WASHINGTON – In the aftermath of the mass shooting last week at a Colorado movie theater, a small group of lawmakers on Capitol Hill hope to ban the sale of ammunition for assault weapons, but there seems to be little momentum to pass any new federal gun control laws.
While most of Capitol Hill remains quiet on whether the tragic shootings in Aurora should warrant another look at gun safety laws, New York Rep. Carolyn McCarthy insists now is the perfect time to revive the conversation.
"What has happened in all these mass killings all the way to this weekend, there is one thing in common and they were the large magazine clips,” she said.
McCarthy’s husband was fatally shot during a mass killing spree on a commuter train in 1993. She, along with New Jersey's two senators and a Colorado congresswoman, is calling for a ban on high-capacity ammunition for assault weapons.
"No reasonable person can look at the shooting in Colorado and not wonder how someone like 24-year-old James Holmes could have amassed such an arsenal," Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said.
Holmes had four guns, one of them an assault rifle, and 6,000 rounds of ammunition. McCarthy blames the powerful National Rifle Association lobby for the lack of dialogue on the issue, saying they should be working together.
"Maybe we should have it where you can go to a gun club and buy the large magazine and just have it there but it can't go outside the shop. There are reasonable ways of working around this," she said.
While Democratic leadership has quietly admitted they will not pursue a ban, Republicans have no trouble dismissing talk of more gun laws.
"Automatically, the knee-jerk reaction is more gun control. Well, guns don't kill people, people kill people. This individual is obviously disturbed," said Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C.
McCarthy, though, is hopeful that in light of the Colorado tragedy, the public will demand action.
"I don't know when the American people will raise their voices and show these legislators there are people that happen to support reducing gun violence in this country," she said.
House and Senate leaders of both parties say they have no plans to touch the issue of gun control during the election year and that the shooting should not be politicized.