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October 04, 2017

Pa. lawmaker: If I'm killed by gun violence, 'politicize the hell out of it'

A Pennsylvania lawmaker is pushing back against those who argue the Las Vegas shooting shouldn't spark an immediate debate about gun violence, saying if he were ever killed in such a way, he'd want exactly that to happen.

State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Allentown, said in a Facebook post the day after Sunday's massacre, which left at least 59 dead and more than 500 injured at the hands of a lone gunman, that if he's ever "killed in any sort of violent, accidental or otherwise preventable death, please, politicize the hell out of it."

As is the case after every deadly mass shooting, many pundits and politicians, including President Donald Trump's administration, have argued that moving quickly after such tragic events to work on new gun laws is inappropriate.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday that the day after a mass shooting is not the "time and place for a political debate."

"If I'm killed in a gun crime, feel free to be inspired to work for gun control," Schlossberg wrote. "If I die because of inadequate inspections or faulty car equipment, you have my permission to make that issue your crusade. If I'm killed in a terrorist attack, feel free to make fighting terror your own personal cause."

Schlossberg said in the post, which has been shared more than 400 times, that he wasn't trying to talk about himself but instead attempting to point out that "'politicizing a tragedy' doesn't mean taking political advantage of it."

"'Showing respect for the victims' doesn't mean not talking about the cause of their death; it means making sure that it never happens again," he wrote.