Giffords at Gun Violence Hearing: Too many children are dying
Johnson also said he's seen an "explosion of fire power since the assault weapons ban expired," and argued that "the ban on assault weapons, and high-capacity ammunition must be reinstated."
"Victims are being riddled with multiple gunshots," he said. "The common-sense measures we call for will not infringe on the Second Amendment rights, but will keep guns out of the dangerous hands of -- of people who are out there to commit danger in our society, and excessive firepower out of our communities."
While gun control advocates and many Democrats have applauded the White House for recent action on this issue, it's unclear which of these proposals -- if any -- can make it through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. And the pro-gun lobby has already begun using its considerable resources to target the president's proposals.
Wayne LaPierre, the CEO and Executive Vice President of the NRA, made the case this morning that efforts to curb gun violence should be focused strengthening school security and mental health resources. He also stated his opposition to closing gun show loopholes, arguing that criminals won't submit to background checks anyway.
"The problem with gun laws is, criminals don't cooperate with them. The mentally ill don't cooperate with them," he said. "Law-abiding gun owners will not accept blame for the acts of violent or deranged criminals, nor do we believe the government should dictate what we can lawfully own and use to protect our families... We need to be honest about what works and what does not work. Proposals that would only serve to burden the law-abiding have failed in the past and will fail in the future."
Gayle Trotter, an attorney and senior fellow at the Independent Women's Forum, also argued that assault weapons provide a woman with "peace of mind" -- because "knowing she has a scary looking gun gives her more courage."
"An assault weapon in the hands of a young woman defending her babies at her home becomes a defense weapon," she said.
Nicholas Johnson, a law professor at Fordham University School of Law, also appeared as a witness at the hearing.