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San Bernardino's congressman reacts to shooting




Congressman Pete Aguilar, who represents the community of San Bernardino.
Congressman Pete Aguilar, who represents the community of San Bernardino.
Sharon McNary/KPCC

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Hours after Wednesday's mass shooting in San Bernardino, Pete Aguilar rushed back from Washington DC to a place he calls home.

The U.S. Congressman grew up in the city and returned to console the family of victims, connect with law enforcement officials, and also walk away with a mission when he heads back to DC: push for laws that would stop the next attack.

He's interested by the calls to revive a national ban on assault rifles, for example.

"The assault weapons ban has lapsed 11 years ago," says Aguilar. "The fact that we can't address that is something that is very difficult for community members and myself to understand."

He was also swayed by a coalition of doctors who, hours before the shooting, were lobbying Congress to end the ban on federal funds used for gun violence research.

"The federal government for decades has not allowed any type of research on gun crime and gun violence," he says. "I want to make the very decisions for my community, and I can't do that without evidence-based information."

Hear more of what Rep. Aguilar has heard from the community and his plans for the future by clicking the above player.