Tags: Gun Control | Gun Rights | Las Vegas Shooting | mark kelly | las vegas shooting | gun control | solution

Mark Kelly: 'Ridiculous' to Think Gun Violence Has no Solution

(CNN)

Monday, 09 Oct 2017 08:24 AM

It is "ridiculous" to believe that there is nothing that can be done about gun violence in the United States, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, whose wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords, survived a mass shooting in Arizona in 2011, said on Monday.

"Thirty-three thousand Americans dying every single year from gun violence is completely unacceptable," Kelly told CNN's "New Day" program, while commenting on the deadly shootings in Las Vegas that occurred a week ago Sunday. "We're a country of laws. The laws matter. We do know that in states that have stronger gun laws, we have less people that die from gun violence, so I don't buy into the notion that this is just the way it has to be."

The gun lobby and some members of Congress, however, "would like people to think that this is a normal situation," Kelly added.

Kelly, who with Giffords founded Americans for Responsible Solutions after her shooting, told CNN on Monday that following the shootings that left 58 people dead and more than 500 injured in Las Vegas, he's not surprised by the talk he's hearing from members of Congress.

"I didn't think the conversation would be that much different," Kelly said. "I mean, whether it's 20 first-graders and kindergartners killed in their classroom at Sandy Hook or what happened in Orlando just last year, we have these absurd mass shootings time and time again. Often Congress wants to do nothing about it."

On Sunday, National Rifle Association's CEO Wayne LaPierre called on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to "do its job" when it comes to bump stocks, the device used by Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, to give his semi-automatic weapons the firing power of automatic ones, but said the NRA does not want a law against the devices.

However, Kelly said he is the "eternal optimist" on the matter.

"I think when the National Rifle Association and Republican members of Congress acknowledge that our laws do matter, it is a step in the right direction, so I was happy to hear that Wayne LaPierre said this is something that should be looked at," Kelly said. "I personally think this is the time for congress to legislate here, whether it's the bump stock provision or background checks to keep guns out of the hands of people who are criminals and domestic abusers and suspected terrorists."

There is a great deal that could be done to reduce gun violence without restricting the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, Kelly continued.

"I am a gun owner," he said. "I imagine [House Majority Whip] Steve Scalise is a gun owner. We can do this and just focus on the criminals and the folks that really should not be accumulating firearms out there."

Scalise, R-Louisiana, who was critically wounded in a shooting attack last June — argued against more gun control Sunday, insisting that the problem is with lawbreakers, not with too many weapons.

Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said over the weekend that no laws could have stopped the Las Vegas shooting, but Kelly said he does not agree.

"Imagine if the bump stock was illegal, if he wasn't able to acquire these things en masse, it would have been more difficult to kill in excess of 50 people and shoot hundreds more in that short period of time," Kelly said. "In addition to that, currently under federal law, if somebody buys more than one handgun in five days, the ATF gets notified. That is not true for an AR-15, a semiautomatic assault rifle. What if it was? What if inside a month he was buying in excess of 10 guns, dozens of guns. They would have been notified. And they would have visited him at his home. Maybe that would have deterred him."

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It is "ridiculous" to believe that there is nothing that can be done about gun violence in the United States, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, whose wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords, survived a mass shooting in Arizona in 2011, said on Monday.
mark kelly, las vegas shooting, gun control, solution
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2017-24-09
Monday, 09 Oct 2017 08:24 AM
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