Have You Changed Your Mind On Gun Control?
Most of us spent the weekend following the coverage of Friday's tragic mass killing in Newtown, Conn. Have you changed your mind on gun control? Were you pro-gun rights until last Friday? Ross Reynolds takes your calls.
Many politicians are starting to speak out on gun control, and some gun-rights advocates are voicing a change in their position.
Local politicians are calling on citizens to keep pressure on the gun lobby and elected officials (source: Seattle PI):
Mayor Mike McGinn said: "It's the duty of the people and the city of elected officials to keep the pressure up."
"The root causes of violence, and easy access that allows the violent to have tools, has maximized the carnage," Sen. Ed Murray added in an interview.
"Elected officials who refuse even to discuss this [violence] should be voted out of office," Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said late on Friday. "People need to rise up and insist that this insanity stop. What is needed is a rational discussion of the awesome firepower that these people are able to deploy ... It's just nuts."
According to the Seattle Times, Sen. Feinstein (D, Calif.) is already planning to introduce a bill while key fellow-senators remain quiet on the shooting:
On Sunday, US Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D, Calif.) said she will introduce a bill to ban assault weapons. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called on the president to make gun laws his "number one" priority.
Gun-rights advocates are keeping a low profile in the emotional aftermath of the shootings. The Los Angeles Times reported that the National Rifle Association and more than 30 senators who are strong supporters of the right to bear arms declined to appear on the Sunday talk shows.
Rupert Murdoch's Twitter account revealed his political position on the school shooting last Friday:
Political blogger Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post asks: How committed is Obama to gun-control legislation?
In his first remarks on Newtown on Friday, the president signaled that the time had come for "meaningful action." But what does that mean, and how dedicated is Obama to using his own political power to pressure Congress to do something? In the past, he has been resistant to making much effort on gun-control matters because, as we note above, the public seems uninterested in adding more laws restricting weapons. But Obama never has to run for office again and, at least in theory, is looking as much to cement his place in history as to improve his approval ratings. Finding a way to pass some sort of major gun legislation would fit nicely into that legacy-building.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and former Republican Congressman has always been an advocate for the right to bear arms, but on today's Morning Joe, he opened with a 10-minute monologue advocating for stricter gun control (source: Business Insider):
From this day forward, nothing can ever be the same again. We've said this before after Columbine, after Arizona, after Aurora, after so many other numbing hours of murder and massacre. But let this be our true landmark: Let Newtown be the hour after which, in the words of the New Testament, we did all we could do to make all things new. Politicians can no longer be allowed to defend the status quo. They must instead be forced to defend our children. Parents can no longer take "no" for an answer from Washington when the topic turns to protecting our children.