Democrat lawmakers’ gun control pleas falling on deaf ears
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-New York, argues for stricter gun control, July 24, 2012.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A moment of silence on the House floor honoring the Theater Shooting Tuesday was followed by a renewed promise by some Democrats to push for what they call “common sense gun control legislation.”
That push may be falling on deaf ears, despite passionate, personal and timely pleas from lawmakers like Colorado Rep. Diana Degette.
“I would just pose this question,” Degette said. “How many more moments of silence do we have to have? How many vigils and prayer services do we have to have?”
House and Senate Democrats are now focusing on banning high capacity magazines.
“This has nothing to do with second amendment rights,” Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-New York, said of the push. “These (magazines) were made for military and for police. These items were made to kill as many people as possible in the shortest period of time.”
Republicans argue stricter gun control laws won’t prevent tragedies like the Aurora theater shooting, which left 12 dead and 58 injured. Democrats know that particular rallying cry is currently ringing out loud and clear.
“I think the widespread assumption is somebody who is that unbalanced will find some way to do harm,” frustrated Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said. “We see what’s in the (Republican-controlled) House and we see the power of the NRA around here.”
But what do the presidential candidates think? Neither has issued a response. Presidential spokesman Jay Carney recently issued this statement:
“The President believes we need to take common sense measurs that protect the Second Amendment rights of Americans while ensuring that those who should not have guns under existing laws do not get them.”
Mitt Romney’s campaign has steered clear of the issue altogether. As Governor of Massachusettes, Romney banned some assault weapon sales but eased other gun sales.
The politics of gun policy remained exactly the same at the end of the day – a non-starter. Top Democratic leaders like Senate majority leader Harry Reid know that — so much so that they’ve avoided some pointed questions on the issue.
“I’m not going to be debating magazine size or anything like that,” Reid said. “I’m not interested in doing that at this time.”
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