Sen. Risch, notable judge weigh in on gun control

Credit: Eric Turner / KTVB

Sen. Risch, notable judge weigh in on gun control

Print
Email
|

by Justin Corr

Bio | Email | Follow: @JCorrKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on April 10, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 11 at 7:39 AM

Washington D.C. -- On Capitol Hill, two Senators have reached a bipartisan deal on background checks designed to keep firearms from criminals and people with mental illness.

The bill would expand background checks to places like gun shows and the internet.

"The common ground rests on a simple proposition, that criminals and the dangerously mentally ill shouldn't have guns," said Sen. Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania.

But some Senators, like Idaho's Jim Risch, say the bill would do nothing but burden honest Americans.

"The politicians here are going to try to convince people they're actually doing something, and they aren't," said Risch.

Risch says he, along with some of his colleagues, will try to stop the vote Thursday morning. But, he admits that there isn't enough support for his view, and that the vote will happen, starting a weeks-long debate on gun control.

Risch says the jury is still out on the bill, but overall, he's against expanding the current background check system, because he says it does not, and will not stop felons and seriously mentally ill people from getting guns and shooting people.

"[It] didn't stop Sandy Hook, it didn't stop Virginia Tech, it didn't stop Aurora... To do something just to be doing something, further burdening people who are exercising a constitutional right, just is not a good way to do this," said Risch.

We also talked to Judge Larry Burns. The NNU grad presided over the case of Jared Loughner, who shot 19 people, killing six, in Arizona two years ago.

He said his personal opinion is similar to Risch's on not being able to stop shootings. But, he believes you can stop mass shootings by banning high-capacity clips.

"I have no illusions at all that we can stop people who are bent on shooting other people. That's going to continue. What I'm hoping is that we reach a point where citizens all agree that it's time to take the 'mass' out of mass shooting," said Burns.

A political analyst says a huge majority of Americans support background checks. So, Risch's position could be unpopular, but perhaps not in Idaho.

As far as the legislation goes, amendments will be voted on in the next few weeks, and then, an up or down vote on the whole bill.

Wednesday night, the President is hosting a dinner for Republican senators, including Idaho's Mike Crapo, at the White House. The President's aides say they will discuss a number of topics, including gun control, the President's budget proposal, and immigration reform.

Print
Email
|