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Sen. Angus King: Discussing Gun Laws Doesn't Politicize Vegas

Image: Sen. Angus King: Discussing Gun Laws Doesn't Politicize Vegas
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By    |   Thursday, 05 October 2017 12:55 PM

Talking about gun control issues, including outlawing bump stock devices, is not a matter of politicizing the Las Vegas shooting, but instead is considering a discussion about a piece of equipment that allowed the tragedy to occur, independent Maine Sen. Angus King said Thursday.

"If this was a dam break that had drowned 59 people because of a faulty valve, we would be talking about that faulty valve," King told CNN's "New Day" anchor Chris Cuomo. "This is where a piece of equipment enabled this tragedy to occur. The bump stock allowed this guy to shoot many more rounds a minute before stopping to reload."

The device was legalized seven years ago, he continued, and it should not have been.

"We have Republicans and Democrats both talking about the danger of this thing," said King. "Machine guns are illegal and have been for many years. This converts a semi-automatic rival to a machine gun and it should not be allowed."

King said he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but at the same time, he does not consider outlawing bump stocks a first step toward gun safety.

"In my experience, most people who are really into guns and how to handle them don't have much respect for the bump stock," said King. "It makes the gun less accurate and they don't think it's very important. We will see how the discussion unfolds and what the NRA says and gun ownership, and this is not a slippery slope argument. If it had not been for this piece of equipment this tragedy would have been much less serious."

Also on Thursday, King, a member of the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services committees, discussed President Donald Trump's continued claims that there is nothing to the Russia investigation, as that's not true.

"I wish they'd quit saying that," King said. "What was clear yesterday from the press conference and it's clear to me being on the Intelligence Committee working on this for eight or nine months is the Russians meddled in our elections at the order of [President Vladimir] Putin and in the end they were trying to help Donald Trump. There's no argument about that."

If the United States expects to defend itself against such actions, officials must acknowledge what happened so Americans can prepare themselves.

"The second question is, if there was collusion, and that's important," said King. "The problem is the White House is so defensive about that question. They're trying to say the whole thing is a witch hunt and a hoax. It's not a hoax."

Further, said King, the Russian interference went on for far longer than Watergate, so it's a more complex issue.

"Watergate was a two-hour event involving four people," said King. "This is an 18-month event involving a foreign country, hundreds if not thousands of people and it's going to take time to get to the bottom of it."

Facebook and Twitter's role also would not have been expected when the probe began, said King.

The Iran nuclear agreement will be coming up in the news soon as well, said King, and he believes that if Trump does not certify it and it heads back to Congress, it could become a "disaster."

"There's no upside to unraveling this agreement," said King. "Iran is doing a lot of bad things. This was not a friendship treaty. This was about a narrow issue of nuclear weapons, and all the bad things Iran is doing in the region, they are terrible and unacceptable and we passed a new set of sanctions on those things, and the only thing worse is a malignant Iran with nuclear weapons."

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Talking about gun control issues, including outlawing bump stock devices, is not a matter of politicizing the Las Vegas shooting, but instead is considering a discussion about a piece of equipment that allowed the tragedy to occur, independent Maine Sen. Angus King said...
angus king, gun laws, politicize, las vegas
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2017-55-05
Thursday, 05 October 2017 12:55 PM
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