One of the leaders of Democrats’ push for gun control earlier this year says it’s “absolutely mandatory” for lawmakers to revisit such legislation following this week’s gun tragedies, such as the averted school shooting in Georgia and the killing of an Australian college baseball player in Oklahoma.
“We need to restart the conversation,” Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal said on MSNBC earlier today. “This agenda and debate needs to come back to this country.”
On the Georgia school story, Blumenthal said school clerk Antoinette Tuff’s ability to talk down Michael Brandon Hill, the would-be shooter, “certainly refutes” the National Rifle Association’s argument that “the only way to defeat bad guys with guns is to give good guys guns.” Guardian columnist Ana Marie Cox made a similar point on MSNBC the night before, arguing teachers should, instead, be trained in such methods.
Because Hill was armed with an AK-47, the senator called for a renewal of an assault-weapons ban. Blumenthal also claimed that, because Hill is a felon, more extensive background checks would have prevented him from getting the weapon. (Blumenthal’s suggestion relies on the idea that Hill bought the gun in a private sale, which gun-control proponents would like to regulate with background checks, but it’s not clear how the gun was obtained.)
Following last year’s school shooting in Newton, Conn., Blumenthal and other Democrats pushed for a number of federal gun-control measures. An eventual bill finalized by Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania failed in the Senate a few months later.