Donnelly opposes President Obama's assault weapons ban
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, IN - The word out of Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly's office when the gun control debate started on Capital Hill Wednesday was the conservative Democrat would oppose President Obama's ban on assault rifles.
Donnelly issued a statement as the Senate Judiciary Committee began hearing testimony on a proposed ban and universal background checks that pointed to his support of Second Amendment gun rights.
His record of supporting the rights of law abiding gun owners gave away later to a spokesman saying the new senator would not support an assault weapons ban. Donnelly will look at other alternatives like universal checks and other restrictions that would keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.
As other conservative Democrats express reluctance to support an assault weapon ban, it looks like a repeat of the same ban in 1994 is unlikely.
Republican lawmakers like Congressman Luke Messer who represents Muncie, Winchester, New Castle and the rest of eastern Indiana, already has strongly opposed an assault weapons ban as well as other Indiana Republican congressmen.
The committee hearing had dozens of people lined up to testify and was emotional with former Congressman Gabby Gifford, a victim of gun violence, telling lawmakers that too many children were dying and something had to be done.
Then there was Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Association saying how the last assault weapons ban did not work, and that criminals would never register their guns or stop buying them. He also said the last assault weapons ban during 1994-2004 did not reduce gun violence.
As George Wolfe, a Ball State music professor, spoke last week, the culture of violence whether it is media, movies and elsewhere has to end. And he called on LaPierre and others in NRA leadership to resign since a majority of its members believe in more gun control.