Rep. Duckworth on assault weapons ban: Too soon to say yes or no

SHARE Rep. Duckworth on assault weapons ban: Too soon to say yes or no
SHARE Rep. Duckworth on assault weapons ban: Too soon to say yes or no

WASHINGTON–Hours before President Barack Obama unveils his plans to curb gun violence, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien that a National Rifle Association ad noting that the Obama daughters have security protecting them is unduly provocative with a goal only to “ratchet up the rhetoric.”

The freshman lawmaker, a wounded Iraq war vet, said she was not ready to sign on to ban Obama will proposal on assault weapons until she sees the details such as how an assault weapon is defined.

The NRA spot calls Obama a hypocrite as the association, in response to the Sandy Hook school massacre last month, had as its main response the creation of a program to put more armed guards in schools.

“Are the president’s kids more important than yours?” the voiceover states. “Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school? Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he’s just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security.”

Duckworth said, “Well, I think that, you know, we need to remind people that the majority of Americans are not on those extreme ends. And let’s start off by saying that we all want our children protected. You know, those NRA ads saying that, you know, the president’s children, his daughters are protected, don’t you want yours protected — really, you know, their main — their whole goal is to ratchet up the rhetoric.

“Let’s stay calm. Let’s look at the function of these weapons, make sure that we — you know, marksmen can continue to have their weapons that they use for marksmanship. But we need to ban those weapons that have the functionality that can kill a whole bunch of folks in just a few seconds, and be very careful about how we go about this.”

Asked about an assault weapon ban, Duckworth said “Well, you know, I’m going to look and see what the proposal is. I’m interested in the definition of what an assault weapon is more than I am interested in what it looks like.

“We also need to take a look at the things that we should pass right away — the background checks. You know, people should not be able to buy weapons at gun shows without background checks. We need to do a much better job of that. Nobody needs a 30-round magazine to go hunting, because if you’re using a 30-round magazine to go hunting, you are a very bad shot, and your fellow hunters…”

Duckworth later added, “I like target practice as well. You don’t need to rely on an AR-15 for target practice. And isn’t the protection of our most vulnerable the most important priority here, you know, to make sure that our kids are protected, to make sure that masses of people are not easily killed, but also maintaining the right of people to go to target practice? You don’t need an AR-15 to go to target practice. And if you enjoy firing an AR-15 for target practice, you’re going to enjoy learning to fire some other weapon as well.”

Duckworth bottom line: “So let’s bring down the rhetoric, talk about it. And I’m going to be very — you know, looking very carefully at what the president presents. I may not agree with him on everything, but we’re going to take a look and make sure that those things that we can pass, let’s pass first.”

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