Democrats Vow Action on Gun Control

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 16 2012 2:59 PM

Democrats Say Sandy Hook Massacre Should Be Wake-Up Call for Gun Control

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein vowed to introduce a bill re-instating a ban on assault weapons in January

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Several Democrats took to the Sunday talk shows to say it was time for a new push to increase regulation on guns after the deadly Connecticut school shooting. Sen. Dianne Feinstein vowed to introduce a bill to ban assault weapons, saying it would give President Obama legislation “to lead on” in the renewed debate on gun control, reports CNN. Feinstein, who wrote the assault-weapons ban that lapsed in 2004, said she would introduce the bill when Congress reconvenes in January and that similar legislation would be proposed in the House of Representatives. On CBS News, Sen. Chuck Schumer said that while the left needs to "admit there is a Second Amendment right to bear arms" the right needs to accept that "no amendment is absolute." He outlined three things Congress can do to at least try to mitigate gun violence: reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, a limit to the size of clips “to maybe no more than 10 bullets per clip,” and making it more difficult for mentally unstable people to obtain guns. "We could be at a tipping point ... where we might actually get something done," Schumer said.

Others weren’t so specific in their demands, merely saying it was time to restart the conversation on an issue that has been dormant for too long. Sen. Dick Durbin, the Senate Majority Whip, said the chamber would hold hearings on gun control. “We need to sit down and have a quiet and calm conversation on the Second Amendment,” he told Fox News. “Why would anyone, even Nancy Lanza, need a military assault weapon?” Durbin asked. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a strong gun-control advocate, didn’t hesitate to put pressure on President Obama, saying he will have to make the issue a priority if he wants to get any laws enacted, reports Reuters. "It's time for the president, I think, to stand up and lead and tell this country what we should do—not go to Congress and say, 'What do you guys want to do?' This should be his number one agenda," Bloomberg said on NBC.

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Watch clips from the Sunday shows after the jump:

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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