Like many hot-button issues in American politics, the gun control debate has resulted in both sides facing off across an ideological line-in-the-sand. On one hand, anti-gun activists point to mass shootings and other gun-related crimes as a crisis of American culture perpetuated by a misguided obsession with the 2nd Amendment. On the other hand, pro-gun activists see the shootings as an inherent failure among Americans to protect themselves from the so-called “bad guys”– a protection afforded to Americans by the 2nd Amendment in the first place.
Considering these strong convictions, it’s difficult to foresee anyone finding common ground. It’s also difficult to see current legislation as being anything more than reactionary. Take NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly for example, who appeared on Face the Nation to support an assault weapons ban, but reminded viewers that handguns account for far more violent deaths than any other type of weapon.
As far as solutions to gun violence go, local, state, and federal initiatives have all tried varying forms of regulation, but with mixed results. Gun control has long been an issue in Maryland, especially in Baltimore where gun crime has plagued the city for decades. In a Baltimore Sun editorial, the paper examined how to control access to guns through registration and tracing. In the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, columnist Jay Bookman talks about an effective gun control model instituted by none other than Ronald Reagan. Then, there is the often-talked about idea of introducing “smart” technologies into weapons such as biometric sensors and radio frequencies.
We’ll cover a few more angles of the gun control debate later this week, including an appearance by NRA President David Keene at a Monitor Breakfast on Wednesday. (DATE CHANGE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 31.) For now, watch San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro in a recent appearance at the Commonwealth Club. A rising star in the Democratic party, Castro expresses the need for an assault weapons ban. Though he doesn’t discount the spirit of the 2nd Amendment, he argues that tighter limits on gun ownership is a perfectly reasonable proposition.