Gun Control Debate Heats Up at Fox News Sunday

Captain Mark Kelly (USN, ret.) thinks the circumstances surrounding the shooting of his wife, former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), provide a case in point as to why background checks need to be made universal and the size of magazine clips limited.

He explained on “Fox News Sunday.”

“He was clearly mentally ill,” Kelly said of the shooter Jared Loughner.

“If his condition was entered into the system… I would assume he would’ve been rejected,” rather than passing the back ground check, as he did.

Kelly said that’s not enough though.

Even if Loughner was rejected through a back ground check,  “there is a gun show loophole, he could’ve easily gone to a private seller.”

Closing the so-called gun show loophole, and instituting universal background checks, have become priorities among stricter gun control advocates.

The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, who appeared after Captain Kelly,  disagreed that more controls are the answer.

“It’s a fraud to call it universal, it’s never going to be universal,” LaPierre argued.

It is his contention that criminals will not  subject themselves to expanded back ground checks, only law-abiding citizens will.

LaPierre argued that criminals will find a way to get the weapon they want, they will not be deterred by an expanded check.

Another proposal gaining some steam in Congress is banning high-capacity magazines.

As he said in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, Kelly believes had Loughner had a 10 magazine clip rather than the 33 magazine clip he had, he would have inflicted less damage.

As Kelly points out, when Loughner  went to reload his gun, he fumbled the magazine, giving bystanders an opportunity to restrain him.

Kelly agreed with LaPierre and the NRA’s position that the laws on the books, many of which arguably go unenforced, need to be enforced.

But Kelly added, “At same time we can’t give those people a second option of where to get a gun.”

LaPierre was asked about the Supreme Court’s ruling in DC v. Heller that, while finding an individual right to keep and bear arms is constitutional, ruled that it is  not without its limits.

LaPierre said that the organization agrees with reasonable limits.

And he thinks the majority of the American public is on the NRA’s side when it comes to the question of implementing new gun control measures.

“The American public see through this and want to see the existing laws enforced,” LaPierre said.

In the end, Kelly admits these are difficult problems, but he is optimistic that members on both sides of the aisle want to get something accomplished on this issue.

“We sent a man to the moon, we can solve this,” the former astronaut said.