Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut independent, said Sunday the United States should restore a federal ban on assault weapons and also create a national commission on mass violence to examine gun laws, mental health laws, and the link between entertainment and violence in the wake of the deadly shootings in Newtown, Conn., that left 26 victims dead, including 20 children.
Mr. Lieberman said on “Fox News Sunday” he would like to see such a commission and “make sure the anger does not dissipate” in the wake of the tragedy.
He said that people of all parties need to accept that the strongest acts of gun control won’t stop all conceivable acts of violence — but that there are things that can be done.
“The stronger our gun control laws are, the fewer acts of violence, including mass violence, that will happen in our society,” he said. “If you buy a gun from somebody that’s not licensed, or at a gun show, you don’t have to be checked at all. That’s a loophole that we ought to close. … I think we ought to restore that assault weapons ban — not to take anybody’s guns away from them that they have now, but to stop the manufacture and sale of those weapons now, because look at what [Adam] Lanza did to these poor kids.”
Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, said he was open to Mr. Lieberman’s idea of a commission but said it should examine the issue of school safety as well.
“Are we talking about arming teachers, arming principals? Is that going to make us a safer America? I don’t think so,” Mr. Durbin, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, said later on the program. “But I want to sit down and calmly discuss all the options — I think we need to do that as a nation.”
Host Chris Wallace noted that after the deadly July shootings in Aurora, Colo., Mr. Durbin said there was “zero” chance that Congress would move on gun control.
“I really think we may have a chance,” Mr. Durbin said.