U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) expects the movie massacre in Colorado to result in no new gun laws, though he is bewildered by the opposition. “Why in the world does anybody need a military assault weapon? Why? And why do you need a magazine, a clip, with 100 rounds in it?” he said.
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Durbin has been a supporter of banning the military-style weapons and large magazines that the Colorado offender used, and has pushed to re-institute the federal ban that was in effect from 1994-2004.“I’ve voted for it, I’ve co-sponsored it, and the prevailing political sentiment in Washington and I’m afraid in Springfield is that there will be no regulation, no limitation,” he said.No measure to reinstate the assault weapons ban has come up for a floor vote. The U.S. Department of Justice says the effect on overall crime of an assault weapons ban is likely to be small, because so few gun crimes involve assault weapons.
Durbin says these weapons are needed neither for self-defense nor for sporting purposes, and should be in the hands of the military and law enforcement only. He also expressed concern about the mental health of the suspect, wondering whether anybody could have been aware of his state of mind and prevented the rampage.
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