Leahy should lead on guns
Sen. Patrick Leahy voted for the original assault weapon ban 18 years ago, but as of today (Dec. 19), his office says it’s too early in the process to determine if he will support a new one in January.
It’s not too early for Leahy to speak out emphatically in favor of an assault weapons ban and recall, and he ought to do so while memories of Newtown, Conn., are still fresh in Americans’ minds and while momentum against these weapons appears capable of reaching critical mass.
I recognize that gun control is a complex issue, and I fully support Americans’ right to bear arms such as hunting rifles, but as a parent and a concerned citizen, I believe that assault weapons are utterly indefensible killing machines, and they have no business in the hands of average citizens. Yes, crazy people will always find a way to get whatever weapons they want, but allowing their continued sale sends a message that such weapons are normal and that it’s OK for them to proliferate even further. They are not OK, and America needs Sen. Leahy’s voice right now speaking that simple truth, clear and strong.
Sens. Feinstein, Warren and others have already pledged to renew the ban on assault weapons in the next Congress, but Leahy so far has remained noncommittal.
Thanks to his laudable record of moderation and working across the aisle, and his role as the Senate’s senior member, Sen. Leahy’s voice carries a lot of weight, and we need it now — not weeks from now when Congress returns to Washington.
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