Schumer: ‘We Could Be at a Tipping Point’ on Gun Control

December 17, 2012 - 11:33 AM
APTOPIX Connecticut School Shooting

In this photo provided by the Newtown Bee, Connecticut State Police lead a line of children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 after a shooting at the school. (AP Photo/Newtown Bee, Shannon Hicks) MANDATORY CREDIT: NEWTOWN BEE, SHANNON HICKS

(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who wrote the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act and authored the original assault weapons ban in the House, said Sunday that the shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn., “could be the tipping point” in advancing gun control in Congress.

“Well I think we could be at a tipping point for two reasons: a tipping point where we might actually get something done. First, this was not a single incident. It followed a series of others. In the last few months, we’ve had mass shootings in Oregon and Wisconsin and Colorado,” Schumer said in response to CBS’ “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer asking, “Where do you see this going?”

“When the public sees these as isolated incidents, they’re less upset than when they occur one after the other, and the public will not accept, the public will not accept as a new normal one of these incidents every month – these mass shootings,” the senator said.

Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday after murdering his mother at their home.

“Second, of course, it involved children, and it’s so poignant to see those pictures, and I read the story in the newspaper where the families waited in the firehouse, and when they found that a young child had survived, they called the parents out, and there were other parents waiting. What agony! What horror! So I think we can get something done,” Schumer said.

Schumer proposed reinstating the ban on assault weapons, limiting the size of clips to no more than 10 bullets per clip, and making it “harder for mentally unstable people to get guns.”

“I think we have to do things that protect the Second Amendment rights of legitimate gun owners, but three things that we should focus on: We don’t know the details yet, so you can’t say that any of them would have stopped this incident, but you can say they are parts of the pattern,” Schumer said.

“One is to ban assault weapons, to try and reinstate the assault weapons ban. The second is to limit the size of clips to maybe no more than 10 bullets per clip. And the third would be to make it harder for mentally unstable people to get guns. Each has had something to do with these other incidents – obviously assault weapons,” he said.

“The clips – you may remember when Jared Loughner in the Gabby Giffords shooting tried to reload. That’s when he was tackled. And it seems most of the people who were involved had mental instability. So those are the three areas that I think we will focus on, and I’m hopeful that there can be some kind of change,” Schumer added.

Schieffer said he tried to get a Republican from the Judiciary Committee to appear on the show, “but all of the members were either unavailable or said no.”