Current Events Paper
17 April 2013
Political Geography: Gun Control Debate
In the past several months, gun control has been at the forefront of the media. The shootings in Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown, Connecticut, rocked Americans and many pushed for legislation to prevent such tragedies occurring again. The topic of gun control is extremely controversial, and many people do not even understand what the push for legislation consists of.
The bill that is currently scheduled for debate in the Senate would, if fully passed, close several loopholes of avoiding background checks before purchasing a weapon. Right now, background checks are only mandatory for people buying guns from federally licensed dealers (only 60% of total gun sales). The other 40% of gun sales come from unlicensed dealers on the internet and at gun shows. The only loophole of avoiding a background check before purchasing a gun is person to person (family member to friend, etc.). Many still think that the bill will be extremely effective because percentage of guns sold this way is minimal (The Editorial Board 1).
The article “The Public Wants Background Checks” from the New York Times discusses who is expected to support the bill, and who is expected to oppose it. Many Democrats are expected to give their support for the bill (typically Democrats are supporters of gun control). Republicans like Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania might also give their support because the bill is not as harsh as the ideas that were passed around of banning all assault weapons. The bill that is currently in debate seems like a decent compromise between the two sides (2).
A second article from the New York Times, “Perils for Swing-State Democrats on Gun Control”, takes a different stance than the first article. Weisman writes that even though Democrats would typically support this type of legislation, some members of Congress who were elected from typically red states that are...