Lawmaker calls for new gun controls after Connecticut shooting
A California lawmaker is calling for new gun control measures in the wake of the mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school Friday that reportedly killed at least two dozen people, including 18 children.
State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) called the incident the most shocking in a series of shootings this year, including a rampage in July in which a gunman killed 12 people in a Colorado movie theater.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to the children and families of Newtown," Yee said in a statement. "While we do not have all the details behind this senseless and unconscionable massacre, it is a sad and horrific reminder of what is possible when guns get into the wrong hands. We must limit access to weapons that can result in such catastrophe and mass murder."
The lawmaker said he is considering reintroducing a gun-control bill that died in committee this year. Yee said the proposal would have closed a loophole in California's assault weapons ban that allows guns to be easily reloaded with multiple rounds of ammunition through devices called "bullet buttons."
State Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) offered up prayers for the victims and their families.
"Since the late 1980s, we have seen such terror unfold at schools all over the country, including close to home in Olivehurst, Stockton and Southern California. Wherever it occurs, we are all touched by these despicable crimes against the innocent," he said in a statement.
Steinberg said that as more details emerge, lawmakers and others will reflect on how the incident could have been prevented.
"It’s incumbent upon us to ask the questions that need answers, examine the circumstances, and to address these issues with whatever steps we can take to better protect our families and our schools," he said. "Now however, is a time for us to mourn, and to hold our children and loved ones closer as we pray for the victims in Newtown."
-- Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento
Photo: State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) is shown in 2001. Credit: Ben Margot / Associated Press