Calling for “radical changes” to prevent mass shootings, Iowa state Rep. Dan Muhlbauer said it’s time to “ban” semi-automatic weapons in the Hawkeye State and “to start taking them” from those who already own them.
“With all these shootings going on, we have to start making radical changes and radical choices from what we’ve done in the past,” Muhlbauer, a Democrat, told Douglas Burns of the Daily Times Herald of Carroll, Iowa, in an interview conducted just days after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The newspaper published excerpts of the interview and posted the audio of the entire interview on its website.
Burns asked Muhlbauer what he thought could be done to prevent such tragedies. Muhlbauer’s very first recommendation: “Tightening up the guns laws. That’s one thing that has to be done.”
Burns later asked Muhlbauer to elaborate on that remark.
“We cannot have big guns out here … the semi-automatics and all of them,” Muhlbauer explained. “We can’t have those running around out here.”
“So we should ban those in Iowa?” Burns inquired.
“We should ban those in Iowa,” Muhlbauer replied.
Burns asked whether the ban should be simply on purchases in the future or whether there should “be some method to confiscate them from people who already purchased them legally.”
“Even if you have them I think we need to start taking them,” Muhlbauer said. He suggested first trying a voluntary buy-back program. But for those who, in the infamous words of President Barack Obama, “bitter[ly] cling to guns,” “there’s going to have to be some kind of penalty,” he averred.
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