Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley has been a very vocal supporter of strict gun control over the years. Handguns were outright banned in Chicago from 1982 until the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the ban last year, and on Monday Daley blamed access to guns in this country for the tragic shooting rampage in Arizona that left six dead and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords critically wounded.
"I want to extend my condolences and prayers to those who have lost their loved ones and to those that are suffering today," Daley said at McCormick Place Monday, according to the Chicago Tribune. "This is a national tragedy...But unfortunately, events like this happen far too often in America. We have to come back with some common sense gun laws."
The suspect in the Arizona shootings, Jared Loughner, allegedly used a 33-round magazine clip in his Glock-19 pistol--allowing him to shoot 20 people before reloading. (Read more about Loughner's weapon here.)
"...No one should have that type of weapon, that kind of magazine on the streets of America," Daley said. He added that one could try to understand why people kill other people, but the main problem is access to guns in this country.
"It should be an outrage, where we kill more people in America on a daily basis, on a yearly basis than most of the countries combined . . . and this is unacceptable," Daley said, adding that America is a "killing machine" because of guns.
Over the summer, Gov. Pat Quinn signed a Daley-backed law that requires anyone convicted of carrying a loaded handgun without a state firearm owner's identification card to serve at least one year in prison. Chicago's gun ordinance, which came following the Supreme Court ruling, allows residents to have a handgun in their home, but includes a strict list of rules for gun ownership in the city.
Daley isn't the only politician calling for tougher gun laws following the Arizona shooting rampage. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-New York) plans to introduce legislation that would make weapons like the one Loughner used a lot harder to obtain in the United States.
"They are weapons of mass destruction," she told HuffPo's Sam Stein Monday.
Daley said he has no plans to cut down on his public appearances following the Saturday shooting.