Walz rethinking some gun stances after school massacre

WASHINGTON – Like many Democrats who represent rural, socially conservative districts, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz has been a big advocate for gun owners in Congress, which has earned him the endorsement of the powerful National Rifle Association.

But the massacre of 26 students and teachers at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Midtown, CT last week has shaken Walz, a former teacher and the parent of young children.

He’s now rethinking his stance on whether assault-style weapons, such as the one used in the shooting, and large ammunition magazines should be banned. Both are currently legal. Walz has opposed banning them in the past, going so far as to sign a letter with a large group of U.S. House members in 2009 to oppose a ban.

“It’s not as if there have never been lines in the sand and things you can’t own and if we as a society, because of the nature of where we’re at, we have to take a look at that, I certainly want that to be at the table,” said Walz in an interview.

Instead of tightening gun ownership rules, some members of Congress and state Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, have advocated allowing teachers to bring weapons to schools in order to speed up the response to potential future shootings. Walz said he could not support those proposals.

“I could not disagree more both from a parent, from a citizen and especially as a teacher that’s not the culture of that classroom. I think that idea of arming teachers is pretty much just giving up,” he said.

  • Anthony Floyd

    Too bad he didn’t rethink sooner. It is my understanding that Walz took money from the NRA.

    The reason I did not contribute to his campaign

    this fall.

  • Frank Hawthorne

    Though disappointed by his past positions, not only did I Not “give-up” on Tim Walz because of his “pro-NRA” stand; but I now applaud him for seeing some light in what has to be a national debate over the proliferation & use of these Non-hunting weapons.

    We need hunters, and other 2nd Amendment advocates, to help lead the charge on this effort to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban, place commonsense restrictions on ammunition, and close the Gun Show Loophole.

    The victims of Newtown (and so many other places) will have died in vain if we can’t find it within us, and Congress, to inject some sanity into American society w. such reasonable measures.