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AZ lawmaker: Shootings fueled by tv, video games and abortion – not guns

By Sahil Kapur
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 8:36 EDT
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WASHINGTON – Arizona State Senator Linda Gray said shootings are spurred on by violence in television and video games, as well society’s acceptance of abortion – but not by the ubiquitous availability of guns.

“The problem is not the gun, but about respect for all human life, from the unborn, a 9 year old child, a senior citizen or a political leader,” Gray told Raw Story, in response to an e-mail. “The shooter had no respect for the value of any these innocent citizens who were injured or killed.”

Gray said the Tucson shooting rampage this month that left six dead and a dozen injured, including a Democratic congresswoman, should not lead to stricter gun laws, as numerous national lawmakers have since proposed.

“Our children are bombarded with TV programing showing a multitude of killings,” she continued in the e-mail. “Children are given games to play in which they earn points for killing people. Where are the TV programs that promote good role models? … Children are becoming more desensitized and complacent toward their own violent acts and those of others.”

Gray backed off a comment she made Monday on George Washington University Radio’s “Political Pulse,” tying the Tucson killings to the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.

“My lead comment when asked what are lawmakers going to do about stricter gun control was, it begins with respect for human life,” she said. “There is no connection to the Tucson Tragedy and the court decision of Roe v Wade. The comment was focused on respect for all humans, including the unborn.”

The gun used by 22-year-old shooter Jared Lee Loughner was purchased legally by him in Tucson, police said, and contained a high-capacity ammunition magazine that was off limits during the assault weapons ban of 1994 to 2004.

Arizona doesn’t require permits to purchase a handgun, shotgun or rifle. Its background check only forbids individuals convicted of a crime or found to have a mental illness by a court. The state lets people carry concealed weapons in public without a permit, and allows guns in bars.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) introduced legislation that would effectively reinstate the ban, which Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) has backed. Other members of Congress have proposed bills to close the so-called gun show loophole and ban firearms within 1,000 feet of lawmakers.

But Republican leaders have declined to back the proposals and Democrats have admitted they are a hard sell in Congress.

Arizona doesn’t require permits to purchase a handgun, shotgun or rifle. Its background check only forbids individuals convicted of a crime or found to have a mental illness by a court. The state lets people carry concealed weapons in public without a permit, and allows guns in bars.

Photo credit: LindaGray.net

 
 
 
 
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