Rep. Mike Thompson, picked by Nancy Pelosi to head House Democrats’ new efforts to ban assault weapons, said Saturday that using the term “gun control” is unhelpful.
“When you talk about ‘gun control,’ you turn off more than half of your audience,” the California Democrat said in an interview on CNN.
Mr. Thompson, a gun owner and a hunter himself, said it was time to do something about “assault weapons” in private hands.
“I think assault weapons are a pox on the home of every gun owner,” he said. “I think that’s the thing that’s going to cause the overwhelming majority of people in this country who aren’t gun owners to have negative feelings about those of us who are gun owners.”
Mrs. Pelosi, the House minority leader, named Mr. Thompson to head the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, which is expected to work with Vice President Joseph R. Biden on the administration’s efforts to tighten gun laws in the wake of December’s school massacre at Newtown, Conn.