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House Dem joins protest at NRA headquarters following Florida school shooting

John Bowden

Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly (Va.) joined dozens of protesters outside the National Rifle Association's (NRA) headquarters in Virginia on Friday demanding action on gun control after a shooting at a Florida high school left 17 people dead.

Connolly spoke to the assembled protesters in Fairfax, Va., where he blamed Wednesday's shooting in Parkland, Fla., on the NRA's contributions to lawmakers in Congress, WJLA reported.

"Children are dead because of you," Connolly said.

“My heart breaks for the families of those affected by today’s senseless gun violence in Florida. As a nation, how can we continue to allow this to happen? How many more moments of silence must we hold before Republicans in Congress act? We are not powerless. There are measures we can and must take to make our communities safer," the lawmaker said.

His remarks followed a statement the Virginia Democrat made on Wednesday after the shooting, questioning how many more casualties needed to occur before Republicans would support gun control measures.

Democrats and others have rallied against the NRA and pro-gun groups after the Parkland shooting, which involved the same AR-15 style rifle used in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Former Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.) blasted members of his own party on CNN after the attack, saying Republicans would not do "a single thing" to prevent further shootings.

“And so if this is the issue that defines your ideology as a voter, there are two things I would suggest tonight. First, flip the House. Flip the House,” Jolly said. “Republicans are not going to do a single thing after this shooting we saw today. But I would also offer to Democrats, work for incremental wins.”

“The idea of gun policy in the Republican Party is to try to get a speaking slot at the NRA and prove to that constituency that you’re further right than generations past of Republicans have been on guns,” he added.
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