Lautenberg calls for gun control after Reid urges patience

“We in congress have an obligation to turn grief into action when faced with tragedy, so I come to the floor today to ask a question: When will we wake up?” Lautenberg said. “How many of our sons and daughters have to die before we go to work.”

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Lautenberg asked, if the shooter in a Colorado movie theater last week had not had a 100-round magazine, would so many have been killed?

“If he didn’t have that magazine maybe the toll wouldn’t have been so great,” Lautenberg said. “Maybe there would be fewer people suffering from wounds.”

According to authorities, alleged shooter James Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and wounding more than 50 when he stormed into a theater in Aurora, Colo., during a midnight showing of the latest Batman film.

Lautenberg pointed out that some of the weapons Holmes used wouldn’t have been available to him during 1994-2004 — when the assault weapon ban was in place.

“These magazines used to be banned from 1994-2004, but under pressure from the gun lobby, Congress let that ban expire,” Lautenberg said. “It didn’t happen without complicity from a lot of people.”

Lautenberg said his colleagues shouldn’t fear the powerful National Riffle Association (NRA).

“Those concerned about the power of NRA, remember we bested them once before,” Lautenberg said. “If we stand up with courage I know we can do it once more. 

“The stakes are just too high, we’ve got to intervene, unfortunately while the memory is still fresh.”

Lautenberg has championed several gun control bills during his time in the Senate.