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?
July 22, 2012 |
In the aftermath of the deadly Colorado theater shooting that left 12 dead and dozens more wounded, the focus is on the victims and the shooting suspect, who is in police custody. But in coming days, as the spotlight shifts to what might have prevented the mass shooting, attention is sure to focus on the semiautomatic weapon and the high-capacity ammunition magazine that were part of the arsenal that police say James Holmes used in the massacre during the opening minutes of a showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” And Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is sure to face scrutiny, given the varied positions he has taken about the legality of assault weapons, as well as gun control in general.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 12, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- State lawmakers late Thursday sent Gov. Jerry Brown bills that would outlaw the sale of rifles with detachable magazines and expand the list of crimes that result in a 10-year ban on possessing firearms. Thursday's action follows the approval of nine other gun control bills earlier in the week in a state that already had some of the toughest restrictions in the nation. The gun bills are part of a package of several measures introduced in response to the shooting death of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last year.
December 18, 2012 |
President Obama supports an effort already afoot in the U.S. Senate to renew the expired ban on assault weapons, his spokesman said Tuesday. Obama also plans to back a law to tighten the regulations governing the sale of firearms at gun shows, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in his afternoon briefing. The declarations of support are the first specific details about how Obama intends to fight gun violence in his second term, a war he declared after the mass killing of children and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week.
October 18, 2012 |
Gun control was among the many issues President Obama and Mitt Romney addressed at Tuesday's debate in New York. Both candidates showed support for the 2nd Amendment -- though Reason's Jacob Sullum thought Obama's "acknowledgment of armed self-defense as a constitutional right" was "belated" and "halfhearted" -- but agreed that this country must curb its culture of gun violence. When I was in Chicago recently, a rather candid cab driver told me his son had been killed on Chicago's streets.
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.
December 19, 2012 |
If you're thinking that last week's tragedy in Newtown, Conn., makes it likely that Congress will soon pass stricter federal gun laws, remember this: People thought the same thing in 2011, after a gunman shot into a Tucson crowd, killing six and injuring others, including Gabrielle Giffords, one of the House of Representatives' own members. Public support for gun control tends to swell after a mass shooting. But then, just as quickly, it tends to ebb, and opponents are happy to wait the process out. Tougher gun control laws face an array of obstacles.