— For the fourth time in as many years, tragic deaths caused by individuals with guns has reinvigorated the national debate over gun control.
Over the past four years of shootings in America, there has been talk about new restrictions on gun rights, but it was not until Friday’s shooting that took the lives of multiple young children that Democrats — opposed by the National Rifle Association — have began to muster the willingness to take on the issue.
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced Sunday she would file legislation at the beginning of the new congress to reinstitute the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004 under President George W. Bush. U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s office said Monday she would be supportive of such a ban.
“Claire supports an assault weapons ban, and wants to take a hard look at the number of rounds in magazines,” said McCaskill spokesman Drew Pustateri. “Claire’s a daughter of rural Missouri, so she’ll always protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans – but she’s also a Mom, and a former Jackson County Prosecutor, and believes we can do better by our children with a little common sense.”
The shooter that took the lives of students and teachers at the elementary school in Newtown, Conn., used an AR-15 — one of the most popular semiautomatic weapons in the country. However, under the 1994 law, that weapon would not have been considered an “assault rifle.”
Regardless, it is unclear how much Republicans may be willing to budge on the issue. Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of Republican Senate leadership, said Monday in Kansas City that he does not expect any major legislation to move anytime soon.