Now It's Time for Gun Control Debate
Pundits opine in wake of the Newtown rampage
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Dec 17, 2012 12:30 PM CST
Updated Dec 17, 2012 1:56 PM CST
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(Newser) – In the wake of the Newtown school shooting, there's one topic on every opinion writer's keyboard: guns. Is America finally ready to have a conversation about gun control? Here's what people are saying:

  • Joe Scarborough gave an impassioned speech on Morning Joe this morning. "From this day forward, nothing can ever be the same again," he declared. Scarborough earned the NRA's top rating while in Congress, but he said that on Friday he realized "that the ideologies of my past career were no longer relevant ... It is time for Congress to put children before deadly dogma."
  • It's absolutely OK to politicize this situation, writes Michael Grunwald at Time. "The kind of people who believe politics is inappropriate at times like this tend to be the kind of people who believe politics is trivial entertainment." Policies have consequences, and "now is the time to debate them, not to STFU."

  • "We should mourn, but we should be angry," writes EJ Dionne in the Washington Post, calling for bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, background checks, and other reforms. "If Congress does not act this time, we can deem it as totally bought and paid for by the representatives of gun manufacturers."
  • But David Frum thinks President Obama is the wrong man to lead the charge. "If the president—any president—inserts himself into the gun debate, he will inevitably polarize it," he reasons at CNN. An outside group modeled on Mothers Against Drunk Driving would be more effective. "Only that way can the campaign avoid being held hostage" by partisanship.
  • Not everyone agrees that it's time to act. "The chances of being killed in a mass shooting are about what they are for being struck by lightning," points out John Fund at the National Review, arguing that gun control will be ineffective and even counterproductive. Shootings most often occur in so-called "gun-free zones" like schools, or, as one ex-sheriff calls them "helpless-victim zones."

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Showing 3 of 256 comments
Dec 19, 2012 7:33 AM CST
The killer's mother already had the required legal permits to own the guns. The problem isn't guns, but no one wants to admit what it is, let alone deal with it. We live in the most theologically and biblically ignorant era in history. Trying to explain what the real problem is to those in positions of leadership and opinion creating is a bit like discussing a math problem with a coffee table.
Dec 18, 2012 10:23 PM CST
The idea that civilians need semi auto weapons to, ultimately, protect their freedom is fantasy. The belief that armed civilian groups could take on the government and win is so naive it's laughable. Military weapons have no place in the hands of civilians. Lets get real the 2nd Amendment is obsolete as far as protecting ourselves from an oppressive government. So let's squash this idea and get it out of the way of a serious discussion about gun ownership in America.
Dec 18, 2012 3:48 AM CST
This is a hard debate for me because I'm all about having our rights NOT being removed. Think about the people of the north who survive all winter hunting, how could we take those guns away? 'Live Free or Die' I'm pretty sure New Hampshire would shoot anyone trying to take their guns away. Small example. I just don't see it happening, once you give a freedom and then take it away, people freak out and revolt. Gun laws can become strict but not taken from us. On the other hand, if we had strict gun laws and/or goodbye to 2nd amendment there would be less gun deaths. Period. Yes, people would still have guns. It's about less access creating less gun violence. Criminals will always be, but psychopaths with mommy's gun because she likes having a gun wouldn't have the chance. Ehh, just stupid to debate, 2nd amendment will remain AND can remain unchanged as long as enough people fight to keep it the same. It is what it is.