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Most Dems Mum on Guns But Not Inouye

Salon’s Alex Seitz-Wald published a comprehensive look at the overwhelming silence from Democrats on gun control — and specifically assault weapons — in the wake of the mass shooting in Colorado last week.

Most Democrats are keeping quiet, and not engaging in a renewed debate over the always-contentious issue. By Salon’s tally, that includes Sen. Daniel Akaka, who originally voted for a federal assault weapons ban in 1993. (DC808 reached out to Akaka’s spokesman moments ago, and we’re waiting for a response.)

Sen. Daniel Inouye also supported the 1993 ban. He issued a lengthy statement on his current position, excerpted here: 

“I am not against owning guns. I understand hunting and I know that some people feel evil is all around them and they want some protection, but to be able to go online and buy 6,000 rounds of ammunition, what in God’s name is a civilian doing with 6,000 rounds of ammunition?

"I am all for personal protection but you do not need an arsenal. Our country needs a national gun law. We should limit the number and type of weapons an individual is allowed to own and they ought to be catalogued in a national database that every arms dealer has to check before making a sale. 

"If somebody carries an assault rifle, like the kind I carried while fighting in Europe during World War II, they are not going duck hunting; they are going manhunting."

UPDATE: A spokesman for Akaka says the senator “has always been a strong supporter” of a federal assault weapons ban, and wants to see the ban reinstated. 

— Adrienne LaFrance

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