WASHINGTON -- Guns don't kill people. Gun laws kill people, argued Larry Pratt, head of Gun Owners of America, on Fox News Sunday.
Host Chris Wallace asked Pratt if the complete inability of Congress to pass any gun safety legislation in the year since the Newtown massacre counted as a victory for the gun lobby.
"We're not really going to be able to talk about a victory until we get rid of the laws that prohibit people from having guns to protect themselves in schools and in other places," Pratt said. "Every one of our mass murders in our country has occurred in places where guns were prohibited."
Wallace seemed a bit surprised at the answer, which was delivered after he aired an emotional interview with Carlee Soto, whose older sister Vicki was murdered while shielding her students at Sandy Hook Elementary School, ultimately saving 11 of their lives. Wallace asked Pratt if he was saying that the gun lobby planned to go on offense and press for repeal of laws currently in place.
"That is correct, Chris. The legislation that is on the books is lethal. It is killing people. All of these gun free zones are murder magnets. We've simply got to get rid of them. It's an illusion that somehow we're going to be safer in a particular area because you can't have a gun, because the bad guy is going to have a gun," he said.
Wallace's interview with Soto, meanwhile, was grounded more firmly in reality. "No matter how many times we see the images, it's still agonizing," he said, noting that a new school shooting just on Friday reminded the nation of the epidemic of gun violence.
He asked Soto how she was holding up a year after Sandy Hook. "We're just trying to take it day by day," she said. "I can remember everything from that day ... every smell, every person, it's so vivid to me."
She said that sitting in the Senate gallery while Congress rejected gun legislation was not easy. "It was extremely hard to watch these members of Congress come in and vote no on something so sensible," she said, noting background checks only take roughly 90 seconds. "It is hard. There is definitely days where I don't want to do this."
Mark Kelly, whose wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), was shot in the head at a constituent event, also spoke to Wallace, who noted that of 109 new gun laws passed, two-thirds loosened restrictions. "I think you chalk it up to politics and the influence that certain organizations have," Kelly said.
Wallace told Soto, who has become an advocate for stricter gun laws, that his "thoughts and prayers" were with her and her family.
"I'm just trying to keep myself busy, because our one-year anniversary is just another day," she said, "another day without my older sister by my side."
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