Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) said on Tuesday that America’s problem isn’t that there are more madmen, it’s that guns are too readily available to them. In the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and the murder of six others in a mass shooting over the weekend is pushing legislation to ban high-capacity gun clips.
Lautenberg said it was outrageous that there hasn’t been a positive response to the shooting and said that if alleged gunman Jared Lee Loughner didn’t have access to high-capacity magazines, he likely wouldn’t have been able to inflict so much additional damage.
“We’ve got to do something about these large clips,” Lautenberg said on MSNBC. “They were banned until 2004. And then because the bill died altogether on automatic weapons, that lapsed. And here we might have done much better than we did in terms of protecting people if the number of cartridges had been limited.”
Pressed by MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer on whether a ban on expanded clips would really have limited the carnage in Tucson, Lautenberg said that the the high-capacity clip “permitted this mad man to hit so many people in such a short period of time,” and that the proliferation of guns was something that needs attention.
“But the fact of the matter is, when we look at the number of murders in the United States in 2009, we had 9,500 people murdered. When we look around the world, we see large companies, large countries, the UK, Germany, Japan had 200 or less killed in a year. And we’re at 9,500,” Lautenberg said. “There has got to be a reason for that. We don’t have more madmen, we have more guns.”
But gun control supporters, as TPM reported, aren’t sure the Obama administration or Democrats will push for more regulation. And in Arizona, both Republicans and Democrats told Evan McMorris-Santoro more gun control is a non-starter.
Here’s Lautenberg on MSNBC:
Here’s a video posted on YouTube of a individual shooting a Glock 19 with a 33-round high-capacity clip like the shooter allegedly used.