James Holmes was armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic assault weapon. He’d added a 100 bullet drum, which was theoretically capable of killing 50 or 60 people a minute. Police say the gun jammed, however, so Holmes switched to another gun that was less effective. Even so, he killed or wounded 70 people.
He also had a shotgun and two Glock handguns with him.
“All weapons he possessed, he possessed legally. All clips he possessed, he possessed legally. All ammunition he possessed, he possessed legally,” Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said last week.
Does the right to own assault weapons supersede the rights of Americans not to be mowed down in movie theaters? It does, according to the NRA, the entire Republican Party and some Democrats. For them, the right to bear arms trumps even the unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
But here’s a surprising development — it’s the first time I’ve ever agreed with Bill Kristol about anything:
Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol on Sunday broke with fellow conservatives and backed restrictions the sales of “assault weapons” like the AR-15 that was allegedly used to kill at least 12 people and wound 58 others in Aurora, Colorado last week.
“People have a right to handguns and hunting rifles,” Kristol told Fox News host Chris Wallace. “I don’t think they have a right to semi-automatic, quasi-machine guns that can be used to shoot a hundred bullets at a time.”
“And I actually think the Democrats are being foolish as they’re being cowardly,” he added. “I think there is more support for some moderate forms of gun control if they separated clearly from a desire to take away everyone’s handguns or rifles.”
“And you could put more pressure on moderate Republicans than people think. It’s not as if Republicans from New York and Illinois and California couldn’t — that President Obama couldn’t do what President Clinton did and put pressure on them [to pass an assault weapons ban]. President Obama on this one is just unwilling to take a strong stance.”