Not every elected official afraid of talking about gun regulations

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"You know, Governor Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts actually passed a ban on assault weapons, and President Obama when he came into office in 2008 said he would reinstitute a federal ban on assault weapons."

"The governor has apparently changed his views, and the president has spent the last three years trying to avoid the issue - or if he's facing it, I don't know anybody that's seen him face it.

"It's time for both of them to be called, held accountable," he continued. "You know, we spend all our time talking about tax returns, and gaffes, and things like that. This is one of those issues, along with a handful of others, that really matter to the American public. It matters to the future of our country, it matters to you and me and to our children and grandchildren. And it's time I think that we hold them accountable and say, 'Okay, you want our votes? What are you going to do?"

On Fox News Sunday Diane Feinstein, the former Mayor of San Francisco who in her first year as a Senator was compelled to help write what became known as the Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, said:

"Pure and simple, weapons of war don't belong on the streets. This is a powerful weapon. He had a 100-round drum. This is a man who planned it, who went in and his purpose was to kill as many people as he could in a sold-out theater. I think we've got to sit down and really come to grips with what is sold to the average citizen in America.

I have no problem with people being licensed to buy a firearm. But these are weapons that you're only going to be using to kill people in close combat. That's the purpose of that weapon. You can put a Hellfire switch on it. You can fire a semi-automatic very rapidly, this drum was huge. He had a 100 bullets in it and he went out to kill a lot of people. I think these weapons ought to be stopped. I think the sale and transfer - that's what my bill did for 10 years. "

Fox News' Chris Wallace then turned to the Republican on the show, Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron Johnson.

Wallace: "Does something that would limit magazines that could carry 100 rounds, would that infringe on the constitutional right?"

Johnson: "I believe so. People will talk about unusually lethal weapons, that could be potentially a discussion you could have. But the fact of the matter is there are 30-round magazines that are just common all over the place. You simply can't keep these weapons out of the hands of sick, demented individuals who want to do harm. And when you try and do it, you restrict our freedom."

Feinstein persisted, asking why such large magazine clips needed? Those high-capacity magazines banned under the Assault Weapons Ban have been legal since 2004.

Johnson said it would be tantamount to taking away "our freedoms."

Over on ABC'sThis Week was House Democrat Carolyn McCarthy from New York, who was elected in part on a strong gun-control message in 1996. When asked about why Democrats have dropped the issue of gun control so significantly over the past decade, she said there was a lack of spine in Washington on the issue.

McCARTHY: I always look at it this way, no one from the NRA is ever going to vote for me. They’re just not. They might even come after me on other issues. But the thing of it is, as a politician, a lot of politicians know it’s the right thing to try to fight for something to save lives. They don’t have the spine anymore. They pander to who’s giving them money.

Police chiefs around the country have always wanted more regulations on guns, if anyone is listening. On ABC's This Week, Philadelphia Chief Charles Ramsey admitted that gun control alone might not stop a James Holmes "but what I deal with the day to day violence that takes place in the streets of Philadelphia......this is a daily occur occurrence for me and chiefs across the country, so this is not just one incident where people are able to get their hands on firearms although I have an issue with people being able to buy ammunition and weapons in the Internet, for example.....there needs to be reasonable gun control put in place, and we talk about this constantly and absolutely nothing happens because many of our legislators at the federal level lack the courage to do it."

Also on ABC during their roundtable discussion was another strident Democrat who says that it's a myth that members of his party will automatically lose if they support some gun regulations was former Philadelphia Mayor and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell,

ED RENDELL, FRM. PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR: George, they're both right. Reasonable gun control laws aren't going to eliminate problems like this from happening, but they're going to reduce their frequency. No one in America should be able to have, no citizen, should be able to have an assault rifle, an automatic assault weapon. No citizen should be able to have a clip that has more than 10 bullets in it. Had the congress not, in an incredible act of cowardice, let the assault weapons ban s expire, the gun would have been illegal that he bought. And he bought it at a Gadner Mountain. They couldn't have sold it. And he wouldn't have had that 100 round magazine, 100 rounds.

When it comes to issues like this, the tendency is to write that the debate will continue. Except that remains uncertain just a few days after the Colorado horror, since this is hardly the first massive shooting in the country. As Rendell said about the fact that such incidents also occur overseas (such as in Norway),"that happened in Norway once. It happens in America three times a year."

The conventional wisdom just hours after the country learned about the horrifying outburst of gun violence in Aurora, Colorado was that although it was indeed tragic, nothing could be done legislatively to insure that such an incident could be stopped in the future.

One voice in American political culture dared to differ - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who like other U.S. mayor and police chiefs, have never kept quiet about the need for sensible gun regulations.

On CBS' Face The Nation, Bloomberg reiterated the point that he believes in this time of national tragedy, it's high time that the presidential candidates talk substantively about this issue.

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