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Rep. Sessions on Bryan mass shooting, Biden gun control: ‘We need to find common ground…to live life in freedom’

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 1:01 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - This week, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-District 17) attended the funeral for fallen Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Chad Walker, killed in the line of duty.

“The service was uplifting but the message was plain: our country needs to heal itself,” said Sessions on Brazos Valley This Morning Friday.

Just two days later, Sessions and his Brazos Valley constituents watched the coverage unfold as a gunman shot several people at a Bryan business, killing one. The suspect also shot a DPS trooper who was seeking to apprehend him. Sessions acknowledged that details are still emerging, but “We do know that this was a man who was a criminal who committed murder.”

When asked what he will do as the Brazos Valley’s congressman to prevent this kind of mass shooting in the community, he spoke of mental health issues he says the pandemic has exacerbated.

“This COVID circumstance has definitely created lots of circumstances where people have lost their job, have been in isolation. But we’re encouraging this administration to go back to an agenda to create jobs, not one that would raise taxes,” said Sessions. “People feel stressed. People feel like there are some times that are hopeless.”

The suspect in the Bryan shooting was employed; in fact, he was employed at the business where he opened fire. Sessions continued to focus on the creation of jobs as a way to prevent mass shootings like this one.

“I think a lot of this has to do with the dialogue that we have as the American people, the dialogue that starts at the top with the president but also in Congress,” said Sessions. “We have a responsibility to work and try to work on an agenda for this country whereby we give an opportunity to have jobs, to have gasoline that’s at a great price—where we have an opportunity to work together.”

KBTX asked Sessions about the gun control initiatives and executive orders announced by Pres. Joe Biden, coincidentally on the same day the Bryan mass shooting. One of Mr. Biden’s orders is to invest in “community violence intervention programs” through the American Jobs Plan, “to help connect individuals with job training and job opportunities.”

Sessions does not approve of this particular jobs plan. He says it is not the “common ground” he would like to find with Democrats.

“Not when you look at that price tag and how they’re going to do it,” he said. “It is about giving people jobs. Our free market system is what works best in using the employer that is there. In Brazos County, you still see signs that are out. I don’t know about plenty of them, but they are there... [People] need to get up in the morning and go get a job.”

The Biden Administration also is pushing for “red flag” legislation that allows family members or law enforcement to petition for a court order temporarily barring people in crises from accessing firearms “if they present a danger to themselves or others.”

Again, Sessions says this is not common ground for him and the president.

“What we need to find common ground with is to make sure every single person to the best of their ability has an opportunity to live their life in freedom,” said Sessions. “Unfortunately answers have come in the form of taking away people’s freedoms and constitutional rights. I do want to find common ground. I want to find common ground where when people report that they have a circumstance or a problem that something is done about it.”

Sessions says that law enforcement already have conversations with families about guns, “but those same families also need their weapons and have their weapons to support themselves against gangs and drug dealers.”

“To say that an individual can’t have a gun is sometimes the right thing to do, but to take that away from the family in the time when they live in a crime-ridden circumstance or situation, it is not straightforward,” said Sessions.

Watch the full interview with Rep. Sessions here:

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