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Virginia, Site Of Worst Mass Shooting, Not Likely To Pass Gun Control Measures

6:44 PM, Jan 15, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - Adam Lanza used an AR 15 semi automatic assault rifle to kill 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14th.

But Virginia's new school safety task force, set up by Governor Bob McDonnell in the wake of Newtown, won't even be considering a ban on assault weapons.

"This is not a gun control task force. It's a school safety task force," said McDonnell.

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is pushing for an assault weapons ban in his state.

Yet  the worst mass shooting in our country's history happened on Virginia soil. Seong Hui Cho killed 32 people at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007. Despite that fact, there is no support among Virginia's Republican leaders for any gun control measures.

"I think banning particular types of guns doesn't approach the mental health problem. It doesn't fix Adam Lanza. It doesn't solve Cho," said Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

Gun control legislation may have more support on Capitol Hill, but it will still be a tough fight. Gun control supporters call many measures "common sense."

"Background checks. If you're on the terrorist watch list you ought not to be able to buy explosives and guns yet you can today," said Virginia Congressman Jim Moran (D-District 8).

Moran is hoping the President's support for an assault weapons ban will take hold in Congress quickly.

"For an assault weapon that is intended for military combat, we have no business letting that be on the street. You are 19 times more likely to be killed by a firearm in this country than any other place in the civilized the world," said Moran.

" This is just wrong. If we don't do something now, we're never going to get it down because the public's attention is very limited and time is on the side of the NRA," said Moran.

A new Washington Post poll shows 58 percent of Americans support reinstating the assault weapons ban.
And even in households that have guns, 86 percent support mandatory background checks on all sales at gun shows.

Between 40 and 50 % of all gun sales are private, many at gun shows, and do not go through background checks.

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