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Public Statements

Cornyn: Assault Weapons Ban "Symbolism Over Substance'

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Today U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) spoke out on the need to protect the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding Texas gun owners during consideration of new gun control legislation in the Senate Judiciary Committee:

On the need to focus on prosecution of existing gun crimes

"My concern is that this bill is a solution in search of a problem. Straw purchasing for purpose of directing guns to people who cannot legally obtain them is already a crime. And so we double down and say "this time we really mean it,' when in fact the real problem, I think, in many instances is the lack of prosecution of existing crimes by the Department of Justice.

"And as I've said earlier and I'll say again, I have a hard time explaining to my constituents back home how passing more laws that will go unenforced makes them any safer."

On opposition to the Assault Weapons Ban

"Congress and President Clinton tried a so-called Assault Weapons Ban 19 years ago and we have the benefit of hindsight as well as some research to examine the lackluster results of that decade-long experiment. According to the Department of Justice's own study it was completely ineffectual in reducing murder or violent crime rates.

"So, are we really going to pass another law that will have zero effect, and pat ourselves on the back and say "we've accomplished something wonderful?' Well we tried this experiment once and it failed, and I think it promotes symbolism over seriousness to repeat that mistake."

On the need to focus on mental health

"If there was a common thread in the Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora and Newtown massacres, it was the mental illness of the shooter…The commonality is not the type of guns used…the common thread was mental illness. No one wants disturbed young men or women for that matter to have access to firearms.

"Unfortunately this legislation focuses not on the perilous intersection of mental illness and guns, but on cosmetic features of certain firearms. We should refocus our effort to make sure the current background check system works to screen out the dangerously mentally-ill…But sadly we seem to be focused on window-dressing and risk putting symbolism over substance."


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