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 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.
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.
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.
December 27, 2012 |
Public support for stricter gun laws has leaped to its highest point in eight years with 58% now in favor, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll released Thursday. That's a 14-point jump from last year. Of those surveyed, 92% of Americans want background checks for buyers at gun shows and 62% want to ban magazines that carry more than 10 rounds, which have played a frequent role in mass shootings. But Americans still oppose a full ban on semi-automatic assault rifles 51% to 44%, and opposition to a full handgun ban is higher than it has ever been, at 74%. The poll was conducted with 1,038 respondents by phone over Dec. 19-22, with a 4% margin of error.