U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette put her foot in her mouth more than once at a public forum in Colorado on Tuesday, first by mocking a senior citizen and then by making an erroneous statement about high-capacity magazines.
DeGette, a Democrat from Colorado, made a snarky remark to one Denver pro-gun senior citizen who expressed his fears about how gun control will affect his ability to defend himself.
"My question is: What about me?" the man asked DeGette. "There may not be one bad guy that comes into my house… I have to change magazines? I am a serious disadvantage."
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"The good news for you, you live in Denver. The [Denver Police Department] would be there within minutes," DeGette said after smirking at the question. "You'd probably be dead anyway if they had that kind of firepower."
DeGette, who has long been a lead sponsor on a federal ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines, also appeared not to understand how guns work at the forum, hosted by the Denver Post's editorial board. The congresswoman apparently "misspoke" when she made an argument that banning high-capacity in ammunition magazines would help reduce gun violence.
Asked how a ban on magazines holding more than 15 rounds would be effective in reducing gun violence, DeGette said:
"I will tell you these are ammunition, they're bullets, so the people who have those now they’re going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won't be any more available."
In reality, ammunition magazines can be reloaded with more bullets and can be reused hundreds of times.
"The congresswoman has been working on a high-capacity assault magazine ban for years and has been deeply involved in the issue; she simply misspoke in referring to 'magazines' when she should have referred to 'clips,' which cannot be reused because they don't have a feeding mechanism," DeGette spokeswoman Juliet Johnson told the Denver Post
National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam reportedly called DeGette's remarks "pretty stupid."
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