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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

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national lead

April 8th, 2013
04:56 PM ET

Are gun control advocates focusing on the wrong things?

President Obama makes his second trip to Connecticut Monday since the Sandy Hook massacre, delivering a speech in Hartford – where he is expected to be joined by Newtown families. The President is trying to keep the outrage over the deaths in the forefront of the public while lawmakers continue fighting over the gun control package the president proposed in the wake of Newtown.

Last week, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed what advocacy groups call the strongest and most comprehensive gun legislation in the nation. The new law bans some weapons as well as the sale or purchase of high-capacity magazines like those used in the Newtown shooting in December that left 20 children and six adults dead.

But according to a University of Pennsylvania study, assault weapons are only used in 2-9% of gun crimes. Mostly handguns are used.

The new Connecticut gun laws have "an emphasis on assault weapons because of mass killings that involve assault weapons - the AR-15 in Newtown - but also because of the use of high-capacity magazines which are also involved in the effort that we are undertaking to bring that amendment to the floor as part of the effort to control violence in this country," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut.
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politics lead

April 8th, 2013
01:00 PM ET

Connecticut Sen. Blumenthal: We can break the NRA's stranglehold

President Obama makes his second trip to Connecticut on Monday since the Sandy Hook massacre, delivering a speech in Hartford where he is expected to be joined by Newtown families. The president is trying to keep the outrage over the deaths in the forefront of the public, while lawmakers continue fighting over the gun control package the president proposed in the wake of Newtown.

The president's speech comes a day after the state’s governor slammed National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre.

"Wayne reminds me of the clowns at the circus. They get the most attention. And that's what he's paid to do," Malloy said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal says the NRA has been weakened.

"We have a historic opportunity to break the stranglehold that the special interests, like the NRA, have had over legislative consideration of gun safety," Blumenthal on "The Lead" Monday. "And I believe that we can and will break that stranglehold because the NRA has lost a lot of its credibility."

But the NRA has gained at least a half million members since the Sandy Hook, Newtown shooting.

"And many of those members now support, for example, background checks. The polls show that many NRA members and responsible law-abiding gun owners actually support background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminal and others who are dangerous," said Blumenthal.

For our full interview with the Connecticut senator, watch The Lead on CNN at 4pm ET Monday.

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sports lead

April 8th, 2013
09:54 AM ET

Obama's bracket goes bust

President Obama has defeated many a tough political opponent, but when it came to this year's March Madness picks, he proved himself no match for Cinderella.

In round one, the president learned an important political lesson: never ignore Florida. Florida Gulf Coast University's astounding run, starting with a win over Georgetown, were early-turning upsets that left Obama's bracket, at that point, in the 30th percentile. The president wasn't just getting beat by most of the country, he was getting beat by his Oval Office mini-me: Kid President.

The commander-in-chief took charge in round two, correctly picking all four regional semi-finalists in the east, and three in the Midwest and south. He forecast five out of eight winners in that round.

But the weekend before the final four, the president's bracket officially went bust; only one of President Obama's projected winners made it the final four: Louisville. But Obama tapped Indiana for the title win. The Hoosiers were knocked out by Syracuse in the round of 16.

The Louisville Cardinals face-off against the Michigan Wolverines for the NCAA championship game Monday night.

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sports lead

April 8th, 2013
09:30 AM ET

#You're It: Baseball dream cards

The Holy Grail of baseball cards, a 1909 T206 Honus Wagner, was auctioned off for $2.1 million on Saturday. We asked you Friday to tell us which baseball card you would pay millions for, and why. Thanks to all tweeps who played, and a shout-out to those who made air: @raymondsmalley tweeted: "I would pay $1 million not for one card, every card of former #Tigers shortstop Alan Trammell. #SoWorthIt," and @southernhusky sent in "1952 Mickey Mantle because it is so valuable. Sell it to pay for my kids' college education."

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