February 1, 2013
The national effort to crack down on gun violence being led by President Obama is generating encouraging discussion in Congress, where until recently the subject of gun control had been largely taboo. That's good news. On the minus side, there's what is happening in California. Don't get us wrong, there are some worthwhile bills floating around in Sacramento. But most of the bills either introduced or under proposal seem primarily designed to seize headlines on behalf of individual lawmakers in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre.
July 29, 2012
Re "State a gun control leader," Column, July 26 George Skelton writes passionately for stronger gun control. Illinois, and Chicago in particular, have the strictest gun laws in the country. It is very difficult to buy a gun legally and keep it in your home in Chicago. Yet Chicago's homicide rate is up 38% from last year and has been increasing for a number of years. The rest of the nation has seen a decrease in violent crime. This decrease has occurred during a time when many states have relaxed their gun laws and legal gun sales have been at record numbers.
June 17, 2013 |
Santa Monica shooter John Zawahri was prevented some years ago from buying a firearm, but that didn't stop the gunman with a history of mental illness from killing five people this month in a 10-minute shooting rampage. In his column today, The Times' George Skelton notes that the shooter sprayed 100 rounds of ammunition from his home-assembled weapons and had access to 1,200 more. So where gun control failed to stop a troubled man from using a deadly weapon, Skelton wrote, bullet control could have.
November 12, 2013 |
If a bunch of men with guns showed up outside a restaurant, it might make anyone inside a wee bit nervous. If you happened to be one of four members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense who had gathered for lunch at that restaurant and you looked out the window and saw a group of 40 rifle-toting people staring back at you, you could be forgiven for freaking out. That is what happened at the Blue Mesa Grill in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday. The folks with the guns were a contingent representing Open Carry Texas.
September 24, 2013
Re "Gun laws for mentally ill not so easy," Sept. 22 The instant background check on Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis is no replacement for an in-depth universal background check. If the media were able so quickly to uncover information about Alexis' troubled history, an in-depth background check would have also. Gun advocates use the fact that the shooter purchased his gun legally with a background check to show that additional laws would be ineffective. In fact, the instant, inadequate background check that Alexis passed is a result of the gun lobby's efforts to limit gun restrictions.
December 16, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The massacre of 26 children and adults at a school in western Connecticut may break the logjam in Congress on long-stalled gun-control legislation, although some longtime opponents said they plan to fight any new measures, lawmakers and analysts said Sunday. “I think we could be at a tipping point can get something done,” Sen. Chuck E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on CBS's "Face the Nation," noting that there had been several mass shootings this year alone. “The public will not accept as a new normal one of these incidents every month” Schumer called for restoring the ban on assault-style weapons, limiting the number of bullets in ammunition clips and making it harder for “mentally unstable” individuals to obtain firearms.
March 4, 2013 |
In my Sunday column , I wrote that Congress has made little-noticed progress on two kinds of gun-control legislation: a stronger system of background checks on gun buyers and tougher federal laws against gun trafficking. But the column was too brief to include much detail; here's more: The most important wrangling in the Senate is over background checks. Two Republicans, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Mark Kirk of Illinois, are working with two Democrats, Chuck Schumer of New York and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, to see if they can agree on a bipartisan proposal.
May 5, 2013 |
Supporters of a measure that would have expanded background checks for firearm purchases decried the bill's death in the Senate last month. But was the defeat really such a bad thing? Had it passed, the new law would have been hailed as a historic breakthrough by "anti-gun" forces and a historic mistake by "pro-gun" forces. But on the ground, where American citizens are being shot and killed every day, nothing much would have changed. That's the way things have gone for decades in the grinding American culture war over guns.
April 10, 2013 |
Four months after 20 children were gunned down in Newtown, Conn., families of the dead are pleading with members of Congress to make it harder for criminals and the mentally disturbed to obtain firearms. That will happen only if a sufficient number of Republicans are willing to abandon their subservience to the National Rife Assn. and approve common-sense legislation supported by a majority of Americans. With a Senate vote likely this week on gun legislation proposed by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)