CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Richard M. Daley said Monday that the nation needs tougher gun laws to prevent another incident similar to the Arizona shooting rampage.
Daley made his comments at an unrelated news conference at McCormick Place.
U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was critically wounded, and six people were killed, the Saturday incident in Tucson, Ariz., during a “Congress on Your Corner” event in a grocery store parking lot.
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Following the shooting, several – including U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) — were quick to point out Giffords was one of 17 Democratic lawmakers that Republican Sarah Palin highlighted during the health care reform debates. Her political action committee sent out election material featuring maps of the U.S. with crosshair targets over the states where those lawmakers served.
But Mayor Daley says the issue is not political beliefs, but access to firearms.
“You have political beliefs, religious beliefs, you have political beliefs, you have personal beliefs. You have a lot of things. You don’t get into, if we try to figure out why people kill people,” Daley said. “But the idea that you’ve got a gun; you have access to a gun – it isn’t what your beliefs are. It’s basically access to guns.”
Daley went on to say we are a killing machine. He said no one should have that type of weapon and that type of magazine on the streets in the United States.
He said no one should have that type of weapon, or that type of magazine, on the streets in the United States.
A 32-round, semi-automatic handgun was used in the attack. Jared Loughner, 22, has been charged in the shooting.
But Daley also said he has no plans to cut down on his own public appearances.
“Once you push people aside, once you say, ‘You can’t even come,’ well that’s a tough life in America. You have to feel that even though they criticize you; even though they say things derogatory to you, that’s free speech,” Daley said. “You have to understand that.”
Daley remains a supporter of gun control, even though gun rights activists won a major victory in Chicago just last year.
On June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially did away with the City of Chicago’s 28-year-old ban on handgun ownership, and affirmed the right of every American to own firearms for protection.
The City Council quickly passed the new ordinance to replace the gun ban. The ordinance limits gun purchases to one per month, bans gun shops in city limits and prohibits gun owners from stepping outside their homes, even onto their porches or garages.
Gun rights advocates quickly filed suit to nullify the new law, claiming that it still violates the Second Amendment. Some have argued the city must allow gun shops and ranges, and one said he wanted to open firearms dealerships in Lincoln Park and on the Magnificent Mile.
Those lawsuits are still pending.