Connecticut Tragedy Heats Up Gun Debate - WSET.com - ABC13

Connecticut Tragedy Heats Up Gun Debate

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The Connecticut attack has the gun control debate raging again, as those looking to strengthen gun laws have begun rallying around this tragedy.

It wouldn't be the first time gun rights advocates have been on the defensive.

This time, however, many are concerned Friday's massacre will lead to sweeping changes.

For many gun owners - few of whom would go on camera - the President's words are knee jerk and, no matter how many laws government passes, it isn't going to make a difference.

"Gun laws aren't going to stop a truly evil person. Just look up Connecticut and there's plenty of other examples. If they are going to commit mass murder, what do they care about any laws? Cause they're going to go down big time," said Philip Van Cleave with the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

Will Breakell agrees.

"Obviously the law isn't going to stop people. Like banning marijuana; banning any sort of drug... it doesn't help get it off the street," Breakell added.

It's a debate that heats up seemingly after every attack but one that quickly dies down after the news cycle changes.

In fact, since the 2007 massacre on the campus of Virginia Tech - gun laws in Virginia have loosened, anchored by this years' reversal of a 19-year law that limited Virginians to one hand gun purchase per month.

That's the trend the pro-gun lobby expects to continue fighting for.

"There isn't a law out there that you can't easily get around. The law can't stop you; the law is punishment. People are acting (like), 'Oh just pass this law and we'll be safe,'. No! I don't care what law it is you're not going to be safe. It's just the nature of living on this planet," said Van Cleave.

Experts say they expect legislation to come soon that could once again restrict assault rifles, a ban that ended in 2004. They also expect a push to force background checks on all purchases of firearms.

One lobbyist said he expects potential legislation to be included in the upcoming bill meant to avoid the fiscal cliff.

 

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