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US Congress readies new gun control bill in wake of Arizona massacre


Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, pounced on the shooting massacre in Tucson.

One of the fiercest gun-control advocates in Congress, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), pounced on the shooting massacre in Tucson Sunday, promising to introduce legislation as soon as Monday targeting the high-capacity ammunition the gunman used.

McCarthy ran for Congress after her husband was gunned down and her son seriously injured in a shooting in 1993 on a Long Island commuter train.

“My staff is working on looking at the different legislation fixes that we might be able to do and we might be able to introduce as early as tomorrow,” McCarthy told POLITICO in a Sunday afternoon phone interview.

Gun control activists cried it was time to reform weapons laws in the United States, almost immediately after a gunman killed six and injured 14 more, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in Arizona on Saturday.

Many said that people with a history of mental instability, like the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, should not be able to buy a gun — and no one should be able to buy stockpiles of ammunition used by the 22-year-old assailant.

McCarthy said she plans to confer with House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to see “if we can work something through” in the coming week.

McCarthy’s spokesman confirmed the legislation will target the high-capacity ammunition clips the Arizona gunman allegedly used in the shooting, but neither he or the congresswoman offered any further details.

“Again, we need to look at how this is going to work, to protect people, certainly citizens, and we have to look at what I can pass,” McCarthy said. “I don’t want to give the NRA – excuse the pun – the ammunition to come at me either.”

Pennsylvania Rep. Robert Brady, a Democrat from Philadelphia, told CNN that he also plans to take legislative action. He will introduce a bill that would make it a crime for anyone to use language or symbols that could be seen as threatening or violent against a federal official, including a member of Congress.

Another vocal supporter for gun control, Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley, told POLITICO that he hopes “something good” can come from the Arizona tragedy – perhaps discussion on a new assault weapon ban, sales at gun shows and tracing measures.

Loughner legally purchased his weapon – a Glock 19 with an extended magazine – from an Arizona store. The same kind of extended magazine was illegal under the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

“The ability to buy a weapon that fires hundreds of bullets in less than a minute,” said Quigley. “He had an additional magazine capability. That’s not what a hunter needs. That’s not what someone needs to defend their home. That’s what you use to hunt people.”

After the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, in which a student with a history of psychological problems killed 33 and injured 25 others, lawmakers immediately started looking at gun control reforms both in the state and atthe federal level.

Then-Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine issued an executive order making it harder for people who have been committed to mental health treatment centers to buy a gun.

In 2008 President George W. Bush signed a law expanding the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which registered gun dealers use, to include more comprehensive reporting of mental health records. Under the current law, it is illegal for anyone who has been “adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution” to purchase a firearm, according to the FBI’s website.

However, Loughner did not fall into either of those categories, according to Josh Horwitz, the executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

“I’ve seen no evidence that he falls into those categories. It’s the same thing as this guy at Virginia Tech,” said Horwitz. “We can do a much better job checking people’s mental health background.”

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9 Responses to " US Congress readies new gun control bill in wake of Arizona massacre "

  1. charles harper United States says:

    We still do not need new laws just enforce the ones we have! the more laws there are the more loopholes are found in them. the gun did not pull it’s owen triger, a person did!

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  2. True Patriot United States says:

    :-x McCarthy is a Communist Marxist who should be in jail, not in office. She is a thug who shamefully used her husband’s death to get sympathy votes.

    She could care less about the shooting or any shootings.This is an excuse to take up guns, caused by Obama.

    McCarthy, Sarah Brody, and Obama should all be in jail.

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  3. Steven United States says:

    22,000 unconstitutional laws on the books now, and that idiot McCarthy thinks one more is going to stop crime…what a dope.

    Why doesn’t she spend all her energy trying to stop the 50,000 deaths every year from car crashes in this country every year? She should want “Car control”.

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  4. shaft United States says:

    I,m not giing up none of my constitutional rights because of some criminal!

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  5. BDWilson United States says:

    Ah, yes, the sedition lobby in Congress is still with us. Of course, there is now a major hurdle to gaining new ground in the Obama regime’s push for more control of the people; the new GOP House of Representatives. There are a lot more Constitutional literalists there now than ever before, thanks to the very people the media tried to pin this shooting spree on – namely, Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement. That’s what Obama and his media lap-dogs hate the most, and so try to personally vilify them. This time, though, it all backfired.
    The Supreme Court has ruled what we already knew; that the people have an individual right to keep and bear arms. It is no one’s business – least of all McCarthy’s – to tell anyone what they “need”. That is an individual decision. If a person believes that they need to have ammunition saved “for a rainy day” or that they desire to have a twenty-round magazine in their Sig-Sauer for protection from home invasion, then no Congress, and certainly no individual, has the right to deny that person their essential self-protection.

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  6. Todd United States says:

    McCarthy sued the firearms manufacturer that made the gun that the gunman had shot her husband with.

    She made oodles of money, OODLES from that lawsuit.

    Did she sue the gunman which she could of done?
    NOPE

    Why?
    No money gained in suing a gunman in the prison system.

    McCarthy wants gun control to preserve life and safety for everyone?
    NOPE

    Gun Control much like everything else here in the U.S. is all about money and the love of money.

    Sad fact in America everyone should think about. Voters are pawns in the game of corrupt politics.

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  7. David United States says:

    The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again while expecting a different outcome each time.
    Do these idiots truly believe that “banning” certain magazinesor types of firearms will in any way deter criminals? When will they get it through their thick skulls that it is the people, not the tools, which cause incidents such as Tuscon? Access only matters for the law-abiding. The criminal can get whatever he/she wants to do a dirty job, regardless of any law.
    Remember, folks; gun control is not about guns, but about control.

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  8. The Magic M Germany says:

    > The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again while expecting a different outcome each time.

    Unless we’re talking about non-deterministic systems, of course. ;)

    > The criminal can get whatever he/she wants to do a dirty job, regardless of any law.

    Right. But not every lone wolf shooter is a criminal by that definition. And coming from a country with very strict gun control (where such shootings also take place every few years) I would think that it is much easier for the average person to “snap and go on a killing spree” if gun access is easy – in Germany, the average Joe cannot just grab his gun and start shooting people.

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  9. progun United States says:

    These nitwits in congress and obama the doj should be put in prison.Or they should be charged with treason and hung.They are thugs and criminals.Let god sort-em out.

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