September 17, 1999 |
Recent shootings in Littleton, Colo., Los Angeles, Atlanta and Anaheim were far away. But this time, eight people had been shot to death at a Fort Worth church in the backyard of Rep. Joe Barton, a Republican firmly opposed to gun control. But unlike congressmen from Colorado and Georgia who softened their stands against gun control after school shootings in their states, Barton remained steadfast Thursday. "I'm certainly upset that this happened in my district," he said in an interview.
September 3, 1999 |
A majority of Californians believe the need for tighter gun control outweighs concerns about protecting the rights of individuals to own firearms, and that tougher legislation would reduce violent crime, a new poll says. The Field poll released Thursday found that 64% of those surveyed believe that gun control laws are more important than those protecting gun ownership rights. Thirty percent said the right to own guns is more important.
August 9, 1999 |
For parents otherwise eager to shovel their children out of the house and back into the classroom, here are some numbers worth a moment's pause: More than half of all 12th-graders report having used alcohol within the last month. More than one-third of 12th-graders have smoked cigarettes within the last month. For people 15 to 24, the second-leading cause of death (after accidents) is murder--fully 85% committed with a gun. Ever since the high school massacre in Littleton, Colo.
July 31, 1999 |
Against the backdrop of the latest killings to transfix the nation, Congress on Friday broke a months-long logjam and took a step toward passing gun control legislation before children return to school this fall. In a 305-84 vote, the House directed its representatives on a House-Senate committee drafting juvenile justice legislation to include a provision requiring background checks for all purchasers of firearms sold at gun shows.
July 16, 1999 |
President Clinton joined more than 90 high school students visiting from Denver on Thursday in urging Congress to pass gun control legislation that is facing obstacles on Capitol Hill. "For the past three months, the gun lobby has been calling the shots on Capitol Hill," Clinton said during a South Lawn appearance with the students.
July 12, 1999 |
The NAACP will sue handgun manufacturers, distributors and importers, seeking restrictions on the marketing and sale of firearms in hopes of keeping guns from criminals, sources said Sunday. Sources within the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a formal announcement of the suit will come today from NAACP President Kweisi Mfume at the group's 90th annual convention.
June 18, 1999 |
Handing a victory to the gun lobby, the House early today voted to substantially water down proposed new regulations on the gun shows, where hundreds of thousands of Americans shop for firearms. The House proposal, approved on a vote of 218 to 211, requires background checks for all gun show purchasers, including those who buy firearms from unlicensed dealers. Currently, such transactions do not require background checks, which are designed to prevent felons from buying guns.
June 16, 1999 |
The House, under heavy pressure from advocates of gun control and of gun rights, is expected to begin debating legislation today that both Republicans and Democrats acknowledge is fraught with political peril. For Republicans, many of whom represent rural areas where owning a gun is about as common as owning an automobile, any changes in federal firearms law are so sensitive that Speaker J. Dennis Hastert of Illinois has decided not to press members to follow a party line.
June 15, 1999 |
House Republicans on Monday threw the debate on gun legislation planned for Wednesday into new disarray with a surprise proposal to split it into two bills--one focusing on youth crime and violent culture and a second on gun shows. Republicans said they structured the debate that way to make it cleaner and simpler, but surprised House Democrats said it would create procedural and political obstacles to passing new gun-control measures. Both sides agreed the vote could be extremely close.
June 14, 1999 |
Like converging weather systems, the old and new politics of gun control collided over Michigan this spring. Predictably, turbulence followed. Michigan has long been a stronghold of the National Rifle Assn., and few were surprised when the state Legislature approved bills that would make it easier for state residents to carry concealed weapons--a top NRA priority. Then came the shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. Suddenly the weather changed.