Assault-weapons hearing opens with solemn reference to Newtown victims

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s hearing on the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 opened solemnly, before a packed  hearing room, many of the observers gun-violence victims and law-enforcement personnel from gun-tragedy locations.

Feinstein, flanked by a photo of the 26 Newtown victims, opened with a pointed reference to Newtown and the growing number of mass-casualty events over the past decade.

While Feinstein’s tone was dispassionate, her words about the urgent need for an assault weapons ban were certainly emphatic: “It is clear we need a national solution,” she said. She showed a SlideFire Solutions Inc. promotional video of their product, which turns a semiautomatic rifle into a near-machine gun. And she stressed that a ban on high-capacity magazines was a “crucial” part of the bill.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking minority member of the committee, offered his condolences to the families of Newtown victims, but said “I happen to have a different view” about the assault weapons bill. He advocated improving the NICS database of non qualified shooters and mental-health services nationwide, but said he thought the AWB would be ineffective.

The first panel of witnesses, United States Attorney John Walsh of Colorado and Edward Flynn, Milwaukee police chief, spoke forcefully in support of limiting the access to assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Walsh said he hoped he would “never have another predawn phone call” like the one he got about the Aurora tragedy, and he said that while the Justice Department has not taken any position on the ban, it “strongly supports the goals” and “is confident that both the assault-weapons ban and the ban on high-capacity magazines” can be implemented constitutionally.

Flynn said America’s cities are experiencing “slow-motion mass murder every single year.”

“It’s time for Congress to pick a side,” Flynn said. “This time, I hope it’s the side of law enforcement.”

“A slow-motion mass murder every single year.

Categories: General
David McCumber, Washington Bureau Chief

3 Responses

  1. kim says:

    I cant believe how the law enforcement witnesses lie. They are trained to lie and commit perjury so why am I surprised.They testified about shootings in their cities but failed to talk about what types of people and what type of weapons are causing the murders.

  2. Clint Eastwood says:

    This debate will go on forever with no common ground in the future. To say that by banning AR-15’s and the like (assault weapons are already banned), it will save America. What it will do is prevent (or help prevent) LAW ABIDING citizens from committing a massacre. I’m sure the felons can care less what laws you pass. This country is responsible for masacres daily in Mexico and the border (how soon we forget Fast n Furious Op. This is the same country willing to arm the Syrians but disarm the Americans. I don’t get it. I have nothing but respect for Dr Begg, for I see what he sees literally. It doesn’t change my stance on what I own legally. How bout locking the criminals up for REAL time. This tragedy happened a few miles from a former state facility….Fairfield Hills. Oh yeah….these same legislators that want to pacify the country and local public are the same ones that shut Fairfield Hills down.

  3. thevor says:

    There is an old saying in sales. Sell what you have. And the only thing these anti 2 amendment people have is to exploit the emotions of the Newtown tragedy.