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Colorado Gun Laws: Quotes From Heated Debate

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By    |   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2014 06:14 PM

Shootings bring out rhetoric from both sides of the political aisle, especially amid calls for increased gun-control laws. The state of Colorado, with its high-profile shootings at Columbine High School, Arapahoe High School, and an Aurora movie theater, is no exception.

New attempts at stricter regulations tend to elicit strong emotions. Here are a few examples of some of the things that were said in and about Colorado.

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On Feb. 13, 2014, Republican Colorado Sen. Bernie Herpin was questioned about the mass shooting in Aurora, in which 12 people were killed and dozens more wounded during a showing of "Batman: The Dark Knight Rises."

Told that the shooter wouldn't have been able to legally purchase the 100-round magazine used in the shooting had the high-capacity magazine ban been in place at the time, Herpin responded: "As it turns out, that was maybe a good thing that he had a 100-round magazine because it jammed. If he had four, five, six 15-round magazines, there's no telling how much damage he could have done until a good guy with a gun showed up."

Shortly after the Aurora tragedy, on July 22, 2012, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) defended Americans' rights to own guns.

"This isn't an issue about guns. This is really an issue about sick, demented individuals. It's a tragedy, and I don't think there's a solution in Washington to solve that problem. ... Other than look to our families, look to our communities, starting with our education system. We've got to re-instill values in what we're teaching our children. We need to look at families and the education system."

On the same "Fox News Sunday" program, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said the federal government should ban rapid-fire weapons and large magazines.

"Weapons of war don't belong on the streets. We've got to sit down and really come to grips on what is sold to average citizens."

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On May 24, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said: "After the shootings last summer in the movie theater, we really focused on mental health first then universal background checks. Colorado is a state where we have a long tradition of a relationship with guns and hunting and that traditional approach from father to child. So we tried to tighten up a little bit things like universal background checks which clearly make a significant difference, that's where we put our initial focus."

Banning high-capacity magazines of more than 10 bullets, which would make it illegal for anyone not in law enforcement to import, sell, make, or own an assault rifle, is a contentious issue.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.): "This amendment would ban high-capacity magazines which are used to kill more people more quickly and, in fact, have been used in more than half the mass shootings since 1982. I ask my colleagues to listen to law enforcement, their police, prosecutors who are outgunned by criminals who use these high-capacity magazines. I ask that my colleagues also listen to the families of those killed by people who used a high-capacity magazine."

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa): "I oppose the amendment. In 2004, which is the last time we had the large-capacity magazine ban, a Dept. of Justice study found no evidence banning such magazines has led to a reduction in gun violence. The study also concluded it is not clear how often the outcomes of the gun attack depend on the ability of offenders to fire more than 10 shots without reloading. Secondly, there is no evidence banning these magazines has reduced the deaths from gun crimes. In fact, when the previous ban was in effect, a higher percentage of gun crime victims were killed or wounded than before it was adopted. Additionally, tens of millions of these magazines have been lawfully owned in this country for decades. They are in common use, not unusually dangerous, and used by law-abiding citizens in self-defense, as in the case of law enforcement.

Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora), on Jan. 31, 2014, as the first Republican bill to repeal universal background checks for gun purchases was headed for an initial hearing, said, "Why someone would want to take away a tool that takes guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals that just boggles me. I think they need to be forward thinking instead of looking at stuff that's already been signed into law," KUNC reported.

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Shootings bring out rhetoric from both sides of the political aisle, especially amid calls for increased gun-control laws. The state of Colorado, with its high-profile shootings at Columbine High School, Arapahoe High School, and an Aurora movie theater, is no exception.
colorado, gun, laws, quotes
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2014-14-23
Tuesday, 23 Sep 2014 06:14 PM
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