During his 2008 campaign, Barack Obama supported the reinstatement of a federal law banning assault weapons; however, he has largely avoided the issue of gun control during his first term. The White House said this previous weekend that he supports the reinstatement of this law. Presidential spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that "It does remain a commitment of his" to support/enact legislation banning assault rifles. Although the president didn't directly address the issue in his televised statement about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, he did say that something had to be done: "We're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics." The Newtown police reported that they recovered three different guns from the crime scene: a semiautomatic .223-caliber rifle made by Bushmaster, a Glock and a Sig Sauer (both handguns). There are many politicians who are seeking a strong federal response from President Obama, including Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York: ""We cannot simply accept this as a routine product of modern American life. If now is not the time to have a serious discussion about gun control and the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our society, I don't know when is." In 1994, Congress approved a ban on assault weapons; however, the prohibition, which expired in 2004, did not eliminate them but rather restricted many of their features and attachments. Some of these restrictions included limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds and regulating pistol grips, bayonet attachments, as well as flash suppressors. For many years, surveys have indicated that gun rights generally are divided among the American people; however, after the tragic Colorado massacre this year in Aurora, Colorado, surveys indicated that 76% of those surveyed believed "there should be some restrictions on owing guns." In my opinion, I believe that the right to own guns should continued to be protected by the 2nd Amendment, and I do support the often hackneyed statement that "Guns don't kill people, people kill people;" however, I do agree with the president and others who say that there should be a ban on assault weapons. I don't see any reason why an average American would need a weapon capable of doing the damage that these weapons can do. Although a pistol is still capable of killing many people, it has nowhere near the capability of absolutely annihilating people and causing such an enormous amount of carnage as an assault rifle does. 

2/5/2013 10:28:43 pm

One of the tricky things is what they will define as an assault weapon. Remember, almost all mainstream semi-automatic pistols hold at least 8 or 9 rounds. In the case of 9mm handguns, it is usually 15. The Ruger 10/22 is a little pea shooter, probably the farthest thing from an assault rifle, but there are magazines available for it that hold 25 rounds.Magazine capacity and rate of fire will play pivotal a role in this definition and could negatively affect the entire gun industry if the legislature is not careful in their description of an assault weapon.


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