John Brennan, who served as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration, called for a ban on semi-automatic weapons Wednesday following the two mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
Brennan, a MSNBC contributor, tweeted the two tragedies underscore the need to "ban semiautomatic weapons & high-capacity ammunition magazines" and "end hate speech that incites violence."
Recent Stories in Politics
Dayton & El Paso tragedies underscore the need to:
-ban semiautomatic weapons & high-capacity ammunition magazines;
-end hate speech that incites violence;
-return moral, honest, & competent leadership to the Oval Office.
We live in 21st century America; let’s act like it.
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) August 7, 2019
Most firearms being sold in the United States are semi-automatic, which means one pull of the trigger discharges a round of ammunition. Fully automatic guns, which were virtually banned by the Hughes Amendment in 1986, cause more havoc. One pull of the trigger continually discharges ammunition until the trigger is released or the ammo runs out.
Brennan, who also called for a ban on semi-automatic weapons a day after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida last year, isn't the only person calling for a ban on semi-automatic weapons this week. The Washington Free Beacon reported earlier this week on NBC News correspondent Heidi Przybyla saying "real change" is banning "semi-automatic weapons."
"The presidential candidates can be very strong on this and they can make a lot of promises, but what has to happen for real change, for instance, a ban on semi-automatic weapons, for a ban on high-capacity magazines, is that there also has to be a shift at the Senate level," Przybyla said.
In addition to calling for a ban on semi-automatic weapons, self-proclaimed communist Brennan called for an "end" to hate speech, which conflicts with the First Amendment.
The Supreme Court precedent was set in a 2017 ruling in the case of Matal v. Tam, which says the government cannot sanction or ban speech on the basis of it being hateful or unpopular. Supreme Court Samuel Alito's majority opinion argued banning hate speech "strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express ‘the thought that we hate.'"