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American Gun Laws

Which Path Will They Take?

Dana McGee

on 14 June 2013

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Transcript of American Gun Laws

Which Path Will They Follow?
American Gun Laws
What Did They Do?
In his speech at the December 16 vigil, President Obama called for using "whatever power this office holds", to prevent similar tragedies in the future. Within 15 hours of the incident, 100,000 Americans signed a petition at the Obama administration's We the People petitioning website in support of a renewed national debate on gun control. President Obama later affirmed that he would make gun control a "central issue" at the start of his second term of office, in a speech on December 19.The President formed a Gun Violence Task Force to be led by Vice President Joe Biden to address the causes of gun violence in the United States. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Joe Lieberman called for an assault weapon ban, with Feinstein intending to introduce a ban bill on the first day of the new Congress, while former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot and injured in a 2011 shooting in Tucson, has launched Americans for Responsible Solutions to raise money for further gun control efforts in light of the Sandy Hook shooting. Fear of future restrictions on firearms led to a spike in sales of guns, ammunition, and magazines in the weeks following the shooting.
American Gun Laws
Which Path Will They Follow?
The Newtown Shooting
On December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty children and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut.
The shooting prompted renewed debate about gun control in the United States, and a proposal for new legislation banning the sale and manufacture of certain types of semi-automatic weapons and magazines with more than ten rounds of ammunition.
The incident is the second deadliest shooting in United States history, after the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre. It is the second-deadliest mass murder at an American elementary school, after the 1927 Bath School bombings in Michigan.
The Virginia Tech Massacre
The Virginia Tech massacre was a school shooting that took place on April 16, 2007, on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, United States.
Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at Virginia Tech, shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others in two separate attacks, approximately two hours apart, before committing suicide.
The massacre is the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history. It was the worst act of mass murder of college students since Syracuse University lost 35 students in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103,and the second-deadliest act of mass murder at a U.S. school campus, behind the Bath School disaster of 1927.
The Problem
America has had more than 300 shootings in the past two centuries
Both times the U.S.A government made promises to reduce and take away shootings in the United States.
The Severity
Americas Lasting Impression
Gone Forever?
Is That Even possible?
A Two Sided Interview
There's more then one perspective
Well, after all you've heard. I want to ask you.
What do you think of the United States?
Would you want to live there?
And most importantly
Do you think it's Safe?
Can It Be Fixed?
How can the U.S.A government fix the problem for the many random/pointless shootings?
There is no federal law
prohibiting the carrying of firearms by citizens for protection or other lawful purposes, with limited exception in the Federal Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. Other statutes concerning Federal property such as military installations also address the carrying of firearms. By tradition, and as defined in the Constitution, laws describing the bearing of arms are exclusively the business of state legislatures.
Because of this, most Americans think they can carry guns around all the time, with no consequence.
But unsound and mentally ill residents can purchase and carry firearms with out inspection. That's the problem.
That's the reason why
How severe are the shootings in the U.S.A compared to shootings in other countries?
If the U.S.A did not have the many massacres it does, how would other countries impressions of America change?
Could the U.S.A devise a plan to reduce, if
not completely
take away the shootings?
As a Canadian, I can't give you an honest opinion on American gun laws, but an a
American can.
As my primary resource I interviewed two very different demographics.
An American police officer and an American hunter.
They shed some light on the matter of American gun laws.
Yes, the U. S. has more violent shootings than any other civilized country.
Under present conditions, the U. S. can't fix the problem.
Other civilized societies probably think that we are sort of crazy when it comes to guns.
The U. S. could pass a gun control act to reduce the problem.
The main reason that we can't pass laws on gun control is primarily do to the NRA (National Rifle Association) which spends millions lobbying Congress against any restrictions on any kind of weapons, so enough politicians, mostly Republicans, oppose any meaningful legislation. The NRA is run by a bunch of "gun nuts" that think that the government is out to take away their guns. They are not hunting sportsmen like the rest of us gun owners, but they have enough money to buy enough politicians to keep even gun registration off the table.
Since this last shoot up, the public is finally figuring out that something needs to be done in the legislature, so hopefully we can move in a sane direction with gun control. Most all sportsmen support registration and elimination of assault weapons and magnum ammunition clips for which no one needs for hunting.
The Problem According to Citizens
The Hunter:
Copley Smoak has been an avid hunter for more then 65 years.
The Police Officer:
Dave Roden has been a police officer for most of his life.( He is Canadian but is still a reliable resource, he's also my uncle :)
President Obama asked Joe Biden to lead a task force and report to him in January 2013. Obama had a press conference that month and announced gun control measures on January 16, 2013.President Obama cited the incident while announcing proposals for increased gun control. His proposals included universal background checks on firearms purchases, an assault weapons ban, and limiting magazine capacity to 10 cartridges. Relatives of the victims in the shooting and survivors from other mass shootings were official guests during the announcement.
On December 21, 2012, the National Rifle Association called on the United States Congress to appropriate funds for the hiring of armed police officers in every American school to protect students. The NRA also announced the creation of a school protection program called the National School Shield Program, which would be led by former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) administrator and United States Congressman Asa Hutchinson, It was never approved.
What they did.
The response to how gun laws affected the massacre was divided. According to a White House statement, "The president (at that time the president was George W. Bush) believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed”. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said that it was too easy for an individual to get powerful weapons and called for increased gun control measures.
National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent, commenting on CNN, called for an end to gun-free zones and contrasted the Virginia Tech massacre with other incidents in which mass shootings have been ended by law-abiding gun owners. Texas Governor Rick Perry proposed that licensed gun owners be allowed to carry their weapons anywhere in Texas.
Some government officials in other countries joined in the criticism of U.S. gun laws and policies. For example, then Australian Prime Minister John Howard said that stringent legislation introduced after a 1996 mass shooting in Tasmania had prevented a problematic gun culture in Australia.
Virginia Governor Tim Kaine condemned the gun politics debate following the massacre, saying, "To those who want to make this into some sort of crusade, I say take this elsewhere." Pro-gun rights advocates argued that they are merely responding to the crusade by some to use this tragedy as a basis for an expansion of anti-gun measures for issues beyond the shootings as perceived to be presented by the VA TECH Review Panel.
Can You See It?
The Similarities?
Both perpetrators were...
Mentally unstable
Able to purchase guns when they should never have touched them
The first time with the Virginia tech massacre after a few months the government forgot about everything and "put off" dealing with the problem, they waited for the media to die down and continued with business as usual.
As of today it has been about six months since the Newtown shooting, already the media has died down and Newtown isn't the biggest concern for the press
Will they forget about Newtown as they did about Virginia?
The U.S government could perhaps change some of their laws to restrict their citizens from being able to carry concealed firearms (handguns) and taking away their right to bear arms (Florida/Texas). The screening process could be improved with more in-depth background searches, expanding to their relatives and their input regarding the individuals suitability to purchase or own a firearm. This process could also include follow up checks perhaps every few years.
Sadly the shootings are no more severe in the U.S. compared to any other country. About 2 years ago there was a mass shooting in Norway where a lone shooter injured and killed several people. Even in Canada they have had several mass shootings. Montreal in 1989, Ecole Polytechnique, where 14 women were killed. Daily there are shootings. Unfortunately the majority of the shootings are a result or by-product of another crime. Things such as drug dealers shooting competing dealers to eliminate the competition. That is just one example. This occures in every country. It is also unusual for the firearm being used to be legally registered and in the possession of the shooter. The guns used are often stolen from break and enters to residences or stores, or smuggled into the country illegally.
It would be seen as a safer place to visit or to attend for school. Some people may pursue job opportunities to come to the U.S. and relocate their family if there were fewer mass shootings. Some may not feel that it is a safe place to live.
The American government could make it illegal for their citizens to have in their possession automatic firearms. Automatic weapons give the shooter a tool to quickly and randomly shoot several bullets. Semi-automatic and single shot guns are slower to fire the same amount of bullets as an automatic gun.
I do not know if the government would be able to reduce or stop these types of shootings? Many people suffer from mental illness causing them to have irrational thoughts, which they may follow through with. If an individual wants to get a gun, they will. There is a black market where firearms can be purchased for the right price. This is sad, but it is true.
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