Following Navy Yard Shooting, Dianne Feinstein Calls for Stricter Gun-Control Laws

The California Democrat tried and failed to pass new measures after the Newtown tragedy.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., says she is not done advocating for an assault rifle ban. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
National Journal
Sept. 16, 2013, 2:20 p.m.

Sen. Di­anne Fein­stein, one of the Sen­ate’s lead­ing voices on gun con­trol, called for stricter gun laws in the af­ter­math of Monday’s killings at Wash­ing­ton’s Navy Yard.

The Cali­for­nia Demo­crat said the deaths of the 12 people Monday were at the hands of a man armed with an AR-15, a shot­gun, and a semi­auto­mat­ic hand­gun, al­though de­tails of his weapons have not been con­firmed.

Her state­ment reads in part:

This is one more event to add to the lit­any of mas­sacres that oc­cur when a de­ranged per­son or griev­ance killer is able to ob­tain mul­tiple weapons — in­clud­ing a mil­it­ary-style as­sault rifle — and kill many people in a short amount of time. When will enough be enough? Con­gress must stop shirk­ing its re­spons­ib­il­ity and re­sume a thought­ful de­bate on gun vi­ol­ence in this coun­try. We must do more to stop this end­less loss of life.

She is one of the first prom­in­ent law­makers to make the case for stricter gun laws in the af­ter­math of Monday’s shoot­ing, al­though sev­er­al pun­dits re­acted while the in­cid­ent was still un­der way.

Fein­stein failed sev­er­al months ago in her ef­fort to ban mil­it­ary-style as­sault rifles, among oth­er meas­ures. Re­pub­lic­ans, wor­ried about the im­pact these laws would have on the Second Amend­ment and law-abid­ing gun own­ers, helped de­feat new gun-con­trol meas­ures.

Dan Gross, the pres­id­ent of the Brady Cam­paign to Pre­vent Gun Vi­ol­ence, con­nec­ted the sev­er­al mass shoot­ings in re­cent years to Monday’s shoot­ing in Wash­ing­ton.

While it is too early to know what policies might have pre­ven­ted this latest tragedy, we do know that policies that present a real op­por­tun­ity to save lives sit stalled in Con­gress, policies that could pre­vent many of the dozens of deaths that res­ult every day from gun vi­ol­ence.  As long as our lead­ers in Con­gress ig­nore the will of the people and do not listen to those voices, we will hold them ac­count­able. We hope Con­gress will listen to the voice of the people and take up le­gis­la­tion that will cre­ate a safer Amer­ica.

Mean­while, Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., delayed a hear­ing on “Stand Your Ground” laws that was sched­uled for Tues­day morn­ing in light of the shoot­ing at the Navy Yard. Sy­brina Fulton, the moth­er of de­ceased Flor­ida teen Trayvon Mar­tin, was among the wit­nesses set to testi­fy.

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