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Sahil Kapur

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

Articles by Sahil

In the wake of the horrific Aurora, Colo. shooting, one of the few vocal proponents of gun control in Congress this week plans to advance a bill to crack down on high-capacity ammunition clips.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) will advance legislation this week to ban the sale of magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition at a time, his office confirms to TPM, as was first reported by the Huffington Post.

"[H]e will be pushing it this week," Lautenberg's spokesman Caley Gray said in an email.

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Sunday downplayed the relevance of gun laws to the Aurora, Colo. massacre that left a dozen people dead and at least 58 wounded.

"Everything should be looked at, but to think that somehow gun control is -- or increased gun control is -- the answer, in my view that would have to be proved," he said on CNN's "State of the Union."

The senator said gun-rights advocates "would be glad to have a conversation." But "to somehow lead to the conclusion that this was somehow caused by the fact that we don't have more gun control legislation -- I don't think it's been proved."

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) on Sunday lamented the lack of support she gets in Congress for her outspoken advocacy in favor of stricter gun safety laws.

"A lot of politicians know it's the right thing to try to fight for something to save lives," she said on NBC's "Meet The Press." "They don't have a spine anymore. They pander to who's giving them money."

Conservative columnist George Will said Sunday that the Aurora, Colo. shootings have little to do with the nation's gun laws, describing it as the product of an isolated, deranged individual.

"That's what the problem is -- an individual's twisted mind," he said on ABC's "This Week" roundable. "There is a human itch in the modern age to commit sociology as soon as this happens and to piggy-back various political agendas on a tragedy. And I just think we ought to resist that. ... There are dereanged people in the world."

Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin, also appearing on the roundtable, similarly argued that the tragedy didn't have much to do with gun laws. She said the more relevant issue is mental health.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), whose district covers Aurora, told CBS' "Face The Nation" Sunday that he supports reinstating the 1994-2004 federal assault weapons ban in the wake of deadly shootings in the city.

"I think this is really a congressional issue that has to be dealt with," he said. "You know, should we rinstate the assault weapons ban? I think we should. And I think that's where it starts."

The NCAA will on Monday announce "corrective and punitive measures" against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, according to a statement.

ESPN reports that "the penalties will be significant," while a source tells CBS News they'll be "unprecedented."

Appearing Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), called the Aurora shooter a "terrorist" -- in the apolitical sense of the word.

"I think the political will come. But at this point, you know, in a funny way, this guy is a terrorist," he said. “He wasn’t a terrorist in the sense of politics but for whatever twisted reasons that we can barely even imagine, he wanted to create terror. He wanted to put fear in people's lives."

 

Asked Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" whether there's an appetite to look at gun laws in the wake of the Aurora shootings, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper demurred.

"Well, I'm not sure there's any way in a free society to be able to do that kind of -- he was buying things in different places," he said. "Certainly we can -- I'm sure we will try -- to create some checks and balances on these things. But I mean this is a case of evil -- somebody who was an aberration of nature. If it wasn't one weapon it would have been another. I mean, he was diabolical."

He added: "We are certainly looking at that and trying to say ... how do we preserve our freedoms and all those things that define this country and yet try to prevent something like this from happening. Let me tell you, there's no easy answer. There isn't."

President Obama will travel to Aurora, Colo. on Sunday afternoon to visit families of victims of the recent shootings and local officials, the White House announced Saturday night.

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