December 18, 2012 |
The last time I fired a gun was when I was an 11-year-old inmate at Camp Fatima, a Catholic summer camp that combined Mass and marksmanship. The last time I held a gun was more than a decade ago during a show-and-tell by the Pennsylvania state police commissioner at the editorial offices of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The commissioner passed around a selection of the types of assault weapons that were causing havoc in the streets of Philadelphia. The assembled editorial writers appropriately oohed and ahed; most of us hadn't laid eyes on so much as a starter pistol in years.
July 22, 2012 |
As the conversation surrounding the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colo., shifts toward a discussion on whether the event justifies action taken to expand gun control, it's important to recognize how opinions on gun ownership have shifted in recent years. Despite events such as the massacre at Columbine High School in 1999, the Beltway sniper spree in 2002, the shooting at Virginia Tech University in 2007 and the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting in 2009, support for gun control has steadily declined throughout the country, with Americans increasingly satisfied with the status quo of gun rights.
December 16, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Two days after the shooting deaths of 26 people at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, Sen. Dianne Feinstein pledged Sunday that she would introduce new gun-control legislation at the beginning of next year's congressional session. “It [the bill] will ban the sale, the transfer, the transportation and the possession,” the California senator said on NBC's “Meet the Press.” “Not retroactively, but prospectively. And it will ban the same for big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets.” Feinstein said the purpose of her proposal, a version of the assault-weapons ban that expired in 2004, is to get “weapons of war off the streets of our cities.” PHOTOS: Connecticut school shooting Officials have said that most of those killed in Friday's massacre - a toll that included 20 children - were shot with a semiautomatic assault-style rifle.
July 24, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Second Amendment rights to carry firearms are cherished by most gun owners, a new poll finds - no surprise there. But the same poll says a sizable majority of those same gun owners, even members of the National Rifle Assn., also strongly support some gun control measures. The poll, done for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, found that 76% of gun owners think people on the terrorist watch list should be barred from buying guns, and 68% were in favor of measures requiring gun owners to tell police if their guns are lost or stolen.
December 19, 2012 |
Is it too soon to be advocating for new gun control measures? It isn't for President Obama, as he showed Wednesday with his announcement of a task force on the issue to be headed by Vice President Joe Biden. But some people want to use the old “haste makes waste” argument to delay action. SLIDESHOW: The 10 trigger-happiest states in America Take Times Op-Ed columnist Jonah Goldberg, for example, in his piece Tuesday, “ Mourn first, then act ,” about the Newtown, Conn., shootings.
April 17, 2013 |
On Tuesday, I wrote about two senators' bipartisan plan to expand background checks on gun buyers, saying it was a common-sense measure and should pass. On Wednesday, its sponsors -- Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, an NRA member, and Republican Sen. Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania -- all but conceded they don't have the votes. Thus, 26 children and teachers slaughtered in Newtown, Conn., and 12 people gunned down at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.
February 7, 2013 |
Letters reacting to the search for Christoper Jordan Dorner , the disgruntled former Los Angeles Police Department officer suspected of a double homicide and the shooting three police officers, are finding their way into The Times' mailbag. Surprisingly, only one of those letters discusses the manhunt for Dorner, and the rest connect the shootings to the hot-button issue of the last few months: gun control. Readers responded likewise immediately after 26 people were shot, including 20 children, in Newtown, Conn.
December 17, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Gun control advocates who have long struggled to match the political clout of groups such as the National Rifle Assn. say the anguish and outrage spurred by Friday's deadly massacre at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school is powering a groundswell of support for their cause. “As somebody who has worked on this for 17 years, there is something very different about this,” said Brian Malte, director of mobilization for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence . “We are getting an unprecedented amount of donations, of people wanting to volunteer.” He declined to say how much money had come in. Another big shift: Malte said the organization is fielding calls from members of Congress asking to meet with the group.