Sen. Chuck Schumer joined the many many politicos who made their way to Al Sharpton’s House of Justice for a Martin Luther King tribute today, and he used the pulpit to make the connection between the legacy of Dr. King and the shooting in Arizona last weekend.
Schumer noted that the nation’s first gun control legislation–the Gun Control Act of 1968–came about in the wake of the assassination of King and Robert F. Kennedy, and he said that that law should have kept Jared Laughner from being able to legally obtain a gun.
And Schumer took to the Constitution to answer his colleagues across the aisle.
“We understand those from the southern and western states, they say the Constitution contains a right to bear arms. They are correct. We can’t change that, nor would we want to. But no amendment is absolute,” he said. “The first amendment is not absolute. You are not allowed to scream fire in a crowded theater. You are not allowed to libel someone…You are not allowed to sell pornography to children. The Second Amendment is not absolute either. There is nothing wrong with putting reasonable limits on guns.”
Schumer reiterated his call for greater information sharing between the Army and the FBI and said the Assault Weapons Ban–which he co-authored while in the House–had saved thousands of lives.
“We have many things to do on Dr. King’s Day, and one of them is to get the guns away from people who shouldn’t have them once and for all so that our communities and our children can be a whole lot safer than they are today,” Schumer said, adding, “One of the things I pledge to you is to do everything I can to see that that happens using the position that I have in the Senate.”
But despite Schumer’s leading the charge in Harlem, he seems aware that putting any limits on guns is not likely now. On Sunday he said on “Meet the Press,” “Let’s be honest here–there haven’t been the votes in the Congress for gun control.”