ON THE HILL: Political panel discusses efforts from US lawmakers to curb gun violence

With the recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Texas, and the general rise in gun violence across the country, FOX 5's On The Hill program hosted a political panel to learn more about what the government can do to fix the issue.

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Jess Mason, a White House correspondent for Reuters, and Siobhan Hughes, a Wall Street Journal Congressional correspondent, joined FOX 5's Tom Fitzgerald to explain President Biden's goal for his address on gun violence earlier this week and how the government can proceed with addressing gun violence.

Tom Fitzgerald started off by asking Jeff Mason about President Biden's address, and what he hoped to achieve from it.

"I think that was a part of the goal, to get his voice a part of it as the discussions are happening on Capitol Hill. He has, he gave remarks after the Texas shooting, but otherwise the White House has been a little bit, I don't want to say standoffish, but they’ve said they want to give space to the lawmakers to see what they can do. And I think what they wanted to do with his remarks on Thursday was put a marker down. This is what Biden wants. This is what he's pushing for. And also keep the conversation going with the public, to keep some momentum," Mason tells FOX 5.

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Tom Fitzgerald also asked whether the speech was meant to show that the President is trying to direct talks on gun violence, to which Siobhan Hughes replied, that the President must be careful about his efforts to direct negotiations.

"There's a little bit of a delicate balance here. As Jeff said, part of it is laying down a marker, but he does need to give some space because that's what Senator Chris Murphy, one of the lead democratic negotiators, has asked for. He doesn’t want to over politicize it because he would like some republicans, in hopes of passing something," said Hughes.

Tom then asked about what Congress can specifically do to fix the gun violence issue. Jeff Mason explained that the Senate will be a key factor in what legislative changes, if any, are made.

"You’re right to mention the senate, that’s key because, the house of course, can get pretty much anything passed with a slim democratic majority. In the senate you’re gonna need ten extra votes from republicans to get over a filibuster," said Mason. "Red flag laws seem to be something that have a little bit of momentum. I can tell you that president Biden's call to ban assault weapons is not going to go anywhere. Maybe they'll talk about raising the age, but he certainly put some asks in those remarks that do not have momentum in congress."

You can watch the full interview above to hear the other topics discussed during the political panel, including the state of the economy and the war in Ukraine.


Make sure to tune into On The Hill every Sunday morning on FOX 5, starting at 8:30 a.m.