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.
May 24, 2011 |
What if we passed a gun control law but it led to more people carrying guns on our streets? That may be exactly what happens if a bill passed last week by the California Assembly becomes law. AB 144 would prohibit the carrying of visible firearms in California cities. It was inspired by the spectacle of gun-rights advocates showing up last year at Starbucks shops with their handguns prominently displayed. That's legal, as long as those guns are unloaded. If, however, California bans what is called "open carry," the state will probably have to loosen the standards for people to have permits to carry concealed weapons.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 23, 2013 |
Like a lot of people who follow the gun debate, I was surprised to learn earlier this year that for more than a decade, Congress has made it nearly impossible for our premier federal health research institutions to study gun violence. That became evident when President Obama announced his series of executive orders in response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementaryschool in Newtown, Conn. In one of those orders, he directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other scientific agencies in the Department of Health and Human Services to “conduct or sponsor research into the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it.” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, he directed, “shall begin identifying the most pressing research questions with the greatest potential public health impact, and by assessing existing public health interventions being implemented across the Nation to prevent gun violence.” With more than 30,000 gun deaths a year, plus an additional 75,000 or so gun injuries, how is it possible the feds weren't already studying the phenomenon?
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.
April 3, 2013 |
President Obama pleaded with Congress last week to remember the victims of December's schoolhouse shootings in Connecticut and tighten the nation's gun laws. "Shame on us if we've forgotten," he said. "Don't get squishy. " But four months after the Newtown killings, there's no majority in the Senate yet for the measure Obama hopes will be the centerpiece of new regulation: expanded background checks for gun purchasers. At least six of the 55 Democrats in the Senate have not committed to vote yes when the issue comes to the floor later this month.
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.