California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is expected to play a prominent role in the effort to tighten gun-control laws in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Senator Feinstein helped usher the Federal Assault Weapons Ban through Congress in the nineteen nineties. The law expired in 2004 and Feinstein tried to get it reinstated after previous mass killings but her efforts have been blocked. In the basement of the Capitol, Feinstein explains why she thinks the Newtown, Connecticut killings are different.
FEINSTEIN: "The smallness and beauty of these children is so graphic. The loss is so dramatic."
Feinstein is expected to become chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee next month. She wants to use that position to help reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban. Many conservatives strongly oppose the ban…arguing that people commit crimes, weapons don't. The Connecticut killer carried out the attack with his mother's legally purchased rifle that carried 30 rounds per clip. Feinstein says a gun with that capacity should never be legal.
FEINSTEIN: "So this kind of belies everything that's out there. So my view is we really need to deal with weapons that are so easy for people of all different persuasions to get a hold of."
Feinstein says she wants the Judiciary Committee to begin hearings on a broad range of gun-control measures when the new Congress is seated in January.