The New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association (NRA) filed suit this week to contest the new strict gun control laws passed in the state. The law limits magazine size, bans assault weapons, and expands background checks. The NRA affiliate sites in its suit that the new “safe act” law violates the second amendment.
Aurora theater shooting survivor Stephen Barton joins the "Starting Point" to weigh in on the lawsuit, and the struggles passing gun control legislation in Congress. He is currently working with families affected by the Newtown shooting as part of his work with Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
“Gun laws have always been a patchwork of state laws that don't cover everything," Barton says. "But this is a national problem that applies to a national solution."
Barton says these new state laws can serve as a way for the country to see “what works” so that ultimately federal legislation can be passed. He feels we need to cut through our ideological differences on gun control, and find middle ground because new gun legislation “will save lives.”
He was present in New York City yesterday during Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Vice President Joe Biden’s speeches urging a vote on an assault weapons ban that is currently failing in Congress.
Barton says it is “not a surprise” that the assault weapons ban lacks support. He is still hopeful that the “people who have been affected most personally by gun violence at least deserve a vote on the floor of the Senate." He hopes this vote can be achieved by Senator Feinstein’s amendment being added to existing legislation.
In the wake of the tragedy at Newtown, Connecticut, many all over the country have been up in arms renewing gun control debate. The National Rifle Association addressed it in a statement on Friday and on the Sunday shows.
Doubling-down on its controversial statement following the mass shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School, the group's CEO, Wayne Lapierre, did not budge on his assertion that all schools should now have armed police. Richard Feldman is the former Political Director for the NRA. He's now the President of The Independent Firearm Owners Association, and joins “Early Start” live from West Palm Beach, Florida this morning.
Dana Bash asks Richard Feldman if he was surprised that Wayne Lapierre did not advocate banning high capacity clips. Instead of answer directly, he answers that we all need to “take a little step back and start being nicer to one another” in this country. “Let’s lower the rhetoric. We’re all Americans. We’re all in this. And we all want to resolve the problem. No one wants to see the kind of horrific massacre that occurred last week.”
Feldman also suggests there are several ideas as to how to combat the issue other than gun control. “There are many things that we can do as a nation, without Congress, without regulation. We can go ahead and harden those schools. We can put ballistic doors into our schools. It only costs money.”