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Poll: Should Assault Weapons be Banned?

Rep. Adam Schiff is one of few Democrats who has spoken out on guns after the Colorado tragedy. Do you think the federal Assault Weapons Ban should be reinstated?

Rep. Adam Schiff said in a statement Tuesday that an Assault Weapons Ban should be reinstated in light of the Colorado shooting where suspect James Holmes allegedly shot 71 people within 90 seconds using an assault rifle.

Schiff is one of few Democrats who has spoken out on guns after the tragedy. 

The federal Assault Weapons Ban, which prohibited the manufacturing of certain semi-automatic firearms for civilian use, expired in 2004. 

Here's what Schiff has to say: 

“I was deeply saddened by the tragic and senseless shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater. Our priority must be aiding and comforting the victims and their families. I also believe we should take this moment to examine our laws and determine how we can prevent horrendous acts like this one in the future. We will never be able to stop all senseless acts of violence – there will always be those, who, for reasons unfathomable to us all, decide to take the lives of innocent people around them. But there are some common sense steps we can take to make these types of shootings more rare and less destructive.

"First, my colleague Senator Feinstein led the charge almost twenty years ago to pass the Assault Weapons Ban, but it has since been allowed to expire. It is past time to put that law, which would have outlawed the type of gun used by the shooter, back in place. Second, we should pass the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act sponsored by Congresswoman McCarthy, which would prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines that can hold more than ten rounds at a time. The ability to fire 30 or even 100 shots without reloading increases the destructive capacity of shooters while serving no legitimate purpose. Third, we must also examine legislation to close the gun show loopholes and crack down on straw purchasing, both of which help divert guns out of legal channels and into black markets where they are easily obtained by criminals and the mentally ill.

“I realize, of course, these steps will not stop all mass killings, or even all mass shootings. As the Governor of Colorado pointed out, if this killer didn't have access to the weapons and ammunition he used, he might have built a bomb instead. But it is also true that we do not need to make such killing easy, and I do not believe that anything in the Second Amendment, or any desire to hunt or for self-protection requires ready access to assault weapons with extended ammunition clips."

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, who represents part of Monrovia, spoke out strongly against placing any additional restrictions on gun ownership the day after the Colorado shooting.

"Unless you are on scene, and armed, there is al...most nothing that we can do about deranged killers like this guy in Colorado; there is no need to further restrict gun rights because it will have no effect other than to make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens from exercising their right to defend themselves, and Gov't has already done enough damage!," Donnelly wrote on his Facebook page.

So what say you? Should we bring back the assault weapons ban? Take our poll, and let us know your thoughts in comments below. 

Tom Adams July 26, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Kate, I didn't imply anything, just asked the same question I have asked here for a long time about alcohol and death. As a matter of fact, my post does not even mention guns or explosives so I am unsure where you got that from. I do happen to believe that our society looks the other way on many causes of death and to me that is sad. I do know that prohibition didn't work then and probably wouldn't now, that doesn't mean that we should not be aware the causes. As for the other issues you raise, you may want to check comments and votes on those.
Dan Crandell July 26, 2012 at 03:07 PM
You've nailed it Kate. Now the lords want to take away our guns. Sorry ... Had to get back on subject at hand.
Jdwiggy July 26, 2012 at 05:46 PM
People kill people using guns. They have been the weapon of choice since they were invented. They are easy to conceal, effective, and even an idiot can operate one. The more powerful and efficient the gun the more people a single person can kill. The more guns we have the easier they are to get. The easier they are to get the greater the chance that a crazy person will find one in his hands and use it. This is such simple math, less guns = less killing.
Gem City Dude Man July 27, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Since the end of WW11, the US has killed ,crippled, and displaced over 20 million people. Those were innocent people. Our country dumped more bombs in Laos, most of it secretly, than all the bombs dropped in Europe and the Pacific combined during WW11. We also left behind 80 million Anti-personnel Bombs that have since killed 20K people and we have not made any attempt to go back and clean it up. Those bombs are still laying around as we speak(write). Now our country is engaging in Drone Strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan which are also killing civilians. Our country (in your name) has and is engaging in War Crimes under agreements we have signed that would call for the execution of the leaders who sanctioned it, apparently if it wasn't us. We Americans are witnessing the exploitation of Presidential Executive power that is clearly outside the limits of our Constitution and no one is concerned or protesting against it. And you are worried about gun control?
R Terry July 27, 2012 at 02:06 AM
You are starting a whole new topic not related to this subject but concerning Presidential Executive power, yes with the recent Amnesty Light and fighting with states of our own country by refusing to enforce federal laws (or allow them to be enforced) and health care that was going to be totally transparent in it's creation, "You will be able to view the whole process on Cspan", Our president has declared himself King. He won't have to answer to anyone in his second term. At least the drones keep our troops safer by not having them engage in those particular battles. Its unfortunate that these war criminals like to surround themselves with civilians.
Dan Crandell July 27, 2012 at 05:31 AM
Dude ... You've been reading Al Kida or UN writings. The crap you're shoveling is right out of their books. You are quoting statistics from people who would kill you in a heartbeat. If what I am saying is false I respectfully request that you man-up by using your real name, provide your sources and become credible. Ah Dude never mind.
Steve July 28, 2012 at 03:52 AM
People are right, there really isnt much use for semi auto rifles, that politicians have labled them as assault rifles. Although does that give government the right to ban them since there really isnt much of a use for them. I served in the US Army during operation desert storm, and worked and trained with one of these "evil black rifles" as available to civilians in the semi auto version. Well, I now am 40 years old, married, 2 kids, homeowner, and a sucessful small business owner. I actually own one of these guns being considered in the ban which is the AR-15, as it reminds me of my service for my country. I take it to the range several times a year just for fun. So why do you feel the government should take it away from me? I have read several posts, that there is no good reason to have one of these guns. People collect all sorts of things, that dont make sense to other people, but does that give you the right to say they cant?? For all the people on the ban wagon to reinstate the assault weapons ban, need to look up some stats on DWI fatal car accidents. Lots more die everyday than from assault weapon attacks. So you guys need start a automobile and alcohol ban as well.
Average Joe July 28, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Interesting how you only hear about the bad stories about guns and you don't hear stories like the man who purchased a knife at a store in Salt Lake City Utah and proceeded to stab people in the store critcally wounding two people until a man with a concealed weapon drew his gun and stopped the attack. He was then detained by store employees until police arrived. There are stories that occur like this more often than people realize,
R Terry July 28, 2012 at 08:14 AM
I think drivers licenses should be a lot more difficult to get, and keep. Plenty of people use buses and if you are not fully capable of driving well or abuse the priveledge, you should lose it. Not just after multible DUIs. Maybe everyone should have to show ID when buying liquor and for those who abuse it, have an indictor on the ID that you cannot buy liquor. So if they get caught again, it is yet more penalties.
Wally Geez July 28, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Frank, The Oklahoma bombing proved that fertilizer is very dangerous stuff, maybe we need to ban that instead?
R Terry July 28, 2012 at 07:12 PM
It seems to me that a magazine of 5 or 6 should be plenty for hunting or personal protection. And I don't understand the need for a sniper rifle that will shoot one mile.
Kate K. July 28, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Still waiting to read of an authenticated case of an individual protecting him/herself or his/her family from imminent physical threat by use of an assault weapon. Would someone please post the citations for what must be many, many such cases for people to value these weapons for self-defense so vehemently? I really would like to read them. (I have asked my buddy at the FBI, but so far he can find none...)
Kate K. July 28, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Did the person who fired the weapon at the attacker in Salt Lake City store fire 1 shot, several shots, or 100? THAT's the difference between a regular firearm and an assault weapon. And when posters "cite" these tales of pro- or con- guns, PLEASE give an actual, specific source for this news item, not just a vague story. We all have the web: Before you cite it, you can look it up to verify that its fact. (Please see SNOPES, if nothing else.)
Kate K. July 28, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Steve, would it be okay with you if your next door neighbor had saved a hand-grenade as a sentimental souvenir of his military service? My cousin did just that, following WWII. It was a BAD idea: Far too dangerous a souvenir, especially in the wrong/untrained hands. And THAT's why such things are or should be illegal... Its about level of danger, not just level of 'sense'.
Average Joe July 29, 2012 at 04:23 AM
He actually never had to fire a shot. He drew his weapon and threatened to shot the attacker if he did not drop his knife. Store employees over powered the attacker at that point. You can easily view this story if you google Salt Lake City knife attack if you would like to check its validity. The moral of the story is fire arms including assault weapons are a form of deterrent and protection. If more people were allowed to carry concealed weapons there would be less victims. Put as many background checks, training or whatever is necessary to obtain a concealed weapon, but normal law abiding citizens in California should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon if they choose and not simply denied the option.
Robert Parry July 29, 2012 at 04:48 AM
Well, R Terry, if someone is breaking into my home with a gun loaded with a magazine of 5 or 6, I'd like mine to have 15 or 16. What if he brought a friend? What if they both brought two guns? What gives you the right to limit my right to defend myself and my family? The only sniper rifle I'm aware of with a point-target maximum effective range of even roughly one mile is the Barrett .50 caliber, which is illegal (and rare in the military). The AR-15 Holmes used has a MER (point ) of under 600 meters. Unfortunately, in a room full of disarmed, defenseless people, the MER of that weapon was irrelevant.
Robert Parry July 29, 2012 at 04:49 AM
But guns are bad, Bad, BAAAAD.
Steve July 29, 2012 at 05:59 AM
Kate, There are so many dangerous things in the world, but we cant just ban anything and everything that if it gets in the hands of an untrained person or in the wrong hands as you put it will cause harm. My seven year old daughter is untrained in driving my truck, but if she hops in the front seat and puts in drive and crashes into something or hurts somebody. Its my fault as a parent for not properly watching my kids, its not chevrolets fault and it should not affect all the other drivers out there that drive responsible from possibly loosing their right to own a car becouse of rare instance like my example. Obviously an automobile ban would never happen as we all are too dependent on them, but you can insert anything into that example I made. There are millions of extremly responsible gun owners out there, and to take away their right to own something based on these rare gun shooting sprees is ridiculous.
Gem City Dude Man July 29, 2012 at 08:42 PM
To Dan Crandell, The information I quoted comes US Government and International Government sources, and nationally published news outlets. You can do you your own EASY research on the topics if you really want to search for the truth. One thing is certain the corporate owned media will not report the truth. Just remember being a true patriot also means standing up to the government when it is wrong. We middle and poor class Americans are witnessing first hand what happens when empire over extends its ability to support itself. To sustain it our corporate controlled government is hollowing out our nation's infrastructure. Every aspect of our social programs is in crisis in order to maintain Corporate America's economic global expansion. It was predicted years ago our nation's greatest enemy will come from within.
Dan Crandell July 30, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Thank you Dude. Those International Government sources are at the heart of my conclusions regarding the STAT's used in your above statements. Sometimes I guess there just aren't enough rocks. One of my favorite re-quotes.
Gayle M. Montgomery July 30, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Tom, don't ban the alcohol please. We got booted the smoke shop here in town, and with all this talk about people being able to have assault rifles as a god given right, it is driving me to drink. I guess pot would be the other option, but I can't get a good pipe in Monrovia. And yes, I'm kidding about the weed.
Gem City Dude Man July 30, 2012 at 11:46 AM
It was an International Government fact and conclusion there were no weapons of mass destruction. Corruption has become so common within our government and their response to correct it so uncommon, most Americans have continued to demonstrate a growing cynical and apathetic attitude toward our whole government and political process. Clearly, The Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court has put the final nail in the coffin of our nation's once great democracy.
Chris Ziegler July 30, 2012 at 02:33 PM
I think Gem City Dude Man is making reference to the UN Special Commission on Iraq WMD's. The UNSCOM included American (former US Marine, intelligence officer) Scott Ritter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Ritter) who testified emphatically against invading Iraq on the grounds of alleged WMD's - by some estimates, a million civilans dead (the US admits to somewhere in the ball park of 100,000) and a price tag that is estimated to be over 8 Trillion US dollars by the time everything is said and done.
Chris Ziegler July 30, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Also missing from this thread is the reference to Mr. Weller and his drive through the 3rd Street Promenade: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Russell_Weller In approximately 10 seconds, armed with only his car and no ill intent, Mr Weller Killed 10 people and injured 63. On a per-second basis, Mr Weller was almost 7X more deadly than this armed "Joker" madman. I could only imagine what a crazy person could do with premeditation, an automobile loaded to capacity with destructive products and the mindset of inflicting maximum harm.
Gayle M. Montgomery July 30, 2012 at 03:30 PM
I posted this link from Time Magazine on Facebook last night but it is pertinent to this discussion and bears repeating. Maybe it is not alcohol, cars, or even weaponry we need to ban but rather men. As is borne out in this thread only responded to in large measure by men save for Kate's and now my responses, men are consistently the perpetrators of mass annihilation. Maybe we should ban men. I reserve the right to keep 1 or 2 as my private possessions but vow to keep them unarmed and well locked down. This is an interesting read. http://ideas.time.com/2012/07/24/the-overwhelming-maleness-of-mass-homicide/?xid=newsletter-daily
R Terry July 30, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Just eliminate their production of testosterone from a young age and you will lessen violence and eliminate arguments over gay marriage as one way will be as common as the other... : (
R Terry July 30, 2012 at 10:32 PM
I think a lot fewer people should be licensed to drive. And there should more frequent periodical evalutions including physically/mentally. Have you stood in line at a DMV for something? Look around you and you will find yourself marveling in horror about the fact that these people are actually driving. I saw a really weird transient looking guy yelling and threatening DMV staff as he had no patience for what he thought were stupid questions that everyone else dealt with. Too many people get drivers licenses who simply do not drive well and are not comfortable behind the wheel. I spent about 15 minutes with a stranger once who was in Arcadia and trying to figure out how to get back to Sunland as they could not figure how the came to return the same way and absolutely refused to get on the freeway. And how about those who make a left turn from the right lane if they decide they are not going the right way? People who have rarely driven or never driven from other countries are here and soon driving...and not well. You better have good insurance and a big sturdy car if you are going to spend any time driving around Monterey Park.
Gayle M. Montgomery July 30, 2012 at 11:31 PM
I rented a car from Enterprise for a couple of days for vacation with 2 of the grandkids. When I went to return the car to Duarte, I had to wait for the guy to take a couple of us home. One guy could not speak English and we had a heck of a time trying to figure out where he was going to go. He couldn't pronounce street names and was genuinely lost. I wondered how in the world this guy passed a drivers license test and, more importantly, I wondered if he even understood street signs. Some are basic; others get a little more complex. His comprehension and his ability to be understood were between slim and none. Where did he need to go? To a collision shop. I rest your case, R. Terry. If people cannot speak sufficient English to understand street signs, we're in trouble. With the Romance languages, there is some parallelism in words, and its easier to make sense of things. This was an Asian language. Our street signs in most places do not look like those words.
Dan Crandell July 31, 2012 at 02:29 AM
R Terry ... Hillery C is working out something with the UN which may come to just what you are saying. She works hard to show that our evil country will pay for our misdeeds. We didn't become a successful nation on our own you know. Mark my words on this statement . If BhussainO is re-elected we will here that statement from him. Soon no big guns,to get back on subject, and castration for all boy children.
micheal j September 05, 2012 at 10:26 PM
An assault rifle is a good home defense option. Because if someone in to your house with a shotgun or handgun. And all you have is a handgun, wouldn't you want to have the better weapon to defend yourself? I own a ar.15 and would never use it on someone unless I absolutely had no other choice. But I know I will come out on top.

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