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Should purchase of assault weapons be prohibited?

Staff Report • Jan 3, 2013 at 11:09 AM

The tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., last month has once again sparked debate over gun control laws in this nation. U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., says she plans to push for passage of a ban on assault weapons when the new Congress convenes. President Barack Obama said he supports such a measure and plans to address stricter gun control laws in his State of the Union address.

Meanwhile, an official with the National Rifle Association said no new gun regulations are needed in the wake of the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School that killed 20 schoolchildren and six adult staffers. Instead, Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the NRA, told reporters that guns and police officers in all schools are what is needed to stop such killings

“Look, a gun is a tool,” LaPierre said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “The problem is the criminal.”

Feinstein said she hopes Congress will reinstate a tougher version of an assault weapons ban that was allowed to expire almost a decade ago. That bill was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994, but was never renewed by the Republican-controlled Congress during President George W. Bush’s administration. That law did not completely eliminate assault weapons, but limited their magazine capacity to 10 rounds.

The idea of banning the sale of military-style assault weapons resurfaced in July following a mass shooting in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 58 others.

We want to hear what you think. Should the purchase of assault weapons be prohibited?

Send your comments to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717, or mailbag@johnsoncitypress.com. Please include your name, telephone number and address for verification purposes. We will print your responses on the Editorial and Commentary pages in the coming weeks.

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