With Gun Control Measures Unlikely, Congress Turns Focus To Contractors | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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With Gun Control Measures Unlikely, Congress Turns Focus To Contractors

In the wake of this week’s shooting at the Navy Yard some lawmakers in the region are renewing their push for new gun control measures. But while that effort is unlikely to go anywhere, there seems to be bipartisan agreement the Pentagon needs to review the access it grants contractors.

After last year's Newtown, Conn. school shooting, Capitol Hill witnessed its first real debate on gun control in decades. That effort to implement near universal background checks fell six votes short, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says this week’s shooting in D.C. hasn’t changed the math—so he isn’t bringing it up for another vote.

Still, Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine says there will be more mass shootings if lawmakers do nothing.

“There are commonsense things we can do that don’t infringe on anybody’s Second Amendment rights that will make us safer. This place has perfected a million reasons not to do anything. And the lack of action, we’re just going to see more of these and there’s going to be more of them, and eventually then we’ll get tired enough to act. Why not act sooner rather than later?”, he asked.

The alleged Navy Yard shooter worked for a private contractor and gained access using a valid security badge. Between that and the recent leak of a highly classified surveillance program by N.S.A. contractor Edward Snowden, Kaine says lawmakers need to reexamine the access granted to contractors.

“We’re really troubled. When you look at a Snowden and then you look at this—obviously very different kinds of things—but instances of folks with security clearances doing horrible things. It does raise a very significant concern," he said.

The Pentagon is preparing to conduct a review of the physical security structures at military bases, though D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is calling for an independent Investigative panel to conduct a review of the shooting.

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