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Entries in Gun Rights (4)

Tuesday
Jul242012

Stronger Gun Laws? Schumer Points to Lack of Political Will

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Chuck Schumer was one of the biggest cheerleaders for the assault weapons ban back when it passed the House. The New Yorker helped usher it through Congress and in part built his senate campaign on passing the Brady Bill.

But Tuesday, in the wake of the Aurora, Colo., massacre, Schumer suggested there is no political will for new gun laws or re-instating the assault weapons ban, which lapsed in 2004. Under the ban it would have been illegal for James Holmes to purchase the deadliest of the weapons he used - the AR-15 assault rifle.

Schumer blamed the NRA and the Republicans who control the House of Representatives for blocking any legislation. But Schumer held a press conference today on tax measures, not gun laws, and he made clear that he thinks the political mandate for gun laws needs to come from the people before politicians will change anything.

"I am still an advocate of the assault weapons ban. I was the author of it in the House," he said, adding that it could potentially have kept the AR-15 away from Holmes. "But we see what's in the House and we see the power of the NRA around here and it's something we ask, the way to overcome it is for citizens, the silent majority, who believe in the right to bear arms, the majority of Americans including myself."

"I believe in the right to bear arms. I think the 2nd amendment has validity. I thought the Heller decision was appropriate. But there can be reasonable limitations on those rights to bear arms. We limit the 1st amendment, you can't falsely scream fire in a crowded theater, or anti-pornography laws. The 2nd amendment can have reasonable limits as well," he said.

House Speaker John Boehner, meanwhile, resisted calls Tuesday from other congressional Democrats to tighten gun control laws in the wake of the shooting in Aurora last week, couching his lack of enthusiasm for new legislation to President Obama's decision not to push for new laws either.

"We had a shooting by a deranged person in Colorado and our hearts and souls go out to the victims and those who were killed and those who were injured, and their families," Boehner said. "The president has made clear that he's not going to use this horrific event to push for new gun laws. I agree."

Pressed whether there is anything the government should do to make it harder for someone to purchase such large amounts of ammunition, the speaker stuck to his script.

"Listen, the White House had made clear they're not going to use this horrific event to push for new legislation," he repeated. "I agree with them."

Over the weekend, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One that President Obama believes the government should protect the Second Amendment while also ensuring that weapons do not fall "into the hands of individuals who should not, by existing law, obtain those weapons."

"The president's view is that we can take steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them under existing law," Carney said Sunday. "And that's his focus right now."

James Holmes, 24, is suspected of killing 12 people and wounding another 58 in Friday morning's shooting at opening night of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. With no significant police record, law enforcement sources say he acquired all four of his guns, body armor and thousands of rounds of ammunition legally.

House Democrats including Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Carolyn McCarthy of New York, both long-time gun control advocates, point to the shooting in Colorado and other mass shootings as proof that the country's gun laws are insufficient.

Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, the No. 3 Republican in the House, said that Congress "should get all the facts" before moving any new legislation "because you want to make sure it is done right."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul232012

Rep. Blumenauer Accuses NRA of Political Bullying on Gun Laws

US House of Representatives(WASHINGTON) -- As the flags over the U.S. Capitol continue to fly at half-staff in honor of the victims of the shooting in Aurora, Colo., last week, one Democratic congressman says there is a renewed opportunity “to deal with an epidemic of gun violence” in the United States.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., took to the House floor Monday afternoon to speak out for stronger gun control, blaming the National Rifle Association for poisoning the political dialogue around the controversial issue and “creating phony threats to gun ownership.”

“What is as appalling as the loss of life, is the fact that we not only refuse to do anything about it, but we allow political bullies to intimidate us from even researching the facts,” Blumenauer blasted. “Anytime there is a mass-killing spree, I hope against hope, for a more enlightened reaction.”

Blumenauer targeted the NRA for making it “impossible” to close the gun show loophole, where he said people can purchase “unlimited amounts of guns without a reasonable background check.” He also criticized the gun lobby for helping people on the no-fly list purchase guns while also preventing national security data from being shared between two government agencies.

“The NRA argues that all we need is for existing gun laws to be enforced while they systematically set about to dismantle which laws we have,” he said. “I continue to feel that there’s no reason to permit armor-piercing, cop-killer bullets to be sold like Tic-tac’s, that automatic weapons should be available over the counter with 100-bullet magazines like killer in Colorado had, that facilitate such sprees.”

The nine-term Democrat called on gun owners to “join with politicians, business, [and] the health community to come together to deal with an epidemic of gun violence in a way we would treat any other threat to the safety of our families and our communities.”

“We would study, we would work on solutions together, and we would act,” he imagined. “Sadly, we’re still waiting.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul202012

Bloomberg Demands Specifics from Obama, Romney on Gun Violence

Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Hours after the Aurora, Colo., mass shootings early Friday morning, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg demanded that President Obama and Mitt Romney do more than try to console the victims and survivors by explaining to the country how they will prevent this type of gun violence.

"There are so many murders with guns every day, it's just got to stop," Bloomberg said on WOR Radio. "And this is a real problem. No matter where you stand on the Second Amendment, no matter where you stand on guns, we have a right to hear from both of them concretely, not just in generalities -- specifically what are they going to do about guns?"

"We can talk about it on the talk shows, we can wring our hands and say it's terrible. You know, 'I need more guns to protect myself,'" Bloomberg continued. "That strategy doesn't work."

Bloomberg, who has been the mayor of the country's largest city for a decade, has overseen a significant drop in the city's crime rate. He said Friday that the problem of gun violence is "growing and it's not just an inner-city, east coast, west coast, big city phenomenon. Aurora is not a big city."

Under Colorado's gun laws it was legal for James Holmes, the 24-year-old Aurora, Colo., man who law enforcement has named as the suspect in today's shootings, to carry the assault-style rifle and shotgun that he allegedly used to kill at least 12 and injure at least 50 more movie-goers in his car.

"If it was one of your kids yesterday in Aurora, maybe you'd stand up and say I'm not going to take this anymore," Bloomberg said. "And instead of the two people -- President Obama and Governor Romney -- talking in broad things about they want to make the world a better place, OK, tell us how."

Both candidates support the Second Amendment right to own guns, but the issue, which has played a large role in previous elections, has not been prevalent on the campaign trail in 2012.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Mar132011

President Obama Pens Op-Ed On Gun Control

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- President Obama says that since the tragic shooting in Tucson, another 2,000 Americans have been lost to gun violence. In an op-ed penned for the Arizona Daily Star, the president lays out where he thinks the discussion on gun laws should go.

“Every single day, America is robbed of more futures. It has awful consequences for our society. And as a society, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to put a stop to it,” Obama writes.

He explains his belief in the Second Amendment but says “common sense” can unite Americans behind meaningful gun reform laws.

“I'm willing to bet they don't think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas,” Obama explains.

The main idea the president pushes in the op-ed is for a national instant criminal background check system that rewards states that provide the best data.  He also suggests developing an “instant, accurate, comprehensive and consistent system” for background checks to sellers.

“Clearly, there's more we can do to prevent gun violence. But I want this to at least be the beginning of a new discussion on how we can keep America safe for all our people,” Obama says.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio