“I don’t think that’s the first place you should look… we don’t even have all the facts,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said when asked by MSNBC’s Chuck Todd about whether he’d support a ban on assault weapons.
In April 2007, the worst mass murder by a single gunman in U.S. history took place at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg. Using several ten round magazines in a Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol and a a .22 caliber Walther P22 semi-automatic pistol, Seung-Hui Cho shot 49 people, killing 32. Cho also used hollow-point bullets in the massacre. In Arizona in 2011, Jared Lee Loughner used a high capacity 32 round magazine on a Glock 9 mm semi-automatic handgun to shoot 20 people and kill 6.
Todd asked Gov. McDonnell if he would consider a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. McDonnell stated he would be accepting of limited ammunition “if it was shown to prevent crimes.” McDonnell also indicated that mental health was an issue in the massacre. McDonnell was not a supporter of federal health care reform. He made no commitment to gun changing present gun laws in Virginia or on the federal level.
Last Friday, 27 people were shot to death including 20 first graders ages 6 and 7 in Newtown, Conn. The Newtown massacre is expected to be a test to the power of the NRA. Many commentators believe that if there is no substantive change in federal gun laws after 20 children were shot to death that change will likely never come.