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Should Assault Weapons be Banned? (Poll)

In light of the mass shooting in Colorado, do you think the federal Assault Weapons Ban should be reinstated?

Rep. Adam Schiff said in a statement Tuesday that an Assault Weapons Ban should be reinstated in light of the Colorado shooting where suspect James Holmes allegedly shot 71 people within 90 seconds using an assault rifle.

Schiff is one of the few Democrats who has spoken out on guns after the tragedy. 

The federal Assault Weapons Ban, which prohibited the manufacturing of 19 types of semiautomatic firearms for civilian use, expired after a decade in 2004, driving up sales at some gun shops. (In his 2000 presidential campaign, President George W. Bush said he would sign an extension of the ban, according to USA Today, but did not urge Congress to send him a bill aimed at banning certain assault weapons. Congressional Republicans, who controled the house, never sent the president such a bill.)

Should we bring it back? 

Here's what Schiff has to say: 

“I was deeply saddened by the tragic and senseless shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater. Our priority must be aiding and comforting the victims and their families. I also believe we should take this moment to examine our laws and determine how we can prevent horrendous acts like this one in the future. We will never be able to stop all senseless acts of violence—there will always be those, who, for reasons unfathomable to us all, decide to take the lives of innocent people around them. But there are some common sense steps we can take to make these types of shootings more rare and less destructive.

"First, my colleague Senator Feinstein led the charge almost 20 years ago to pass the Assault Weapons Ban, but it has since been allowed to expire. It is past time to put that law, which would have outlawed the type of gun used by the shooter, back in place. Second, we should pass the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act sponsored by Congresswoman McCarthy, which would prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines that can hold more than ten rounds at a time. The ability to fire 30 or even 100 shots without reloading increases the destructive capacity of shooters while serving no legitimate purpose. Third, we must also examine legislation to close the gun show loopholes and crack down on straw purchasing, both of which help divert guns out of legal channels and into black markets where they are easily obtained by criminals and the mentally ill.

“I realize, of course, these steps will not stop all mass killings, or even all mass shootings. As the governor of Colorado pointed out, if this killer didn't have access to the weapons and ammunition he used, he might have built a bomb instead. But it is also true that we do not need to make such killing easy, and I do not believe that anything in the Second Amendment, or any desire to hunt or for self-protection requires ready access to assault weapons with extended ammunition clips."

Take our poll, and let us know your thoughts in comments below. 

Nelson R Grande II July 25, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Only if they are banned from government agencies as well.
General Bravo July 25, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Guns don't kill people, people do. Spoons don't make you fat, and your car can't drunk drive, either.
General Bravo July 25, 2012 at 09:45 PM
no one, including gun proponents will tell you that 100 round clips are needed. That's a NON issue. The problem with the original ban is; the only criteria they used to ban any weapons was HOW THEY LOOKED. There can be NO argument to that. Simple reasoning will tell you. A .30 cal rifle with a clip and a wooden stock and grip can shoot just as fast and the same loads as one where the wood has been replaced by black plastic and some rails installed for attaching a scope, for instance. The ONLY difference in the guns that were banned and the ones that we NOT, is the way they look. It's a stupid argument. Furthermore, there is no information to support the opponents' reasoning that crime rates go down if guns are banned. It's just the opposite. check out Wash DC, Florida and Chicago violent crime rates after they instilled bans on weapons. If you've been drinking the kool aid, you are in for a surprise.
Marcus July 26, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Guns do kill people. Their primary design is to kill. Spoons are meant to deliver food to the mouth. Not kill. Cars are designed to transport people. Not kill. I'm sure there will be an argument that cars do kill, and maybe even cases where spoons have been used to kill as well - but really, lets be straight here - guns do kill.
ERHS Dad July 26, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Stupid people with guns kills people!!! I think the opposite. We should allow people to walk around armed so that we have a better chance against all these thugs shooting innocent kids in the area. Yesterday 7/24/12 at about 4 there was another shooting off of York!!! Yet the Patch seems to have not found it interesting enough have to let the community know. We would purchase the guns legaly as we are suppose to and have a background done. THese thugs by guns off of other thugs!!! it's so sensless to waste time on an article like this and not focus on more disturbing issues in the community!!!
Marcus July 26, 2012 at 02:07 AM
"Stupid people with guns kill people!!!" Of course - and one reason why we should restrict access to very powerful guns and continue to do background checks on whoever is buying them. Local shootings are very worrying, but arming the average citizen is not the answer. I don't believe it makes for a safer society when everyone is packing a Glock when they go to the local grocery store. And if you see someone being shot at in the street, are you really going to go to their aid? Really? Having a gun in the street will not stop that situation. it might protect you and your family, but it won't stop gun play in the street.
Tim Ryder July 26, 2012 at 08:43 AM
According to the American Constitution, the federal government is supposed to be restricted to certain enumerated powers. We may want to read that document sometime to refresh our memory.
preemero July 26, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Since it seem mostly mentally unstable people are the cause of the problem maybe a new test should be implemented at the time before a gun purchase. I am pro gun and trying to eliminate a type of gun doesn't make sense because of the millions that are out there now. All that would do is make a criminal out of all people that bought that type of gun legally. I know I would hate to give up something I paid thousands of dollars for nothing in return from our govt.
Paul Jacques July 26, 2012 at 04:56 PM
One of the primary criteria for an "assault weapon" is the ability to have selective fire. This means you can choose between manual fire (one round shot each time you pull the trigger) and automatic or burst fire (the weapon shoots repeatedly as long as the trigger is depressed). Selective fire, i/e. automatic weapons (machine guns) are already banned and it is a federal offense to possess them. An M-16 is an assault weapon, an AR-15 is the non-assault, legal equivalent. In California, they go even farther with the restriction and require AR-15 to have a fixed magazine, thus eliminating the ability to attach a high-capacity magazine. What the media refer to as "assault weapons" are actually just menacing looking rifles. As a gun owner and avid shooter I strongly support the need to have much higher standards for gun ownership. It should be similar to getting a driver's license. A prospective gun owner should be required to take a fairly-priced hands-in training class and demonstrate his or her practical ability to safely load, shoot, unload and store a firearm in the presence of a qualified, certified instructor. Once that test has been passed (along with a thorough background check) then they should be able to purchase any legal gun they want.
Marcus July 26, 2012 at 05:26 PM
As someone who understands that we have a history of gun ownership in United States, I still do not support wholesale freedom to own and use guns. I understand the need to go hunting or skeet shooting, and the need to have a gun in the home for protection, but anything more than that I have to disagree. But I know there are a lot of responsible gun owners out there and I would say that a compromise like Paul Jacques suggested might be something I'd support. Isn't it interesting that States that want Voter I.D for Elections, fail to request the same measures for gun ownership?
David Pruitt July 26, 2012 at 06:27 PM
All automatic weapons should be banned.
Paul Jacques July 26, 2012 at 06:48 PM
They are banned. The Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA) enacted May 19, 1986 banned civilian ownership of automatic weapons. It is a federal crime.
Josh Ebrahimi July 26, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Actually, the origination of guns were to save lives, hundreds and hundreds of years ago, a Chinese emperor was trying to make an elixir that would make people live for ever, because back then that was a reality for people, and he lit his mix of chemicals on fire and it blew up, and then they used that to design things like fire works. And then they designed things like cannons solely from experimentation, which then led to smaller versions like the Chinese hand cannon, most of these were designed for celebration not as war weapons, but later on they decided they could be used as war weapons. Guns kill, Cars can kill to, the average amount of deaths by car every year in 2010 was 33,000 people, the average amount of deaths by firearms was 18 people. So sure, some models are designed for self defense, which does mean stopping a threat, but it does no mean murdering rampages, it just means stopping a threat weather its a guy with a knife robbing you or a rapist. So cars weren't designed to kill, but they kill way more then guns do and according to you all guns were designed to kill, which is false.
Mr. jepg July 26, 2012 at 11:44 PM
so in what state can you buy a gun without an ID?
Mr. jepg July 26, 2012 at 11:46 PM
wow! you scare me more then all the guns in the USA. you know nothing about this topic and yet you spout off.
Mr. jepg July 26, 2012 at 11:48 PM
agree 100% and thank you for educating the community.
John Wayne's Honda July 27, 2012 at 06:23 PM
As a NRA member and avid shooter I tend to agree with you. I also strongly feel that getting a drivers licence is far too easy. On average in 2009, 93 people were killed on the roadways of the U.S. each day (taken from the interweb could be more or less). So that is 32,885 for 2010, which has gone down since the 60's most likely to safety messures. We have spent more on legislating safety in vehicles than we have spent in the education and training of the person operatating the vehicle. More than the amount of firearm deaths per year. The Handgun Safety Cert should include a practical demo with a live fire exercise. That does not infringe on anyones rights and it shows that their heads are not full of a box of rocks.
nonoise July 28, 2012 at 09:13 PM
I would feel a lot safer if good citizens were around to protect the public and not just police officers.
Marcus July 29, 2012 at 06:09 AM
I would feel safer if we keep the job of policing to the professionals. And by that, I mean LAPD, not my neighbor who just bought a gun and thinks he is a good citizen.

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