Gun control begins to make headway

January 23rd, 2013

In the wake of the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School, the nation is seeing a push for gun control. President Barack Obama has outlined several new proposals to add and to change America’s gun laws.

Among the proposals are changes such as background checks at gun shows and a federal ban on the manufacturing and sale of new assault weapons.


According to The New York Times, these proposals are highly unlikely to have slowed the gunman who opened fire at Sandy Hook. However, another proposal could have slowed the rampage: a ban on high-capacity magazines. Magazines are ammunition storages, practically feeding devices that are attached to firearms. These magazines are known for their ability to move cartridges in a specific position. Once the position is formed, the magazines then push the cartridges into the chamber of the firearm upon action.

Adam Lanza, the man responsible for the mass shooting at Sandy Hook, used a 30-round magazine, which is a type used in several other mass shootings.

The proposals include these as well as the topic of gun control research. According to Live Science, Obama will strengthen research toward gun control. Congress previously blocked this research in the 1990s, but Obama expects to require approval from Congress for the CDC (Center for Diseases and Control) to renew its research program. Obama also expects to push Congress to include $10 million to fund the CDC’s fund for gun research.

The top priority of many gun control groups, according to The New York Times, is to expand background checks. The FBI reported that in 2011, 6,220 people were killed by handguns, and 323 people were killed by rifles. As restrictions on assault weapons come into the clear, background checks are expected to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and those with mental illnesses.

While a majority of people are confident that background checks would do little to prevent shootings, several gun control groups encourage people to look beyond mass shootings, but to look at everyday gun violence. It is difficult to know what proposals would have or will in the future have an impact on shootings, but the main priority is that these mass shootings are becoming a discussion, and the White House administration is making an effort to prevent another tragedy.

The proposals are broad and difficult to discuss, but the importance of the emphasis of new laws for gun control is a fundamental issue for the nation at this time.

Information from The New York Times and Live Science was used in this report.