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After Sandy Hook shootings, Durbin says we need "calm reflection on the Second Amendment"

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WASHINGTON--Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said in the wake of the gun massacre at the Sandy Hook elementary school, we need "a national conversation about safety," gun control and "quiet, calm reflection on the Second Amendment.

"Are there guns that really shouldn't be sold across America? Military assault weapons such as the one involved in this horrific incident in Connecticut?" Durbin said on Fox News Sunday.

Durbin, who backs renewing a ban on assault weapons continued, "Are there high ammunition clips, high capacity ammunition clips that have no value, whatsoever when it comes to sporting and hunting and even self-defense? The person could buy body armor, take that body armor and use it to protect themselves as they kill innocent people.

"Can we have a thoughtful, calm, reflection on these things? And do it in the context of our Second Amendment? I think we need to."

Durbin said he is making an "appeal to the hunters and sportsmen, I know them from Illinois. They are my friends. They are good people. They love their families and hate what they are hearing about Newtown, Connecticut.

"But, they have been largely quiet. This conversation has been dominated in Washington by you know and I know, gun lobbies that have an agenda. We need people, just ordinary Americans, to come together, and speak out, and to sit down and calmly reflect on how far we go. I'm going to be holding a hearing after the first of the year, in about two weeks or so, on this constitutional question. That's the starting point.

"The Supreme Court raised questions about the Second Amendment, what are the protections? What are the responsibilities? Let's spell this out and let's try to do it in a thoughtful way and move forward together. That's what we need."

That the shooter, Adam Lanza, used an assault weapon purchased by his mother--who he shot and killed on Friday--may impact the debate on an assault weapon ban, Durbin said.

"Why in the world would anyone, even Nancy Lanza, need a military assault weapon, designed for the military, that has the capacity to fire off hundreds of rounds? Heartbreaking to hear this coroner speak about these poor little kids, whose bodies were riddled with bullets. For goodness' sakes, can we stop for a moment and reflect on this? I'm all for sport and hunting and self-defense. This goes way beyond that."

"... But I want to sit down and calmly discuss all of the options. I think we need to do this as a nation. That's the only way we can move forward and make sure that there is a lesson to be learned in Newtown, Connecticut."

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on December 17, 2012 9:54 AM.

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