January 30th, 2013
09:43 AM ET
2 years ago

Live Blog: Senate hearing on gun violence

Washington (CNN) – The first congressional hearing on gun violence since the Newtown school massacre occurred Wednesday. Highlights of testimony from both sides of the debate are below.

1:53 p.m. ET - Sen. Leahy, wrapping up the hearing, says all of the witnesses at today's hearing have the same goal: preventing gun violence. He said going forward, lawmakers would respect all of the opinions expressed.

He also said he hoped the Judiciary Committee would be able to meet in February to mark-up gun control legislation, and ultimately bring it to the Senate floor.

1:51 p.m. ET - Sen. Mazie Hirono, the Democrat from Hawaii, asked the Baltimore police chief to give thoughts on how to prevent bullying in schools, which she said could lead to violent situations with guns.

James Johnson said police offices in schools can help prevent bullying in schools, but that more work needed to be done on the subject.

1:40 p.m. ET – Speaking at the hearing, Mark Kelly updates senators on today's shooting in Pheonix, where two people have been reported shot.

"While we were having this hearing, and we certainly don’t know the details, but in Phoenix, Arizona, there is another what seems to be possibly a shooting with multiple victims. It doesn't seem like anybody has been killed but initial reports are three people injured in Phoenix, Arizona with multiple shots fired. There are 50 or so police cars on the scene."

1:36 p.m. ET – Asked whether the NRA would sign onto the "Sandy Hook Promise," Wayne LaPierre says his group wants to do everything it can to prevent further gun violence and increase safety in schools.

The promise stipulates: "I Promise to honor the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I Promise to do everything I can to encourage and support common sense solutions that make my community and our country safer from similar acts of violence."

1:33 p.m. ET – Sen. Richard Blumenthal has begun his questioning. He represents Connecticut, and is describing the scene in Newtown immediately following December's shooting.

1:30 p.m. ET – CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin reports from today's White House briefing that Gabby Giffords will be at the White House Wednesday to meet with President Barack Obama, according to press secretary Jay Carney.

1:25 p.m. ET - Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican, is beginning his questioning now. Like Giffords, he represents Arizona, and began his time by thanking both Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly for attending today's hearing.

1:21 p.m. ET – CNN's Dana Bash reports there will be no second round of questions for today's hearing, and that Sen. Leahy will make remarks about his plans for upcoming legislation.

1:10 p.m. ET – While this gun violence hearing is taking place in Washington, CNN is also reporting two on-going situations involving guns.

Pheonix police are responding to calls of an active shooting situation where at least two people have been shot.

The Athens campus of the Ohio University has been closed because an "armed fugitive has not been apprehended" after a nearby armed robbery, the college said on their website. It is a "precautionary measure," the statement said.

1:01 p.m. ET - Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, says he will introduce a mental health bill tomorrow that aims to catch mental illness early in children. But he said he doesn't want to stigmatize those with mental health problems.

"The vast majority of people with mental illness aren't violent, and in fact are more likely to be victims of violence," Franken said.

1:00 p.m. ET – Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and CEO of the National Rifle Association, says gun regulations have to be based in the "real world."

12:52 p.m. ET – Cruz says people often get confused by the language used in the gun control debate. People hear 'assault weapons' and think they people are using machine guns, Cruz argues. Those types of weapons are already illegal.

12:49 p.m. ET - Sen. Ted Cruz is beginning his questioning now. He, like Graham, wanted to bring actual guns to today's hearing.

12:45 p.m. ET – Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, noted that victims and family members of victims of past mass shooting are in the audience at this Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Audience members include a victim from the Aurora movie theatre shooting this past summer, a victim of the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting, and two victims from the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.

12:35 p.m. ET - Kopel says there are abundant legal uses for AR-15 weapons, and that banning them would prevent people from conducting their legal activities.

Trotter, asked by Sen. Mike Lee whether the women she represented who use AR-15s would stop using them if they were made illegal, says they would, but that it would negatively affect their ability to protect themselves.

12:33 p.m. ET - Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, asks David Kopel to name legal reasons people use semi-automatic weapons. Kopel cites self-defense and target practice.

The NRA's president David Keene looks on as Wayne LaPierre testifies at Wednesday's hearing.

12:26 p.m. ET - Graham said he will oppose legislation to limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds and ban semi-automatic rifles, arguing it isn't unreasonable to believe that people need such firepower to protect themselves against possible home invaders or rioters.

12:20 p.m. ET – Sen. Graham cites the story of a woman who earlier this month shot an intruder in her home. The Georgia woman, Donnie Herman, huddled with her two 9-year-old children in the attic while a man with a crowbar broke into the house, CNN reported at the time. She called her husband, who called police, and was on the phone with him as the gunman found their attic hideout. She shot him five times and the man escaped on foot, though he was later captured by police after crashing his car nearby the house.

"One bullet in the hand of a mentally unstable person ... is too many," Graham said. "Six bullets in the hands of a woman who is trying to defend her children may not be enough."

Gun rights advocates have referenced the story as a recent, real-world example of guns being used for protection.

12:13 p.m. ET – Lindsey Graham is using photos of guns to make his point that certain types of guns are effective in preventing further violence.

Graham originally wanted to bring actual guns to today's hearings, but was prevented by security rules on Capitol Hill. Read more on that story here.

12:09 p.m. ET – Mark Kelly recaps events on the day his wife was shot in Tucson, including detailing what would have been a tragedy: an armed bystander with the intent of taking down Loughner almost shot the person who ultimately tackled the perpetrator.

12:08 p.m. ET - James Johnson, the police chief, described the argument by gun rights advocates that Americans need unrestricted rights to assault-style rifles to protect themselves from possible government tyranny as "scary, creepy and simply just not based on logic."

12:07 a.m. ET - LaPierre said Americans are afraid the government is abandoning them, and that in the case of tornados, hurricanes, or riots, that they're "going to be out there alone, and the only way they're going to be able to protect themselves, in the cold, in the dark, when they're vulnerable, is with a firearm."

12:04 p.m. ET - Durbin cites the story of a 15-year-old girl who performed at last week's inauguration who died from a gunshot in Chicago yesterday.

12:02 p.m. ET - Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and LaPierre got into an argument on background checks, with Durbin alleging LaPierre had "missed the point completely," since if criminals don't subject themselves to background checks, they won't obtain guns.

"Senator, I think you missed the point," LaPierre countered.

Leahy used his gavel to call for order as the two sparred.

12:01 p.m. ET – LaPierre of the NRA rips the idea of expanding background checks to all gun sales - such as person-to-person or auctions by vendors who are not federally licensed firearms dealers - because "criminals don't cooperate with them."

11:56 a.m. ET - LaPierre is speaking out against senators pushing for new gun control laws, saying the discussion at the hearing "has little is has to do with keeping our kids safe."

"We've got to get in the real world about what works and what doesn't work," he argued, saying increasing background checks wouldn't work, since criminals would never subject themselves to such a process.

11:52 a.m. ET - Mark Kelly says gaps in the mental health system allowed Jared Loughner, the man who attempted to assassinate his wife, to purchase the gun he used in the Tucson shooting.

11:49 a.m. ET - Speaking at the hearing, Schumer said that he is in talks with colleagues - including several who are ranked highly by the National Rifle Association - on possible legislation to expand background checks on private gun sales.

11:47 a.m. ET - The witness speaking the most thus far is James Johnson, the Baltimore police chief and chairman of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence.

That's a surprise - LaPierre was undoubtedly the most anticipated speaker at today's hearing. Neither Feinstein nor Schumer addressed any questions to him.

11:43 a.m. ET - Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, is bemoaning the "gun show loophole," which allows people to purchase firearms at gun shows without a background check. Schumer, who co-wrote the Brady Bill on gun control, said the loophole was included, to his chagrin, in order to get colleagues to vote for it.

11:41 a.m. ET – Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, and the NRA's LaPierre are in agreement that the Obama administration is not properly prosecuting gun-related crimes. Sessions says Obama "should call in his United States attorneys and tell them you need to look at your numbers and get them up and emphasize those prosecutions." LaPierre calls the current rate of prosecution a "national disgrace."

11:40 a.m. ET - Sessions called for the Department of Justice to increase prosecution of gun violations in America, saying that the number of cases going to court has decreased in the Obama administration.

11:39 a.m. ET - LaPierre, responding to the calls for laws preventing straw purchases, says it's more important to enforce laws already on the books.

11:37 a.m. ET - Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, is pushing for restrictions on straw purchases, saying it's a weakness in the system to allow guns to get in the hands of criminals.

11:31 a.m. ET – A sample of the language on opposite sides of his debate: Gayle Trotter of the Independent Women's Forum describes the AR-15 semi-automatic firearm as the "weapon of choice" for young women to defend themselves, while Sen. Feinstein speaks about "highly technologically efficient weapons which are originally designed to kill people in close combat."

11:30 a.m. ET – Addressing the NRA's proposal to put armed guards in schools, Feinstein asks "What about the malls, what about the movie theaters, what about the businesses?"

"We can't have a totally armed society," she said.

11:25 p.m. ET - Asking a question now is Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who has introduced legislation banning assault weapons. She says the debate is hard "because people have such fixed positions."

11:24 a.m. ET – Senators look out at the witnesses and audience. From left to right, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, committee chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Dianne Feinstein of California, and Chuck Schumer of New York

11:22 a.m. ET - Gayle Trotter is explaining why AR-15s are a preferred gun for women. She says women like them because they're "scary looking," and could intimidate criminals.

Here's an AR-15:

11:15 a.m. ET – Sen. Leahy asks the NRA's LaPierre about extending background checks, which are currently conducted on sales done by federally licensed dealers, but not on sales conducted by other sellers, such as in many auctions or in person-to-person sales. "If you're a dealer that's already a law," LaPierre said.

Leahy was not satisfied by that answer. "Let's not play games here," he said, cutting off LaPierre.

"I do not believe the way the law is now, unfortunately, that it does any good to extend the law to sales between hobbyists and collectors," LaPierre answered. His objections were that the current background check law was not being enforced adequately and "this administration is not processing the people that they catch."

11:11 a.m. ET – Leahy is pressing LaPierre on the NRA's stance on so-called "straw purchases" of guns. That's when a third party buys a firearm for someone who otherwise would be unable to, like a criminal.

LaPierre argues the NRA has always opposed straw purchasers, and has advocated for laws preventing them.

10:08 a.m. ET – Johnson, the Baltimore police chief, is answering a question from Leahy on gun violence in homes, particularly in domestic violence situations. He said a recent law strengthening background checks in Maryland has led to a decrease in domestic violence incidents that involve guns.

11:07 a.m. ET - In his statement Wednesday, LaPierre said that "it's time to throw an immediate blanket of security around our children" after last month's Connecticut school shootings.

11:03 a.m. ET – Last week, LaPierre delivered a spirited rebuttal to Obama's inauguration address at an event in Nevada, saying: "There are only two reasons for that federal list of gun owners – to tax them or take them. And to anyone who says that's excessive, Barack Obama says you're an 'absolutist.' He doesn't understand you. He doesn't agree with the freedoms you cherish. If the only way he can force you to give 'em up is through scorn and ridicule, he's more than willing to do. ... Mister President, just because you wish words meant something other than what they mean, you don't have the right to define them any way you want. Because when words can mean anything, they mean nothing."

11:01 a.m. ET – Wayne LaPierre is the Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Rifle Association, and is one of the organization's most recognizable faces. CNN's Tom Foreman profiled LaPierre this morning.

11:00 a.m. ET – CNN's Kevin Bohn reported today that the NRA's membership has continued to rise following the shooting in Newtown. It's gained about a half million members since then, and now has more than 4.5 millionmembers, spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said.

10:58 a.m. ET - Testifying now is Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the NRA. Read his full testimony (as prepared) here.

10:54 a.m. ET - Gayle Trotter, senior fellow at the Independent Women's Forum, is arguing now that guns are essential for women to protect themselves.

"Guns make women safer," she said. "Most violent offenders actually do not use firearms, which makes guns the great equalizer."

10:53 a.m. ET – Gayle Trotter is a senior fellow with the Independent Women's Forum and is speaking in favour of gun rights. She is also a Washington lawyer, according to her bio from the IWF.

10:50 a.m. ET - Speaking now is James Johnson, the chairman of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence. Johnson is also the policy chief of Baltimore County, Maryland.

He's giving a full-throated endorsement of background checks, which he said work in preventing guns from getting in the hands of criminals.

He also says a high-capacity magazine ban, and an assault weapon ban, must be reinstated. Such legislation is currently working its way through the Senate.

10:48 a.m. ET - Kopel said the only way to prevent gun violence in schools is to provide armed guards to protect children - an endorsement of a plan offered by the National Rifle Association in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown school shooting.

10:44 p.m. ET – Kopel tweeted before the hearing began:

10:40 a.m. ET - Speaking now is David Kopel, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington.

10:37 a.m. ET - Kelly is explaining now how he and Gabby Giffords are also gun owners. "Gabby would never relinquish her gun, and I would never relinquish mine," he said.

Read more about Kelly and Giffords' gun ownership here, from Dana Bash.

10:35 a.m. ET - Mark Kelly, the husband of Gabby Giffords, is delivering his testimony now. He's started by explaining how each of the victims of the Tucson shooting was affected, and by telling how the shooter, Jared Loughner, obtained his weapons.

"Behind every victim lies a matrix of failure...in our society's approach to poverty, violence and mental illness," he said.

10:30 a.m. ET – Sen. Grassley noted the video game played by the suspect in the 2011 Norway mass shooting, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

(CNN) - Norway's alleged mass killer testified on Thursday that he played video games as a way to train for a shooting spree that killed 77 people last summer. In particular, Anders Behring Breivik said at his trial that he played "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" as a means of shooting practice...

10:29 a.m. ET - Grassley is criticizing Obama's recent remarks on gun violence, when the president said “We have the right to worship freely and safely — that right was denied to Sikhs in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The right to assemble peacefully — that right was denied shoppers in Clackamas, Oregon, and moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado.”

Grassley said that reflected a misreading of the Constitution, arguing Obama "turned the Constitution on its head" by saying crime victims were denied their rights.

10:23 a.m. ET - Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican member of the Judiciary Committee, is delivering his opening statement. He said the problem "is greater than guns alone," and that any discussion of stopping violence must include reforms to the mental health system.

He also said a "lack of civility" had grown pervasive in U.S. society, and that children were playing too many violent video games.

10:20 a.m. ET - Constitutional rights to bear arms "are not at risk" in seeking ways to reduce gun violence in America, Leahy explained.

10:18 a.m. ET - Leahy, a Democrat, ponders during his opening statement: "What responsible gun owner objects to the background check program?" He says he himself went through a background check during a gun purchase.

10:16 a.m. ET - Leahy is delivering his opening statement now. He says Americans must "come together in a common cause."

10:15 a.m. ET - Her minute-long statement over, Giffords left the hearing room accompanied by her husband Mark Kelly.

10:13 a.m. ET - Giffords, a shooting victim, urged Congress to "be bold, be courageous" because "Americans are counting on you" to take steps to reduce gun violence.

10:12 a.m. ET - Speaking slowly and deliberately, Giffords offers a plea to the senators: Act now to end gun violence.

"Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. Too many children," she said.

10:11 a.m. ET – Sen. Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is calling the hearing into order now. He's saying that the Capitol Police have been told to remove any person disrupting the session.

10:09 a.m. ET – Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly are arriving now for the hearing. She's wearing a red jacket and glasses, and is hugging and kissing former colleagues as she walks to her chair.

10:06 a.m. ET - How are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee influenced by the NRA and other gun rights groups? The nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation reports that "campaign records show that the NRA and other gun rights organizations have played a role in the campaigns of a majority of the Judiciary Committee's 18 members."

"Eleven out of the 18 members of the committee have enjoyed the support of gun rights groups, whether through direct contributions or independent expenditures in favor of their campaigns, according to Sunlight's Influence Explorer," the Sunlight Foundation report.s

10:05 a.m. ET - Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the NRA, will tell lawmakers that more gun control laws are not the solution, according to prepared testimony provided by the NRA.

"We need to enforce the thousands of gun laws that are currently on the books," he'll say, according to the prepared statement. "Prosecuting criminals who misuse firearms works. Unfortunately, we've seen a dramatic collapse in federal gun prosecutions in recent years."

10:02 a.m. ET – A look at the packed hearing room in the Hart Senate Office Building - one of the most crowded hearings in recent memory.

9:54 a.m. ET - Dana Bash reports on attempts by two Republican senators to bring guns to today's hearing.

Despite their attempts, Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz won't bring firearms to Wednesday's hearing on gun control after an unsuccessful attempt at appealing the security rules on Capitol Hill.

"We have not been able to navigate all the red tape and bureaucracy necessary to bring them into the hearing," Graham's spokesman Kevin Bishop told CNN. Wednesday's event, held in the Hart Senate Office Building, is the first congressional hearing on gun violence since the Connecticut school massacre that left 26 people dead.

9:41 a.m. ET - Before the hearing gets underway, CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash reports on long lines to get into the hearing room.


Filed under: Gabrielle Giffords • Gun rights • NRA
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Anyone with paranoia should NOT be allowed a gun.

    January 30, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. matt

    There will be no so called assault weapons bill passed anytime soon. Background checks, and issues dealing with mental health probably. But no gun ban.
    A gun owners we need to be more responsible, by keeping your guns locked up when not in use, and follow gun owners safety tips found in your gun manual
    Society needs to deal with the social issues that lead to acts of violence, instead of burying your heads in the sand, and acting like a ar15 is the problem with our country
    Fact is the ar15 has been made, sold, traded, handed down, along with spare parts now for 50 years this year
    But it has been used in 3 or 4 shootings. Even though there's about 10.2 million ar15s in the US civilian hands not to mention the millions of other so called assault weapons. You still have a better chance of being killed by just about any other means on a daily basis than getting shot by a so called assault weapon, that includes, auto accidents, j walking, stroke, medical mistakes and so on
    It gets gun owners teal jumpy when they say we got to start somewhere! Implying there's more regulations to come, that's we we don't budge
    Our founders are very clear as what they mean when they wrote the bill of rights, our constitution, and 5 minutes reading some of there papers in the library of Congress will show you. Those papers and there meaning are just as important today as they where back then. And all of our rights should be jealously guarded
    My family, friends and I own ar15s because we choose too. In my case i have 9 years military and law enforcement experience. Its very similar to what I carried then, and I'm very familiar with it. Its small round and adjustable stock make it easy for people like my wife to shoot
    With a 10 round magazine you can hunt with it on most states even though its a smaller cartridge than most hunting rounds. Its great for target practice, home defence, hunting, whatever you want it for its your buisness and right
    If you don't want or like guns its your choice, that's the difference. Nobody in there right mind wants to see anybody killed. Address illegal immigration, drugs, inner city gangs, and enforce the laws that we already have will help
    Not some useless and unenforceable piece of junk legislation that doesn't address the causes, but rather focuses attention and resources on legally owned guns, that are used in less than 1% of gun related acts of violence, including suicides. I dont buy the BS and there agenda they're trying to shove down our throats.

    January 30, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. B100Z

    JCook – and your comment that "Liberals are against that because the majority of criminals who use illegal weapons are their voters" is not extreme to you I'm sure!

    January 30, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. rs

    What the crazies like Wayne LaPierre fail to recongnize, is that either they stand with the majority of AMericans and fix this problem (and as yet what has been proposed is very reasonable and conservative), or they stand for the rights of killer- and from what I hear today, and see from the NRA symps here- they'd rather stand with the killers.

    Maybe they think that's "cool" and "edgey".

    January 30, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Live N LetLive

    The problem is the Anti Gun people do not negotiate honestly. You say you do not want to ban guns. Yet when the Antis are being honest they say they hate all guns.

    If you do not want to ban all guns, put your money where your mouth is. Offer a Constitution Amendment that says the 2nd Amendment confirms a personal fundamental right of self-defense in the citizens of the United States of America secured by a right to keep and bear arms extending to semi-automatic, pump action, lever action, bolt action and any other action that only permits 1 bullet to be discharged for each pull of the trigger whether in a handgun, rifle or shotgun.with a maximum magazine capacity of 20 rounds for handguns, having a maximum barrel lenth of 12", and rifles having a minimum barrel length of 16" and a minimum overall length of 30", and a maximum magazine capacity of 12 rounds for shotguns having a minimum barrell length of 18" and overall minum length of 30", said limits being applicable to firearms manufactured after the effective date of the Amendment following its passage by Congress, signature by the President and Ratification by the 3/4ths of the States.

    Finally, that Amendment should also provide that any public official who knowingly or recklessly infringes or causes the infringement of any right expressly set out in the Constitution shall be immediately removed from office with loss of all pay and benefits and barred for life from holding any other public office.

    The exact language can be negotiated with the NRA.

    January 30, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. carlos

    Time to send some more money to the NRA. Fortunately someone is watching our 6 when the govt. is trying to limit our freedom!

    January 30, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. dave j

    “We are the people”, responsible, taxpaying, law abiding citizens like you, firearm owners, are the people of the US. The root cause of violence is resulting from violent movies, violent video games and the media sensationalizing violence. Video game violence is the major facto and root cause. By the time a person is 21 they probably have seen 21,000 murders on TV and in video games.
    An emotional reaction to a tragedy does not warrant illogical firearms laws in addition to what we already have in place. The bypassing of the bill of rights, the constitution and the defined US governmental process does all of our veterans a disservice.
    The bad and evil people kill people, not guns. Criminals should be incarcerated. The mentally ill receive proper medical attention and treatment. Firearm laws are comprehensive.
    We the people do not want to be punished for the crimes others carryout.

    Please do not “buy into” on the prejudiced, one way spin of the media regarding guns. The AR-15 is a sporting firearm, not an assault weapon with many enjoyable and legal uses. The “AR-15 sportsman riffle” is the most popular rifle, used by thousands of predator hunters, deer hunters, wild boar hunting, big game hunting, target shooting professionals in shooting competitions.
    It is not a scary looking “assault weapon”. Stop demonizing guns.

    Video games have been studied for links to addiction and aggression.

    A police officer cannot be there for us at all times, in all places, to protect us from all criminals. Criminals do not have any rules, timelines or laws that they must follow. The responsible people will have a chance to survive a deadly encounter with criminals by having their firearms to protect ourselves.
    Gun laws are written by people who hate guns; ironically, they are the ones who know the least about guns.
    We the—mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, pastors, law enforcement, mental health professionals, are legal responsible gun owners that ought to be allowed their rights to all legal firearms
    The right of the people to keep and bear arms is an extension of the natural right to self-defense and a hallmark of personal sovereignty, A natural right is an area of individual human behavior — like thought, speech, worship, travel, self-defense, privacy, ownership and use of property, consensual personal intimacy

    We the People

    January 30, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. a so called"gun nut"

    we should ban welfare and food stamps then the libs would starv to death and this problem would be solved. Imagin if the libs actualy had to shoot something to feed themselves. Or even here is a thought mr. president work=money.

    January 30, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. Bob

    Fact. The Newtown wouldn't have been as tragic if the assault weapons ban was still in place. The shooter attempted to buy a gun and was refused (so despite what the NRA says, stricter gun laws DO work). He got the assault rifle from his mother who bought it legally. She was able to buy it because the GOP President and GOP Congress let the ban expire. The idea that NRA mouthpiece put forward that "criminals and the mental ill will always find a way to buy guns" is wrong. The shooter wasn't some Rambo guy buying guns in Mexico. He was a disturbed, spoiled, emo dude who probably would have fled the first time he saw a non-white person. He was not some master criminal. When he couldn't buy a gun at the local store, he got it from his mommy. I'm sorry, but spoiled brats should have a tougher time of acquiring assault rifles than simply going into mommy's closet.

    January 30, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. stevem

    when are we gonna have a law/license for people to have loveable children

    January 30, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  11. Bob

    I love the argument "we need more than 10 shots because sometimes mobs have more than 10 people". Right, A mob of looters will quickly count their numbers and huddle up and say "He's only got 10 rounds and they're 11 of us so at least one of us will live to go steal his wallet. Let's go!" Riiiight. The second the gun is whipped out or the first shot is fired, that mob will scatter like cockroaches. It will be every man for himself. These are still people, not zombies so you don't need a 100 round magazine (which according to the NRA, women keep all the time in their purse).

    January 30, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, is pushing for restrictions on straw purchases, saying it's a weakness in the system to allow guns to get in the hands of criminals.
    ---------------------–
    Hello, "Fast and Furious".

    January 30, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. Chadrock

    Meanwhile, a shooting in a Phoenix business.

    The NRA response is to put armed guards in all businesses.

    January 30, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. me

    Becauuse gun control and bans have worked so very well in Chicago and DC. now you think we should "negotiate" our second amendment rights? you gun control freaks are absolutely nuts!

    January 30, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Mark S Taurman

    I was a victim of a crime here in Louisville, Ky. in 1982, in which I was robbed and shot in the head. One of the people involved in this crime was a convicted felon. He was able to post bail and return to the streets to commit another robbery while I was still undergoing multiple surgeries. Then came the trial, they each wanted to make a plea deal by testifing against each other. Dave Armstrong was the county attorney at the time. When I was told about this I had a meeeting with Mr. Armstrong and informed him that in no way I wanted anypart of a plea agreement. That I would do anything to insure that these men went to prison. I took my chances with the Justice system and ended up with both being convicted of their crimes against me. But thing that upset me the most was that a convicted felon was able to make bail with a second degree murder charge and litany of other charges. Both guns use in the crime were Saturday night specials, a 22cal and a 25cal both revolers.
    Before that, in 1989 while working for Courier Journal and Standard Gravure I had just stepped off the freight elevator when I heard the shots being fired by Joseph Wesbecker entering area 1 of Standard Gravure leaving a trail of dead and injured victims behind him. I was within 30 feet of him. This was a terible act by a very sick man. I knew everone of the victims but his first victim the secretary. But even though this was a active crime scene we still had to continue to work because of some law requiring the daily paper to be printed. They were taking bodies out until late in the night.
    So I have a pretty good idea what a gun in the hand of someone with intentions of doing terrible acts with them. Now with all that being said, I am for certain measures in gun laws that make real since.

    1. Enforce the laws that are already inacted.
    2. Close the loophole in sale of firearm at gun shows and privite indiviuals.
    3. Make owners of guns be held responible for any crime commited with their guns if the weapon was left unsecured.
    4. Any person or persons using a gun in a crime should be charged federally and not by the state. (No parole)
    .

    I'd like to know why do people keep saying that fully automatic are outlawed, they are not, they are just more regulated.

    Also I be open to any other ideas except the outlawing of all these so called assualt type guns and high capicity magazines. This is a feel good thing only and in my opinion this will not stop the carnage that we keep seeing.

    I guess I go against grain being a Democrat. I voted twice for Obama. I'm pro-gun and support a woman's right to do with her body as she see's fit.

    January 30, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. Chuck Ross

    The NRA is no ones side except that it profits them. (Finacially) They don't care about who dies, how fearful our society is (of armed crazies) – They merely want their dollars...They are loving that we are talking about assault weapons bans – record gun and ammo sales. – They want our scools armed to the teeth, more dollars (They profit from every sale you know...)

    the more fear in our minds the more dollars in their pockets...

    January 30, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. a so called"gun nut"

    Most of us who live in rual areas. love our children nurture them. My children all my neighbors children all of there classmates have guns and have been around guns there whole lives my son and daughters have shot elk deer phesants grouse geese cyotes bears we have Ars good for predators and small game excelent for training great for my wife as the recoil is light. most of you city folk do not understand what recoil is. So how is it your are taking from me and my kids a way of life. We need to ban Ca. Ny. Nj. and all of you other wierd liberals who DO NOT know how to raise your worthless children. How come there are no shootings in rural areas?

    January 30, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Bryan

    It would be awesome if they would put Mr. LaPierre in the bleacher seats and address the real issue; the mental health of young white males who are alienated from their peers.

    January 30, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. Bob

    The Senators and NRA shills who keep coming up with some obscure case saying "The laws didn't catch this one case, so we should get rid of the law!" are just morons. Unless the law made the situation WORSE, you should not get rid of the law but rather fix the loopholes in the existing law. If there's a hole in your roof, you don't say "The roof didn't protect this one spot, so let's get rid of the whole roof!". You fix the hole!

    January 30, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. williamburns

    does anyone else see something wrong with a mentally disabled permanently traumatized woman advocating for gun laws?

    January 30, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. GuestAgain

    Save freedom, save liberty, save a baby, religion, a dollar, and a bullet....VOTE OUT A DEMOCRAT!

    January 30, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. stevem

    newtown was fake the president didnt even go to visit it and he goes visit hurricanes because thats a real problem

    January 30, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  23. Regina

    Save the children... save the children....... but let's support "Pro-Choice." Talking out of both sides of your mouth senator.

    January 30, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  24. Evelyn Connaway

    I know, you can't fix stupid, but Sen. Grassley seemed to be more worried about the constitution and President Obama using his executive powers and taking away people's rights, than he was about the real problem of the American people, who the polls show agree with an over whelming percentage to want the 'gun control' that is being put forth. Which makes their wishes the "MAJORITY OF AMERICANS". The last poll I saw was 71% – so 29% is not a ruling number! So if the majority of we the citizens can't overrule the gun nuts – of which are mostly republicans being paid by the lobbyist of NRA and gun manufacturers! For some unknown reason many seem to think gun control means "the government wants to take our guns away from us! Which is not the case, but ignorance is an unlimited natural resource in the USA.

    The NRA, a non-profit organization!? Like the Chamber of Commerce and many others? Not so, they are a bunch of money making entities – who use their status for power, corruption, greed and control to invade the workings of our government, with the help of many politician's! The same with other corporations – who really aren't people no matter what the stupid Supreme Court Justices put forth. So, WE THE PEOPLE, who want real gun control stick to your "GUNS" and see that the people you elected to represent you, do your bidding instead of the NRA's bidding – we didn't elect the NRA!

    January 30, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. what does NRA not understand about a "WELL REGULATED " militia?

    The 2nd amendment gives us the right to bear arms as part of a "well regulated militia ". Clearly the founding fathers intended for the government to be the regulator of the militia they were creating (not the NRA) so if the gov. deems AK 47s not necessary equipment fot their militia then the 2nd amendment gives the right/responsibility to the gov to ban that firearm.

    January 30, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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