Caroline McCarthy to Introduce New Gun Control Legislation in Wake of Assassination Attempt
Caroline McCarthy (D-NY) is putting together new gun control legislation in response to Saturday's tragedy, promising to introduce it as early as today, reports Politico. The specifics of the bill haven't been leaked, but her spokesman said it will go after the high-capacity gun magazines that allegedly allowed Jared Loughner to unleash so many bullets, so quickly. In some cases, you can purchase the magazines online for around $30.
It's particularly notable that the gun used in the shootings, a semi-automatic, .9 millimeter Glock 19, had been illegal to manufacture for 10 years under Bill Clinton's assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004. That specific gun and magazines with over 10-round capacities -- both illegal to manufacture under the ban -- would have been difficult for consumers to buy. As AlterNet's Bill Quigley points out, though it's clear he was deranged from an armchair perspective, Loughner was not stopped from purchasing the assault weapon from a Tuscon-area gun shop because he had never officially been declared mentally unstable.
Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, told Gail Collinsthat the Glock 19 is “not suited for hunting or personal protection. What it’s good for is killing and injuring a lot of people quickly.” Without the high-capacity magazine, Collins points out, the assassination attempt would not have claimed so many lives.
McCarthy has long been a staunch advocate of gun control -- in 1993, her husband was fatally shot and her son critically injured when a lunatic opened fire on a Long Island Railroad traincar. Of her intended legislation, she told Politico, "We need to look at how this is going to work, to protect people, certainly citizens, and we have to look at what I can pass. I don't want to give the NRA - excuse the pun - the ammunition to come at me either."