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Former Rep. Giffords asks Congress For Bold Gun Control Bill
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords says Congress should be bold in writing new laws to address gun violence in America.
Giffords was severely wounded in a 2011 shooting spree that killed six people during a forum in Tucson. She told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Americans are counting on lawmakers to address the problem.
Speaking haltingly, she said: "It will be hard, but the time is now. Too many children are dying."
The former Arizona congresswoman was the first witness at Congress's initial hearing on gun violence since the Newton, Conn., elementary school massacre in December.
The Senate committee is taking the lead in writing legislation to address gun violence. Many want to re-impose an assault weapons ban and prohibition on large-capacity ammunition magazines.
The National Rifle Association opposes these proposals. Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre represented the powerful gun lobby at the hearing.
"We need to be honest about what works and what does not work. Proposals that would only serve to burden the law- abiding have failed in the past and they'll fail again in the future. Semi-automatic firearms technology has been around for 100 years. They're the most popular guns for hunting, target-shooting, self- defense. Despite this fact, Congress banned the manufacture and sale of hundreds of semi-automatic firearms and magazines from '94 to 2004. And independent studies, including one from the Clinton Justice Department, proved that it had no impact on lowering crime. And when it comes to background checks, let's be honest. Background checks will never be universal because criminals will never submit to them," LaPierre said.
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