Sadly, Representative Shays was correct.
During the January 8 Tucson Massacre, a lone gunman used a Glock 19 semiautomatic pistol equipped with a high-capacity ammunition magazine to shoot 19 people at U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords' event at a shopping center to meet with her consitituents. He killed six people, including a federal judge and a nine year old girl. Because his ammunition magazine held up to 33 bullets, he was able to commit all this carnage very quickly and without reloading his gun.
When the gunman opened fire, Mary Reed shielded her daughter with her own body, taking three bullets before the killer moved on. Incredibly, Ms. Reed did not suffer critical injuries and her daughter was not shot, due solely to her mother's bravery. Patricia Maisch knew that the gunman was aiming for her next, but he had just emptied his first ammunition magazine, so he tried to reload his weapon. As he did, Ms. Maisch grabbed the magazine from the killer. Two other men, Roger Salzgeber and Bill D. Badger, then tackled the killer, and the massacre ended. Fortunately, Ms. Maisch, Mr. Salzgeber, and Mr. Badger all survived.
The courage of these Tucson heroes is astounding.
This massacre, however, could have been avoided had our politicians had the courage to stand up to the gun lobby in September 2004. Large-capacity ammunition magazines (defined as those holding more than ten bullets) that were manufactured after September 1994 were prohibited by the federal assault weapons ban. But Congress allowed that law to expire in 2004 because too few members of Congress were willing to stand up to the NRA.
Nor did American politicians have the courage to stand up to the NRA in April 2007, when the same type of large-capacity ammuntion magazine was used in the Virginia Tech Massacre to kill 32 people and leave 17 injured.
To staunch the flow of blood in this country, we must help our politicians find the courage to oppose the NRA and other elements of the gun lobby.
Representative Carolyn McCarthy has just announced that she will introduce a new bill in the U.S. House, "Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Devices Act," which will prohibit the transfer, importation, or possession of large-capacity magazines.
Ceasfire Oregon strongly supports Rep. McCarthy's bill. We also strongly support a ban on assault weapons, including the Tec-9, AK-47, and Uzi.
Please tell your congressional representatives that it is time to have the courage of the Tucson heroes and take genuine steps to prevent future shootings. Click here to send your representative a message.
Yesterday this country honored a great man of peace, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was killed by an assassin's bullet in April 1968. His assassination, and that of Robert F. Kennedy two months later, led Congress to enact the Gun Control Act of 1968.
In memory of Dr. King and Attorney General Kennedy, please take a moment now to urge Congress to take action to prevent gun violence. Ask Congress to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines and assault weapons.
Link to an article on the bill's introduction, from Congresswoman McCarthy's website: http://carolynmccarthy.house.