John Chiang, Gavin Newsom Spar Over Las Vegas Shooting

Crime scene tape surrounds the Mandalay Hotel (background with shooters window damage top right) after a gunman killed at least 58 people and wounded more than 500 others when he opened fire on a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 2, 2017. Police said the gunman, a …
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Democrat gubernatorial candidates Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and State Treasurer John Chiang condemned the Las Vegas shooting massacre Monday, but also found themselves at odds.

“I don’t want to politicize this, especially this particular time,” Chiang told Capital Public Radio on Monday — before going on to do so. He added, “We have to make sure that we follow through on the law to make sure that you have the proper safeguards, that we are in fact checking to see if individuals have mental health issues, other types of limitations, liabilities, that may impact their ability to exercise self-control, to make sure that they have healthy thinking, so that we don’t see these tragedies.”

That promoted Newsom to respond over Twitter by suggesting Chiang’s “I don’t want to politicize this” line was a talking point from from “those who profit off of gun sales, like the @NRA, & the politicians they have bought, like @realDonaldTrump.”

Chiang’s spokeswoman, Kate Chapek reaffirmed Chiang’s statement and explained to Capital Pubic Radio that he meant, “This is not the time to be trying to score political points, but coming together to grieve for our nation’s loss, support their families and redouble our resolve to fight for better and tougher gun laws.”

However, Newsom’s spokesman Dan Newman doubled down, telling the station, “Saying that we can’t talk about gun violence after mass shootings are exactly the talking points of the NRA and politicians like Donald Trump who do their bidding – and it’s wrong, There’s no more important time to talk about doing everything we can to save lives than when we’re forced to see the horrific effects of gun violence.”

One area both men appeared to agree on is Proposition 63, or the “Safety for All” act, which requires background checks for ammunition purchases. It was championed by Newsom and passed by voters last November. Both men also believe California serves as a model for federal legislation on gun laws.

Freshman Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) — a potential Democratic contender for president in 2020 also called for increased gun control on Monday.

“This kind of tragedy has become too routine in America,” Harris wrote on her Facebook page. “We cannot simply throw up our hands or continue to justify the presence of weapons of war whose primary purpose is to kill the largest number of human beings in the shortest amount of time possible. We must honestly acknowledge the epidemic of gun violence and work together, now, to curb it.”

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump praised the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police for their rapid response to Sunday’s tragedy and said, “We’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by.”

Gunman Stephen Paddock murdered 59 people and left over 500 wounded in what has been recognized as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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