Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee (Mich.) said on CNN Thursday he does not support a ban on every semi-automatic weapon, a proposal that was cheered Wednesday night by attendees at a CNN town hall held in response to the Parkland, Fla. high school mass shooting.
"CNN Newsroom" host John Berman played a clip of Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) stating his objections at the town hall to a blanket ban on semi-automatic weapons.
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"It's the problem that once you start looking at how easy it is you get around it, you would have to ban every semi-automatic rifle that's sold in America," Rubio said to inadvertent cheers.
"What was interesting there, congressman, is that crowd: several thousand people cheered wildly at the notion of banning every semi-automatic weapon," Berman said.
"You've proposed a ban on assault weapons, but you don't support a ban on every semi-automatic weapon do you?" he continued.
"No," Kildee responded. "But I think that cheer gives a sense of how frustrated people are. They want something done. My view is, let's do what we know makes sense: close the gun show loophole."
Kildee further addressed the applause a bit later in the conversation, saying heightened "public sentiment" is not necessarily reason to implement sweeping policies like a complete semi-automatic weapons ban but does not excuse lack of action on the part of lawmakers either.
"Knowing that public sentiment right now is at a peak level doesn't excuse us from doing the things we know actually would make a difference," Kildee said.
Berman pointed out that the applause at the town hall will be seen by the gun rights movement as evidence gun control proponents really do want to take away people's guns.
"Yeah. You're right," Kildee acknowledged. "Gun advocates, the NRA will seize upon that as evidence there's a slippery slope. None of that excuses us as policymakers from actually having a thoughtful conversation about this."