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Maddow: New details of Newtown shooting prove assault weapons ban is needed

By Eric W. Dolan
Friday, March 15, 2013 0:07 EDT
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On her show Thursday night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow explained why new details of the tragic mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut showed an assault weapons ban was necessary.

The Hartford Courant reported Wednesday that the shooter, Adam Lanza, fired a total of 152 bullets in less than 5 minutes, killing 20 young children and 6 adults. Lanza used a Bushmaster AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and had 30-round magazines. As Maddow noted, he only needed to reload his weapon four times before killing himself with a pistol.

“Had he only had access to ten-round magazines instead of 30-round magazines he would’ve had to reload 14 times,” she continued. “He would’ve needed 14 spare magazines beyond the one in the gun with the extra round in the chamber. Reloading 14 times. You think he would’ve still pulled off the whole thing in less than five minutes?”

Maddow then noted a heated exchange between Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). During a hearing on gun control legislation, Cruz had attempted to lecture Feinstein on the constitutionality of gun restrictions. But Feinstein, who has witnessed gun violence firsthand, fiercely rebutted the first-term senator for patronizing her.

“Let the record show that you can be a United States Senator for 21 years, you can be 79-years-old, you can be the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and one of the most recognizable and widely respected veteran public servants in your nation, but if you are female while all of other those things, men who you defeat in arguments will still respond to you by calling you hysterical and telling you to calm down,” Maddow remarked.

Democrats are pushing to renew the assault weapon’s ban, which was first proposed by Feinstein in 1994. The law was in effect for ten years, but President George W. Bush and Congress allowed the ban to expire in 2004. Both the AR-15 and 30-round magazines, which Lanza stole from his mother, were banned under the law.

His mother “would’ve only been able to legally and easily buy ten-round magazines, not 30-round magazines,” Maddow said. “So when he took those weapons from her that morning, he would’ve needed 15 separate 10-round magazines in order to reload 14 different times to try to do what he actually did so easily and so quickly thanks to the expiration of Dianne Feinstein’s law in 2004. It is three months after Sandy Hook as of today. The bill to reinstate what used to be law, which we now know might have made a large difference at Sandy Hook, that bill to reinstate what used to be law heads to the full Senate now. Everybody says the politics of this are impossible. Why should they be?”

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Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
 
 
 
 
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