Gun control debate stirs again after Colorado shooting

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) appeals for stricter gun control laws on Tuesday. Photo: Kris Van Cleave

The debate over how guns are sold in the United States seems is renewed after every tragic mass shooting that happens, and the aftermath of the Colorado movie theater massacre is no different.

Several members of Congress came out swinging on the issue Tuesday in the latest push for stricter gun control. The two sides of this debate seem to include those who think that now is a time to grieve and not campaign for change and those who think that enough is enough.

The deadly Colorado shooting has Democrats demanding a ban on so-called assault weapons and high-volume ammunition clips. It's the type of gun that the accused shooter, James Holmes, is accused of using.

It's also the type of gun that killed the husband of Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) in 1993. That shooting on the Long Island Railroad left nearly 20 people wounded, including her son.

"That's what killed my husband (and) that's what killed five other people." McCarthy said. "He was able to take everybody down in less than two-and-a-half minutes. This has always been personal."

However, any ban will face tough opposition from both members of Congress and special interest groups.

In a statement, the National Rifle Association says that they believe that "now is a time for families to grieve" and that there would be an "appropriate time down the road to engage in political and policy discussions."

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) says that even President Barack Obama has made it clear that he's not going to use the Colorado shooting to push for new gun laws. It's a statement echoed by many politicians nationwide.

"Can we at least get through the initial grief and tragedy for these families before we start making them political pawns?" New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said.

Twelve people died and more than 70 were shot during the rampage during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises at a Denver-area movie theater last Friday.

The suspect, Holmes, will be formally charged next week.

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