In April 2013, based on a growing number of gun-violence occurrences at American schools, facilities, and populated places of entertainment, President Obama proposed a comprehensive package of firearm regulations. He also worked with Vice President Joe Biden’s task force to propose a combination of Executive Orders and legislative initiatives designed to restrict who is allowed to purchase a gun, along with the types of firearms that may be purchased. The U.S. Senate catered to NRA/Second Amendment advocates and rejected the major elements of Obama’s proposed national legislation, such as the background-check provisions, banning rapid-firing assault weapons, and limitations on the size of ammunition clips gun owners could contain. Currently, there remains a ban on federal funding investigating research into gun violence. Additionally, illegal gun trafficking is not considered a federal crime, and the ban on deadly assault weapons (such as AK 47’s) expired and was not reaffirmed in 2004.
The tragic mass shooting at a social services facility in San Bernardino in 2015, once again, put the topic of gun control and regulation on the political agenda. The killers of fourteen innocent people acquired all of their lethal firearms legally, and had an arsenal of armory of weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Police uncovered a dozen pipe bombs, 2,000 handgun rounds (bullets), 2,500 assault rifle rounds and other explosive devices. More recently, mass killings have taken place worldwide without the use of firearms, such as the 86 people killed in Nice, France, in 2016, by a driver who plowed through crowds in a truck, and yesterday’s car and knife attack in London.
Questions to consider and discuss:
Would fewer people owning guns based on tighter gun control mean there there would be fewer gun-related deaths?
Would restricting the rights of law-abiding people from their right to acquire and own a gun in turn take away the protections and safeguards from people who will go to any length (legal or not) to attack?
Are we, as a people, safer with or without national gun regulation?
Is gun control the solution to mass killings?
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