WASHINGTON -- Calls from some Democrats for tougher gun control laws in the wake of the Colorado shooting rampage have run smack into the political reality that Congress hasn't passed strict legislation in more than a decade and has no plans to act this election year.
"No matter what piece of idea that comes forward ... policy is always better when you study and shoot for a solution than shoot for a political answer," said Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the No. 3 Republican in the House, on Monday. "And knowing what political nature we're in right now and knowing we're coming just after the weekend, I'd like to focus on the families first. But I'd like to have all the facts before we move legislation."
Friday's shooting left 12 people dead and 58 injured at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" at a Colorado movie theater. A 24-year-old former doctoral student, James Holmes, was arrested in the case. The latest spasm of violence revived calls for stricter gun controls, with Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., pressing for Congress to reinstate an assault-style weapons ban. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., renewed his call for banning high-capacity ammunition magazines.
"We ought to be taking a look at how this guy was able to accumulate so much ammunition," Perlmutter said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation." "He had enough ammunition for, like, a small army. I mean, this is -- there's something wrong about that."
"I'm a firm believer in the Second Amendment and I also believe that this is ... with emotions so high right now, this is really not a time to be talking about the politics associated with what happened in Aurora. This is really a time, I think, for people to reach out to others in their community that need help or a comforting hand. Let's do that for now and then we can get on to policy down the road," Romney said in an interview with Larry Kudlow on CNBC.