CHICAGO (CBS) — With the Colorodo movie theater shooting massacre still fresh on the minds of the public and elected officials, U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) was urging lawmakers on Tuesday to have a serious discussion about possible new gun control laws.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, to those who have said the immediate aftermath of the mass murders in Aurora, Colo., is not the time to reawaken the gun control debate, Quigley begs to differ.
Republican Congressmen Peter Roskam and Randy Hultgren have said this is a time to mourn the victims of the massacre, and support their families and community, not to talk about new gun control laws.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports
But Quigley said it never seems to be the time, not after shooting massacres in Columbine, Colo., at Virginia Tech University, or at Northern Illinois University – or even after what has become a weekly tally of dozens of shootings every weekend in Chicago.
“Every Monday, as we lament what happened over the last weekend in the city of Chicago, we didn’t have a hearing on issues the entire 111th Congress, haven’t had one yet in the 112th,” Quigley said.
He said it is time for a gun control debate in Congress, because it’s still too easy for those who shouldn’t have weapons to buy guns and use them to kill people.
Quigley pointed out six people were shot within 15 minutes of each other in Chicago Monday night, and he said criminals or people with orders of protection against them can go to Indiana gun shows to buy firearms without background checks.
He said it’s clear there’s a need for at least some new gun control laws in the nation.
“You can go to a gun show in nearby Indiana, and without a background check, buy any gun you want. You could be a three-time felon, you could have an order of protection for threatening your spouse, you could have been adjudicated as mentally ill,” he said. “You could be on terrorist watch lists, and you can buy any kind of gun you want without a background check in a majority of states in this country. You can buy 100-round clips, 30-round clips.”
Still, Quigley said he agrees with Republican counterpart, U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, who has said this is a time to talk about broader mental health issues.