Former President Barack Obama’s education secretary and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel were planning to turn a national tragedy into a legislative victory for the administration two days after the 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
On the morning of Dec. 14, 2012, a 20-year-old man killed his mother in their home then traveled to Sandy Hook Elementary School with a semi-automatic rifle and two pistols in tow.
The man broke into the school and killed another 26 people — 20 of whom were first-grade students. The gunman committed suicide after authorities arrived on the scene.
Two days later, on the evening of Dec. 16, former-Education Secretary Arne Duncan emailed Emanuel under the subject line, “CT shootings,” seeking advice on pushing gun reform legislation, according to The Baltimore Post.
The complete exchange took place between 6:57 p.m. to 7:08 p.m. It follows as first reported by The Post:
Duncan: “What are your thoughts?”
Emanuel: “Go for a vote this week before it fades. Tap peoples’ emotion. Make it simple assault weapons.”
Duncan: “Yup- thanks.”
Emanuel: “When I did Brady bill and assault weapons for Clinton, we always made it simple: Criminals or war weapons.”
Duncan: “Gun show loophole? Database? Cop-killer bullets? Too complicated?”
Emanuel: “Cop killer maybe. The other no.”
Duncan: “Got it.”
At the time of the shooting, Newtown was the second most deadly mass shooting on a school campus after a 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech where 32 students and teachers were killed.
Emanuel served as an adviser to former-President Bill Clinton from 1992 to 1998. He worked with Clinton to push Congress to pass the 1993 Brady bill that imposed a five-day waiting period for purchasing a handgun.
Emanuel also worked in the White House when Congress passed the 1994 federal assault weapons ban that made 18 specific firearms illegal, along with some gun features and modifications.
The weapons ban timed out after 10 years.
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