Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) on Wednesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on guns compared Fordham University law professor Nicholas Johnson's stance on the Second Amendment to a "suicide pact."
"When I listened to you and Mr. Hardy describe the Second Amendment, it's a suicide pact. Because by your definition, what has become common in America is unacceptable in a civilized country," Durbin said, drawing applause from spectators at the hearing.
"I made a very different point, senator," Johnson contested.
"The point I want to make is this: if it is common in America to have a military assault weapon with a 100-round magazine, if that is common for self-defense in America, God save this country," Durbin said, again drawing applause.
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At the beginning of his testimony, Johnson said the gun classifications under the proposed assault weapons ban are "unsustainable under the lowest level of constitutional review."
Johnson added: "My overall assessment here is this: guns are dangerous. All of them are dangerous. As a class, they are exceptionally deadly when deployed against unarmed and defenseless people. And on that score, I fear that the conversation we've been having about this particular type of gun is a distraction from the broader issues."