Transcript: Sen. Richard Blumenthal says law enforcement is “outgunned” by assault weapons such as one used in the Newtown school shooting
Transcribed and edited by Jenny Jiang
Transcript of remarks by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) supporting the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 at a press conference on Jan. 24, 2013:
…For several decades as a federal prosecutor, United States Attorney for Connecticut, as the state Attorney General involved in law enforcement, I have listened to our police, our prosecutors, our law enforcement community. I’ve listened to them in countless forums, in numerous tragedies, and they have said to me, “Do something about the guns, ban the assault weapons, and prohibit the high-capacity magazines.”
And a number of the police who came to Newtown said to me, “We could not have stopped the shooter even with the body armor we were wearing with that kind of assault weapon shooting at us.”
Our law enforcement community is outgunned by criminals and mentally ill people and domestic abusers who have assault weapons and should be separated from those weapons and from all weapons.
I’m listening to them but I’m also listening to the people of Newtown. Sen. [Dick] Durbin was right – I was there the afternoon that parents arrived at the Sandy Hook firehouse.[Voice breaking]
I came there as a public official but what I saw was through the eyes of a parent. And I will never forget the sights and sounds of that day as parents emerged from that fire house learning that their 5 and 6-year-old children would not be coming home that night.
The S.W.A.T. team members who came from the school house hit in their guts and their hearts by the brutality and the cruelty that they saw.
I’m listening to the people of Newtown and of Connecticut who have said to me, “We have to do something about the guns.” And we need to keep faith with them.
This measure would have helped prevent the Newtown tragedy. But for assault weapons like the ones banned by this measure, hundreds and thousands of Americans would be alive today. But for the high-capacity magazines that would be banned in their sale also by this measure, Americans and children and educators in Newtown might well be alive today.
This measure would ban these kinds of weapons that have been so destructive and so brutal in creating violence. This measure is more stringent than Connecticut’s ban, and it would have prohibited the type of weapon used at Newtown.
But it has to be seen as one step part of a comprehensive strategy that also should include mental health initiatives, school security, and yes background check for all firearms sales – not just by licensed dealers but also at gun shows, private sales and background checks for all sales of ammunition.
Right now, a fugitive, a felon, a drug addict, a domestic abuser can walk into a store, buy a shopping cart full of ammunition – even though he’s prohibited from buying [a gun] – without any background check, no questions asked, and walk out with it. We need to change that.
So Newtown is a call to action and a call for real reform and my hope is that we will seize this moment with a sense of urgency and passion and sustain this momentum over the hard fights. Make no mistake, it will be a hard fight. And always, always remember Newtown and keep faith with its victims.
- Feinstein.Senate.gov: Feinstein Introduces Bill on Assault Weapons, High-Capacity Magazines
- Feinstein.Senate.gov: Summary of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013
- Feinstein.Senate.gov: Text of Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (PDF)
- Feinstein.Senate.gov: Stopping the spread of deadly assault weapons
- C-Span.org: Video of press conference announcing the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 on Jan. 24, 2013
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduces assault weapons ban
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Rep. Carolyn McCarthy says assault weapons ban will save lives
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Sen. Dick Durbin urges responsible hunters & sportsmen to support assault weapons ban
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Sen. Chuck Schumer says assault weapons bill balances Second Amendment rights with public safety
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Sen. Richard Blumenthal says law enforcement is “outgunned” by assault weapons such as one used in the Newtown school shooting
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Sen. Chris Murphy says “more kids would be alive today” had assault weapons ban been in place prior to Sandy Hook shooting
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Rep. Elizabeth Esty says Newtown is still paying the price for Congressional inaction on gun violence
- WhatTheFolly.com: Commentary: Newtown shooting underscores need to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines
- WhatTheFolly.com: Gunman used a Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle to kill students, teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary
- WhatTheFolly.com: Analysis: Newtown massacre compelled Obama to address gun violence
- WhatTheFolly.com: List of 23 executive actions signed by President Barack Obama to curb gun violence
- WhatTheFolly.com: Names of the 26 victims killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012
- WhatTheFolly.com: Round-up: Newtown school shooting