PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With the Capitol flag flying at half-staff behind him, Sen. Bob Casey admitted that the killing of school children in Connecticut has affected his thinking on guns.
“This moved me in a way that I don’t think I’ve ever been affected as it relates to how I should vote as a public official,” Casey told KDKA political editor Jon Delano in a satellite interview.
Casey has received an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association over the years, although that dropped to “B+” when he voted to confirm two justices to the Supreme Court. Still, Casey has usually been regarded as a sure vote against gun control measures.
But that could change.
“With a high-powered rifle at a very close range putting multiple bullets in each of those 20 children, that’s enough to haunt a nation for decades.”
Casey says he will now vote to ban the kind of semi-automatic weapon used to kill children in Connecticut.
“If there is a bill, and I think there will be, coming before the Senate to ban those kinds of weapons, I’ll vote for it,” he said.
Casey also says he will vote to limit the number of rounds that a clip can hold to 10 or less.
“His intent was to go to classroom after classroom, and he could have. He had enough ammunition to kill hundreds of children, and unless we take steps to stop that I don’t think we’re doing our job,” he said.
Casey says he has great respect for the hunting tradition in Southwestern Pennsylvania and in his home region in northeastern part of the state, but he says these two measures will have no impact at all on hunting.
He calls them common sense measures supported by a majority of citizens.
No reaction yet from the National Rifle Association.