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Boston Herald: Markey: A ‘showdown’ looms on gun control

U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey said that a “historic showdown” is looming in Washington on gun control, predicting it will become part of the presidential race following the horrific mass shooting in Oregon — even as a member of his own delegation doubted it will lead to change.

“These events are now creating an atmosphere where gun control (and) background checks will be a voting issue in the 2016 elections in our country,” Markey said yesterday. “We’re about to have a historic showdown.”

The murder of nine people in a burst of gunfire at a Roseburg, Ore., community college Thursday has ­reignited the debate about gun control, frustrating President Obama while alarming opponents of any new legislation.

Obama vowed yesterday to “politicize” the issue because inaction is itself a political decision.

Erich Pratt, spokesman for Gun Owners of America, said the Virginia-based organization mourned for the victims, but called the president’s comments “offensive.”

“The president spoke to the nation today, saying it’s proper for him to politicize this tragedy,” Pratt said. “He called for more ‘common sense’ gun control, which is insane, given that the criminally minded don’t obey the law.”

U.S. Rep. Michael E. Capuano, a Somerville Democrat, said he hopes the shooting — which comes nearly three years after the murder of 27 in Newtown, Conn. — the “straw that breaks the camel’s back,” but he wasn’t optimistic.

“The likelihood of getting something to the floor in the near future is probably minimal,” Capuano said, laying blame at the feet of the National Rifle Association. “The NRA has its position, it’s very clear, very unequivocal and unbending. They’re there every single day, every day I’ve been there. They never go away.

“For those of us who feel the other way, we have to understand, it’s not just about the terrible story of the day or the month. It should never go away. … We have to stay on it every day,” he said.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren pointed blame at a “minority who will not let us provide basic safety for our children” when it comes to these shootings.

“If we just fold up and say, ‘Oh, nothing can ever happen,’ then they truly have won,” the Cambridge Democrat said. “And more to the point: Our children are at real risk. We fight back. We fight back tomorrow, we fight back next week and next month and as long as it takes.”