Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech shooting - good for the Republicans?

Order of events:
  • Two events involving military-style semi-automatic rifles in the late 1980s and the early 1990s were used as examples by proponents for the Federal Assault Weapons Ban enactment.
    • January 17, 1989: schoolyard shooting in Stockton, California, in which the murderer killed five children and wounded 30 others before shooting himself (also known as Stockton massacre); a semi-automatic version of the AK-47 was used in the murders.
    • January 25, 1993: murder of two people in front of Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia, by Mir Aimal Kansi; using another semi-automatic version of the AK-47.

  • September 13, 1994: The Federal Assault Weapons Ban, a federal law of the United States that included a prohibition on the sale of semi-automatic "assault weapons" manufactured after the date of the ban's enactment. The ten-year ban was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton the same day.

  • November 8, 1994: U.S. midterm elections, which resulted in a net gain of 54 seats in the House of Representatives, and a pickup of eight seats in the Senate. The gains in seats in the mid-term election resulted in the Republicans gaining control of both the House and the Senate. "President Clinton, after the '94 election, thought this issue probably cost the Democrats the House of Representatives," said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.

  • April 2007: Rep. Jane Harman writes:
    "... I am proud to support, again, the Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act (HR 1022), which renews the assault weapons ban that Congress permitted to expire in 2004."


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