In the Wake of the Shooting, Gun Control Debate Re-Emerges

In the Wake of the Shooting, Gun Control Debate Re-Emerges

NEWSY 07/20/12
By Matthew Picht and Anchor Jim Flink

Debate about gun control has flared up once again after the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Here’s Sky News.

“This argument happens every time there is a shooting incident in America. The last significant argument about gun control was after the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007.”

Both President Obama and his presumed challenger Mitt Romney remained reserved about their stances on gun control. In an interview with WOR radio, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg challenged both presidential candidates to take a firm stance on gun control.

“Soothing words are nice. But maybe its time the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it … *FLASH* … There’s so many murders with guns every day. It’s just got to stop.”

While supporters of gun control argue stricter laws will protect the public, an opinion writer for CNN says stricter laws are unlikely to prevent the type of mass killing seen in Aurora.

“Mass killers are determined, deliberate and dead-set on murder. They plan methodically to execute their victims, finding the means no matter what laws or other impediments the state attempts to place in their way. To them, the will to kill cannot be denied.”

But NBC’s Michael Crowley told Alex Wagner, it’s too early to begin a public policy debate in earnest.

“I do think we want to know a little more about exactly what happened, where the weapons came from, how it interfaces with existing laws. I mean, I do think it’s responsible for politicians to want to take a little time to get the facts.”

What’s more, it’s not clear the Aurora shootings will have any long-term impact on the gun control debate. The Washington Post points to Gallup polls, which show public opinion about gun control tends to remain relatively constant.

“That the numbers on gun control remain steady even in the aftermath of such high profile events like Columbine, Virginia Tech and the Giffords shooting suggests that people simply don’t equate these incidents of violence with the broader debate over the right role for guns in our society. They view them as entirely separate conversation …”

Regardless, Michael Shank for the Huffington Post argues a public debate on gun control can have a positive impact on society, by highlighting the underlying social and economic conditions that often lead to gun violence.

“… We must consider the comprehensive causes of this violence and the costs of this violence to our society. It is not just about guns. But guns do give voice to a much bigger issue that’s not being addressed — that of the socio-economic health of this country. Going forward, this is what the debate must be about.”