Elizabeth Warren on Gun Control
Massachusetts Senator; former head of CFPB; Dem. Presidential Challenger
WARREN: I think you have to ask a broader question here than simply our schools: we have a gun violence problem in America. And it has to do with mass shootings. We also have a gun violence problem with suicide--the lethality of suicide attempts in America--because of the ready availability of guns. And we have a problem with women dying from domestic violence and the increased odds that a woman will die because she is in a house with someone who is an abuser and there is also a gun available. There are studies right now that suggest a waiting period to be able to buy a gun reduces deaths by suicide by somewhere around 11%. We just need to keep working on it, studying, doing more. In an America where more than 90% of Americans want to see us do background checks and get weapons of war off the street--90%, that's Democrats and Republicans and independents--we do nothing. And the United States Senate can't even get a vote.
So what did we do? We did some more obvious. You put in safety glass so people don't get cut if they bump against a window. Seatbelts. Some things hadn't even been put into cars at the time, like airbags and automatic braking systems. But over time we reduced deaths by auto by more than 80%.
And that's what I want to do. I want to see us reduce gun violence overall. Some steps are going to be obvious, like we need national background checks of our guns. We need to get weapons of war off our streets. Some are less obvious, and the kind that you want to study.
WARREN: I want to get what work's done. I want to use the method we used, for example, with machine guns. We registered them. We put in a huge penalty if you didn't register them and a huge tax on them and let people turn them in, and it got machine guns out of the hands of people.
We have to reduce gun violence overall, and the question we have to ask is why hasn't it happened? You say, we're so close. We have been so close. I stood in the United States Senate in 2013 when 54 senators voted in favor of gun legislation and it didn't pass because of the filibuster. We've got to attack the corruption and repeal the filibusters or the gun industry will always have a veto over what happens.
Guns in the hands of a collector who's had them for decades, who's never fired them, who takes safety seriously, that's very different from guns that are sold and turned over quickly. We can't treat this as an across-the-board problem. We have to treat it like a public health emergency. That means bring data to bear and it means make real change in this country, whether it's politically popular or not.
The politics surrounding this issue make me want to tear my hair out. I know that Americans care fiercely about keeping our kids safe. So why do we toss common sense out the window when it comes to protecting our kids from gun violence?
Of course, not every kid has the same risk of becoming a victim. A large number of those gun deaths are in poor neighborhoods. Gang violence and street crime pose a far smaller threat in well-off suburbs than in gritty inner cities.
The candidates are most sharply divided about whether to renew the federal assault weapons ban, with Warren supporting an extension of the ban that expired in 2004 & Brown saying it is an issue best left to the states. Warren's campaign said she also supports proposals to require more rigorous background screenings, including for people who purchase firearms at gun shows; and opposes limits on the sharing of firearms trace information.
"There is a huge difference between the guns of a sportsman or homeowner and high-powered assault weapons with 100-cartridge magazines," she said. "I grew up around guns & gun owners, and I will work to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens. But the law must reflect the reality that, in the wrong hands, guns can be used for violent crimes, making neighborhoods less safe."
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: Sen. BLUMENTHAL: This amendment would ban high-capacity magazines which are used to kill more people more quickly and, in fact, have been used in more than half the mass shootings since 1982. I ask my colleagues to listen to law enforcement, their police, prosecutors who are outgunned by criminals who use these high-capacity magazines. I ask that my colleagues also listen to the families of those killed by people who used a high-capacity magazine.
Opponent's Argument for voting No: Sen. GRASSLEY. I oppose the amendment. In 2004, which is the last time we had the large-capacity magazine ban, a Department of Justice study found no evidence banning such magazines has led to a reduction in gun violence. The study also concluded it is not clear how often the outcomes of the gun attack depend on the ability of offenders to fire more than 10 shots without reloading. Secondly, there is no evidence banning these magazines has reduced the deaths from gun crimes. In fact, when the previous ban was in effect, a higher percentage of gun crime victims were killed or wounded than before it was adopted. Additionally, tens of millions of these magazines have been lawfully owned in this country for decades. They are in common use, not unusually dangerous, and used by law-abiding citizens in self-defense, as in the case of law enforcement.
Christian Coalition publishes a number of special voter educational materials including the Christian Coalition Voter Guides, which provide voters with critical information about where candidates stand on important faith and family issues. The Christian Coalition Voters Guide summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Further restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms"
Amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act
H.R.8: To require a background check for every firearm sale. This Act may be cited as the "Background Check Expansion Act".
Opposing argument from the Heritage Foundation, 2/26/2019: Heritage Action opposes the Bipartisan Background Checks Act (H.R. 8) and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard. This legislation would require universal background checks for all firearm sales (even private) with specific exceptions. Unfortunately, universal background checks would do little to prevent firearm violence and would instead make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to purchase, own, carry, and use a firearm. Studies show that universal background checks are largely ineffective when it comes to preventing mass shootings. In addition, most people imprisoned for firearm-related crimes access their firearms illegally through theft, the underground market, family members, or friends. H.R. 8 is poorly written and makes criminals out of many law-abiding Americans who commonly make low-risk firearm transfers.
Legislative outcome Roll call 99 in House on 2/27/2019 passed 240-190-2; introduced in Senate 1/8/2019; no action as of 3/28/2020.
|Other candidates on Gun Control:||Elizabeth Warren on other issues:|
Joe Kennedy III
Senate races 2019-20:
AK: Sullivan(R,incumbent) vs.Gross(I) vs.
AL: Jones(D,incumbent) vs.Tuberville(R) vs.
AR: Cotton(R,incumbent) vs.Harrington(L) vs.
AZ: McSally(R,incumbent) vs.Kelly(D)
CO: Gardner(R,incumbent) vs.Hickenlooper(D) vs.
DE: Coons(D,incumbent) vs.
GA-2: Isakson(R,resigned) Loeffler(R,appointed) vs.Warnock(D) vs.Collins(R) vs.Tarver(D) vs.
GA-6: Perdue(R,incumbent) vs.Ossoff(D) vs.Hazel(L) vs.Tomlinson(D) vs.Terry(D)
IA: Ernst(R,incumbent) vs.Greenfield(D) vs.
ID: Risch(R,incumbent) vs.Jordan(D) vs.
IL: Durbin(D,incumbent) vs.Curran(R) vs.
KS: Roberts(R,retiring) vs.Marshall(R) vs.Bollier(D) vs.
KY: McConnell(R,incumbent) vs.McGrath(D) vs.
LA: Cassidy(R,incumbent) vs.Perkins(D) vs.
MA: Markey(D,incumbent) vs.O`Connor(R) vs.Ayyadurai(R) vs.
ME: Collins(R,incumbent) vs.Gideon(D) vs.
MI: Peters(D,incumbent) vs.James(R) vs.Squier(G)
MN: Smith(D,incumbent) vs.Lewis(R) vs.Overby(G) vs.
MS: Hyde-Smith(R,incumbent) vs.Espy(D) vs.
MT: Daines(R,incumbent) vs.Bullock(D) vs.
NC: Tillis(R,incumbent) vs.Cunningham(D) vs.
NE: Sasse(R,incumbent) vs.Janicek(R)
NH: Shaheen(D,incumbent) vs.Messner(R) vs.
NJ: Booker(D,incumbent) vs.Mehta(R) vs.
NM: Udall(D,retiring) vs.Lujan(D) vs.Ronchetti(R) vs.Walsh(L) vs.
OK: Inhofe(R,incumbent) vs.Broyles(D) vs.
OR: Merkley(D,incumbent) vs.Perkins(R) vs.
RI: Reed(D,incumbent) vs.Waters(R)
SC: Graham(R,incumbent) vs.Harrison(D) vs.
SD: Rounds(R,incumbent) vs.Ahlers(D) vs.
TN: Alexander(R,retiring) vs.Hagerty(R) vs.Bradshaw(D) vs.
TX: Cornyn(R,incumbent) vs.Hegar(D) vs.
VA: Warner(D,incumbent) vs.
WV: Capito(R,incumbent) vs.Swearengin(D) vs.
WY: Enzi(R,retiring) vs.Lummis(R) vs.Ben-David(D) vs.
Senate Votes (analysis)