The National Rifle Association has finally issued a statement regarding the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and re-activated its social media feeds after several days of silence, and a single comment that they would not have any comment until the facts were known. The full statement reads:
“The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown. Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting. The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again. The NRA is planning to hold a major news conference in the Washington, DC area on Friday, December 21. Details will be released to the media at the appropriate time.”
Fox News is already speculating that these “meaningful contributions” mean pushing back against calls for more stringent gun control, according to unnamed industry sources. One such source said,
“If we’re going to have a conversation, then let’s have a comprehensive conversation. If we’re going to talk about the Second Amendment, then let’s also talk about the First Amendment, and Hollywood, and the video games that teach young kids how to shoot heads.
“If you really want to stop incidents like this, passing one more law is not going to do a damn thing. Columbine happened when? In 1999. Smack in the middle of the original assault-weapons ban.”
Fox News also indicated that sources did acknowledge that the reaction to this particular school shooting was different than those past, because of the presence of so many children and that the NRA will have a tougher time now with fighting against gun control legislation.
The possible legislation in question is a new ban on assault weapons that have a detachable magazine or clip, as well as semi-automatic weapons with fixed magazines that can take more than ten rounds. Overall, the ban would cover about 100 semi-automatic handguns, shotguns and rifles. Ammunition drums, belts and clips that can take more than ten rounds would also be included under the new law.
Any weapon that fits these standards that is already legally owned would be grandfathered in and not confiscated.
According to a story ABC-7 Chicago, Chicago police feel that a ban on certain types of clips, magazines, drums and belts will be more effective when it comes to a new assault weapons ban. The majority of guns involved in crimes in Chicago are handguns, not rifles, however they are often semi-automatic handguns.
Furthermore, Prof. Harry Pollack of the University of Chicago Crime Lab pointed out that the weapon used in the shooting at Sandy Hook was not on the list of banned weapons under the old assault weapons law, however, the rifle used at the theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., would have been. Both types of weapons, and semi-automatic pistols (which was also used in the Aurora tragedy), would be included in the new law.
Even so, this legislation will likely face strong opposition from staunch gun-rights advocates, which likely includes the NRA. We can hope, though, that their eyes have finally been opened as to the danger these weapons present, and that they’re actually ready to sit down and listen to reason.