in the U.S., especially school shootings. According to data by the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, there were 94 cases of gun violence in schools in 2018, a record high since 1970.

In 2017, there were 39,773 gun deaths, another record high since 1968 according to data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Progressives have criticized weak gun control laws which result in the violence. The NRA, a powerful gun lobby in the U.S., has also been criticized for promoting weapons, encouraging people to buy arms and also having an influence in U.S. politics.

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