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Former Rep. Perriello: Navy Yard Shooting Should Spur Congress to Act

By Greg Richter   |   Monday, 16 Sep 2013 07:04 PM

Citing "something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate," a Washington doctor struck a chord with MSNBC commentators Monday following the deadly shooting at the Navy Yard that left 13 dead.

"There's something wrong here when we have these multiple shootings, these multiple injuries," Dr. Janis Orlowski, chief medical officer at MedStar Washington Hospital Center said during a press briefing on victims. "I'd like you to put my trauma center out of business."

Tom Perriello, CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund and a former Democratic congressman from Virginia, told "The Ed Show" host Ed Shultz that he has several pediatricians in his family, and that doctors look at the problem scientifically rather than politically.

"They're used to seeing a problem, diagnosing it, then wanting to have prescription, and getting very frustrated with a political system that doesn't act the same way," Perriello said. "I think it's time for our elected officials to do that."

"We're never going to create a perfect society," Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. weighed in. "We're not going to get rid of all violence. Alas, human beings are human beings. But we can take steps that make incidents like this a little less likely – or maybe significantly less likely."

Shultz, an advocate of stricter gun laws, asked whether an incident only blocks away from the Capitol might finally spur action among legislators.

Perriello didn't think so.

"You know, I think we've already had so many tragedies in this country that should have been enough to move folks," he said. "We've seen the winds on this change across the country with people who consider themselves Democrats, independents and Republicans, and yet that wasn't enough to get it through the Senate."

Dionne disagreed, and said gun control advocates must keep pushing.

"We cannot resign ourselves, which we seem to have done as a society, to doing nothing after something like this happens," he said.

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