Doug Jones pushes for bipartisanship on guns — Says blaming mental health, offering thoughts and prayers ‘ain’t working’
During this week’s broadcast of Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) urged President Donald Trump and his fellow lawmakers to seek bipartisan solutions on guns in the wake of incidents in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, as well as in Alabama in Elkmont and Mobile.
Jones told “Capitol Journal” anchor Don Dailey the two political parties should be united on saving lives.
“I think that the special interest groups have divided us,” Jones said. “It should be a bipartisan issue. It has been a bipartisan issue in the past. It ought to be a bipartisan issue again. Saving lives, Don – this is not guns. This is not about guns. This is about saving lives. Guns are a part of that, and saving lives ought to be the most bipartisan issue that we have in the Congress in the United States. And so I think we can come to some common ground.”
Jones argued the key to reaching solutions was to avoid the “fringes” but added it would require presidential leadership. However, he also argued blaming mental health and offering thoughts and prayers were not sufficient responses.
“If we stay off the fringes and not worry about that yet – and let’s do the things we can and not just get on political soapboxes on one side or the other, do those things we can do and let the Senate do its job, let the House do its job, come to some agreements. I think we can reach some of that,” Jones said. “I think the president needs to weigh in because he is the leader of the Republican Party. He needs to exercise some leadership. The last thing that we need is for him to say one thing and immediately start walking it back like he’s done on this issue. I’m hoping that when we get back, he will come and say let’s see what we can do to work things out.”
“And it’s got to be more than just mental health issues,” he continued. “It really has to be more than mental health. We’ve talked about mental health, and there’s a couple of things that we know do not work. We can look and see what doesn’t work, and frankly, one of them is blaming this on mental health. That just doesn’t work because we’ve blamed that for a long time. The second thing is we’ve given a lot of thoughts and prayers over the years for these victims and families. It ain’t working. As a religious nation, as we are, as a Christian nation and state as we are, those thoughts and prayers don’t seem to be working like they should. We need to get down and do our work. The Lord can take care of his business if we can do ours.”