While addressing a group of community leaders in Kentucky—a state that lost two students to gun violence earlier this year—U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell punted responsibility for stopping gun violence away from Congress. “I don’t think at the federal level there’s much that we can do other than appropriate funds,” McConnell told the assembled leaders on Tuesday, according to the Lexington Herald Leader. “You would think, given how much it takes to get on an American plane or given how much it takes to get into courthouses, that this might be something that we could achieve, but I don’t think we could do that from Washington, I think it’s basically a local decision.” He added that “It’s a darn shame that’s where we are but this epidemic is something that’s got all of our attention.” As the Leader noted, however, Congress does have the authority to ban purchases of semi-automatic guns, mandate background checks, and raise the legal purchase age to 21—all of which they have been called on to do by student activists.
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