The gun control debate

January 10, 2011 1:08:14 PM PST
Fifteen minutes.

That's how long to took Jared Loughner to walk into a gun store in Tucson, Arizona, and then walk out with a Glock 9mm semi-automatic gun.

Fifteen minutes.

All legal. A gun purchase by a guy who by all accounts was disturbed - not the kind of person who should have a weapon of mass destruction in his hands.

Now he's charged with Saturday's massacre in Arizona, as a Congresswoman fights for her life, her skullcap removed, her family keeping vigil, and a nation asking some tough questions about its gun laws and about its out-of-control ramped-up political rhetoric.

We're covering the story from all angles tonight: From Arizona, where families mourn those who were murdered, and the family of Gabrielle Giffords holds vigil; and from our area, where one of the victims spent time; and from Washington, D.C., where questions are now being asked about the ramped-up political rhetoric that swept a new wave of Republicans into office last week. There's a somber mood among elected officials over what they've wrought with these campaigns of hate-the-government. How long will that last? And not everyone's on board this take-a-moment-to-reflect sentiment. Rush Limbaugh, the on-air leader of the Tea Party movement, today called the mainstream media and the Tucson Sheriff who questioned that state's loose gun laws, "fools."

We have had a number of people weigh in on both sides of this issue on our Interaction blog and our Facebook page. Stacy Shaver wrote, "You cannot take guns away from Americans. It is our right to bare arms. If the "crazies" want to get a gun they will get one no matter what the law says." But Keira Rodriguez wrote, "I think gun control needs to be revisited. A simple background check would've raised some red flags about this individual and could've perhaps stopped this tragedy." You can share your opinion by click here.

Speaking of the gun laws, we're also looking at the laws of some states, including Arizona, the most lenient in the nation. The gun Mr. Loughner bought in 15 minutes in Arizona would have taken him 6 months to buy in New York City, according to our investigative reporter Jim Hoffer, who's been reporting the gun buy in Arizona.

And Loughner, who has not yet said a word to investigators, is set to make his first appearance in federal court late this afternoon.

We'll have complete coverage at 11.

We're also tracking another snow storm, the third in less than three weeks. This as the Bloomberg Administration is on the hot seat before the New York City Council. Mistakes were made, the Mayor's deputies admitted today - acknowledging what New Yorkers already knew all too well. The Mayor insists the City is ready for this next storm - set to hit tomorrow night into Wednesday morning. Meteorologist Jeff Smith, in for Lee Goldberg, is tracking the coagulating systems that will bring snow to the entire area.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.


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