Cries for Gun Control After Shootings Yield Few Policy Changes

Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney: "I still believe that the Second Amendment is the right course to preserve and defend and don't believe that new laws are going to make a difference in this type of tragedy." (Source, CNBC, 07/23/2012)

President Obama: "We have to enforce the laws we've already got, make sure that we're keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, those who are mentally ill. We've done a much better job in terms of background checks, but we've got more to do when it comes to enforcement.

"But I also share your belief that weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets. And so what I'm trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence." (Source: Debate Transcript, 10/16/2012)

National Rifle Association: "The future of your Second Amendment rights will be at stake … And nothing less than the future of our country and our freedom will be at stake." (Source, Bloomberg News, 08/07/2012)

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence: "Congress has done nothing since the mid-1990s to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. We pledge to keep fighting the NRA and entire gun lobby in an effort to strengthen our background checks to include all firearm purchases, ban assault clips with large magazines that enable mass killers, and to make it more difficult to obtain concealed carry permits … We can win this fight, with your voices and your action." (Source: Statement, 07/21/2012)


Six were killed and 13 others were wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona), who suffered a non-fatal gunshot wound to the head. Jared Lee Loughner, whom doctors say suffers from schizophrenia, was sentenced to life in prison for the mass shooting. The response:

President Obama: "I know that every time we try to talk about guns, it can reinforce stark divides. People shout at one another, which makes it impossible to listen. We mire ourselves in stalemate, which makes it impossible to get to where we need to go as a country. However, I believe that if common sense prevails, we can get beyond wedge issues and stale political debates to find a sensible, intelligent way to make the United States of America a safer, stronger place." (Source: Arizona Daily Star, 03/13/2011)

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-New York) on "Fire Sale Loophole" legislation: "After this weekend's tragedy, it's clear that Congress must close troubling loopholes in federal gun control laws that let firearms fall into the hands of convicted felons, fugitives, domestic violence perpetrators and severely emotionally disturbed individuals. Every gun sold should require a background check, period." (Source: Raw Story, 01/13/2011)

Brad Dayspring, then-spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on a bill banning people from carrying guns within 1,000 feet of a federal official: "The proposal wouldn't have prevented this tragedy, or other mentally unstable individuals or criminals from committing horrific acts." (Source: New York Daily News, 01/12/2011)

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