Poll: Are New Gun Laws Needed in Wake of Spree Killings?
Should Americans rethink their antipathy to tighter gun laws in the wake of massacres in Colorado and Wisconsin?
The recent spree killings by gunmen in Colorado and Wisconsin have resurrected a debate over gun control. However, at the moment, there appears scant interest on the part of lawmakers to strengthen gun laws — especially in an election year.
While some advocate for stricter controls, polls indicate a majority of Americans themselves seem unwilling to accept new gun restrictions. Many have even argued that making it easier for law-abiding citizens to arm themselves would actually decrease killings and help deter the type of massacres that occurred in Colorado and Wisconsin.
In Colorado, the number of background checks to buy guns jumped 43 percent in the days following the movie-theater shootings that killed 12 and injured dozens, compared to the previous weekend, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which runs the checks. The 2,887 background checks done over the weekend of the killings were also 39 percent higher than the first weekend in July, according to the agency.
According to a USA Today report: "Two bills circulating in Congress would ban high-capacity ammunition magazines, such as the 100-round drum used in Friday's attack. But passage of those bills — or stiffer bans on assault weapons — are not likely in the near future, says Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., sponsor of the House bill. Powerful lobbying from the National Rifle Association, the largest pro-gun group, and other organizations has ground Congress to a halt on gun issues, she says."
President Obama recently said that the shootings call for a national "soul searching" on gun violence, but neither his administration or fellow Democrats are in any hurry to suggest new gun controls. And new controls are typically anathema to Republican lawmakers in general.
Despite the fact that little if anything in the way of new laws may come from the killings — despite desperate pleas from a group of the nation's Mayors and survivors of recent killing sprees to act now — we want to gauge your opinion on the matter.
Take our poll below and leave us your comments.