Gun Control Debate: Time to Get Serious?

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The horrific shooting at the Newtown, Conn., elementary school that left 28 dead, including 20 children, has re-ignited a polarizing debate over gun control.

If nothing else, it's time to get very, very serious about discussing the issue.

Obama Cries During CT Speech

Public figures immediately jumped in to offer condolences in the wake of the mass murder committed by Adam Lanza, while some called for new restrictions.

Plenty of others, while clearly sympathetic to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, defended gun rights and the 2nd Amendment.

President Barack Obama, who cried during a press conference regarding the shooting Friday, did not touch upon the controversial issue of gun control by name.

He did, though, sound a call to prevent further tragedies, regardless of politics.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was "shocked and saddened" by the tragic shooting. He said society should "unify" to "crack down on the guns."

N.Y. City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said "immediate action" was needed.

Mark Kelly, husband of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was gravely injured by a gunman in Tucson in 2011, wrote on Facebook:

"The children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and all victims of gun violence deserve leaders who have the courage to participate in a meaningful discussion about gun laws."

"How can they be reformed and enforced to prevent violence and death in America?"

Many believe the CT school shooting tragedy is just the latest, preventable case of a bullied, disgrunted and/or mentally ill person taking lives that could've been saved.

Directly or indirectly, are guns too readily available to the perpetrators?

Fewer guns, tougher laws, fewer tragedies, right? Take away the availability and fewer weapons will fall into the wrong hands at the wrong times. Right?

Lots of people would agree with that theory, but not necessarily a majority.

2nd Amendment

The debate has been fast and furious in the past 24 hours, and not one-sided. Trending topics on Twitter included "2nd Amendment," "NRA" and "Columbine."

For every argument about the 2nd Amendment being antiquated is a counter-argument about its necessity, and its place in the foundation of American liberty.

Some gun rights advocates believe this tragedy epitomizes the need for gun rights, not gun control, as a means of protection against those who may act violently.

One Twitter user wrote, "The only gun reform we need is to allow people the ability to defend themselves, not provide nut jobs with easy targets #NRA."

Another posted, "Guns don't kill people people do! Practice the 2nd Amendment - keep your gun loaded with you at all times - the younger you are the better."

Philosophically, gun rights activists feel that gun control takes away another piece of our liberty, starting a slippery slope toward socialism and totalitarianism.

From a practical standpoint, they argue that criminals will always find a way to obtain guns, and that only law-abiding citizens would abide by regulations anyway.

Furthermore, they feel crimes are just as often prevented by the deterrent of gun possession, and a dangerous black market would develop in the event of tougher laws.

In light of recent events, and the arguments above, what do you think? Comment and vote below: Is it time to pass major gun control laws?

 

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You people in America are crazy, all worried about becoming a socialist country more than you are about saving lives! More worried about your right to have gun than someone elses right to have life. I'm Australian, and sorry to the person who said it, but homicides are in fact down since the Howard Government brought in stricter gun laws. I feel completely safe in my environment because of this. The only real gun violence is among organised crime gangs, this will happen no matter what, but at least it is between themselves. Mentally handicapped people are not criminals and if you look you'lll see many of your gun murders happen in the heat of the moment where, had a gun not been readily available, would not have happened at all. The rest of the western world is looking at you like you're idiots, if you could only see. And by the way, we haven' had a mass murder since.

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You pro-gun people are all crazy. You need to step back and look at the big picture. Your ideas are antiquated. I live in Australia, sorry, but gun murders went down since the laws were enforced by Prime- Minister Howard in 1996, and there has not been a mass shooting since. Typically the only gun violence is amongst organised crime gangs, that will never stop, but at least its between themselves. No other first world country thinks like America does about guns. We all realise we are living in a generally civil society who don't need weaponry in our every day lives. I feel so much safer knowing people don't have guns. Yes, criminals will get guns if they really want them regardless, but generally a mentally handicapped person is not a criminal and their actions are done in the heat of a moment. Many of your gun deaths happen in the heat of the moment, that had a gun not been handy, it would never have happened. Wake up, the point is, would it hurt to try restricting guns and see what happens. The worst is that it doesn't work and you go on as before, the best is you save many, many lives. But I know, your right to a gun is more important than someone else's right to life.

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And WHY aren't metal detectors installed in schools? A school district will spend a quarter of a million dollars for a football field but not ten thousand dollars (or less) on metal detectors . Had this school and EVERY school in the nation had metal detectors we wouldn't be grieving like this. Shame on society. Shame on school districts. Get your priorities straight...Friday night football can do without a couple dollars for once.

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@ JennyL

Because the sale of Football tickets pays for everything else! Still- I get your point! The guy broke through a side window. You want to get to the ROOT? DIVORCE! TRASH CELEBRITY SHOWS THAT LEAD THE YOUTH TO BELEIVE THAT ANY KIND OF POPULARITY IS NECESSARY TO LIVE! PARENTS THAT NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR KEEPING A GUN AROUND AN UNSTABLE OFFSPRING! The Media is poisoning this society. They will report anything that's lacking truth and these shows are nothing but violent trashy filth! If this country can ever get fead up to the point where it no longer allows this crap on the tube ONLY THEN will you have something to feel proud of!

Owe-faver

This woman bought assault rifles and handguns for her son who was diagnosed mentally ill?

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NO MORE GUNS!!! Act now! Vote for a change in the US now: https://www.inqu.me/vote#!qid=...

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People still kill people but there should be a middle ground between major government overreach and making it SO easy to acquire guns, especially assault weapons. There is a big difference between owning a gun to hunt or for protection vs some of the ultra lethal weapons produced and easily acquired.

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Why did the shooters mom have all the guns Killing her & thewonderful children should nt have been!!

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Guns are getting into the hands of these unstable men/boys and killing our love ones. Parents who had guns watch out cus ur son or daughter could be a victim of the next tragedy. Play it save lock these guns away.

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I don't think that the second amendment is a valid arguement for pro guns. It was written over 200 years ago when gun technology was nowhere near what it is now. It was written in a completley different context and if the founders of our nation knew that it would lead to this, I don't believe that they would have allowed it. America has the loosest gun laws and the highest homicide rate, and countries that have toughened gun laws have significantly lowered homicide rates. The fact that it is so easy to get a gun in this country is disturbing. Background checks, mental health checks, and a gun safety class should be necessary to purchase a gun, thinking that we have none of those makes me sick. America needs to get its priorities straight and put the lives of innocent people before the greedy NRA members. I can't even imagine what that community is going through and my heart and prayers are with them. Things need to change now.

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@ Jacqueline

Don't start with the NRA! If you want to start then start with mental illness! Start with guns being in a house with an unstable person. AIDS were spread by gays " early on " and did we do in all the gays? You people always think you have an answer looking at the end result- the gun is the end result and unstable people are who is holding the gun! The only thing your idea will do is take guns away from the innocent. Your living in a society where people stare into the TV for hours. Their most prideful moment is getting the highest score on a video game. They Facebook constantly and they cannot get their head out their lazy ass in order to look around and have a God Damn meaningful conversation. Start with that!

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@ Barb

Sure, because excessive NRA lobbying has nothing to do with the fact that guns are so accessible in this country... not. And all those countries that have toughened gun laws, and had homicide rates drop, that's all a bunch of lies right? There have been 61 mass shootings since Columbine, and you are telling me that what we need to do is have guns more accessible? If the only people that have guns in this country are innocent people, than they should have nothing to hide and should be more than happy to have to have gun safety classes and have background and mental health checks to protect all the innocent lives being taken away too soon. If they are not okay with it, then they shouldn't have a gun in the first place. Guns are made to kill, it's their only purpose, and it is sickening how accessible they are. If you want to blame unstable people, then having mental health checks should be a no brainer. What we need to start with is common sense.

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@ Jacqueline

@. You will not find anyone in this country more oppossed to legalizing marijuana, please don't act like you know anything about me. If you go look at more recent comments, you will see from an Australian that you are wrong. Look at all the facts and you will see that tougher gun laws do work. Japan has probably the toughest gun laws, and one of the lowest firearm homicide rates in the world. Obviously gun laws aren't the only solution, but if they can save lives, I don't understand why anyone would be oppossed. I hope that you never have to go through anything like this tragedy, and I would gladly give up my "constitutional rights" to save an innocent life.

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@ Jacqueline

Common sense is lacking in this country. Look at what people voted for- SOCIAL ISSUES & Entitlements! Not Jobs! Australia adopted stricter gun laws and their gun violence is up- LOOK IT UP! Britian? Riots often and Not even close to the number of people we have here. You sound like someone who thinks legalizing marijuana is an answer also. You may stop the sale of weapons but you will never be able to go house 2 house and take guns- it aint happening. The gun is not the real issue.

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Morgan Freeman's statement about these random shootings.... "You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why. It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you kn
ow the name of a single victim of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody. CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next. You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem."