Dem Sen Blumenthal: ‘There May Be No Specific Law’ That Would Have Stopped OR Shooting

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) stated, “There may be no specific law” that would have prevented the shooting in Oregon on Friday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”

Blumenthal was asked, “can you point to a law, or a proposed law that might have prevented the massacre in Roseburg, Oregon?”

He answered, “There may be no specific law that would have prevented that killing, but we’re still awaiting facts about how the gun was obtained, and what the signs of danger were in this individual. But the common ground here is, to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. For example, in Charleston, South Carolina, the shooter there was able to obtain a weapon because he made use of a gap in the law, a loophole that permits gun dealers to sell weapons after 72 hours even if a background check is not complete. Closing that loophole would seem to be common ground. No background check, no gun, if it’s a federally licensed dealer. And of course, more universal background checks for gun show sales, or Internet sales would seem to be common ground. Bringing together red and blue states or localities, and east and west, all parts of the country, because I think the vast majority of Americans want to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, and our effort now is to ignite and activate that vast majority, so that they can be heard and heeded in Washington, DC.”

Blumenthal was further asked, “what do you say to gun rights advocates who say that person, anybody who intends to commit a crime with a gun, or commit a horrific act of violence as happened in Charleston, that they’re going to find a gun anyway, that what you’re proposing would just keep guns out of the hands of people who are law-abiding. What would your response be?”

He responded, “I know from my own experience as a prosecutor, I was a United States attorney in Connecticut, the federal prosecutor for four-and-a-half years, and then attorney general for 20 years. No law is perfect. It depends on vigorous, strong enforcement, and no law is perfect. No law is a panacea, or a single solution. But we know, from experience, in states that have laws that enforce background checks, and countries that have laws that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people that the crime rates are lower that result in homicides. We know that the presence of a gun in a home where there’s domestic violence makes it five times more likely that a woman will be killed, that suicides are more common when guns are involved, and that the confrontation in Arizona, just to take today’s news, was made more deadly by the presence of a gun. So, what I would say is, that no single law is a panacea, but those laws to enable law-abiding gun owners, they have a right to those guns, to continue to have them, can also help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.”

Blumenthal was also asked about putting armed guards on campuses, to which he said, “There are armed guards on a lot of campuses, and in fact, in a lot of high schools, in Connecticut and elsewhere, there are security forces. Again, no single solution is a panacea. We need to regard this problem as we would any epidemic or contagious disease, the flu, tuberculosis, Ebola, and ignite and activate alarm among average Americans, who know that something has to be done. So, better security at schools was part of the package that we offered back in 2013. It got…55 votes, not the 60 that was necessary, along with other common sense sensible measures, a ban on illegal trafficking and straw purchases, and of course background checks.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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