gun control

In the wake of last week's mass shooting in Orlando, the debate over guns and how to keep them away from potential terrorists has been center stage in the U.S. Senate.  And so has New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte.

A bill she helped draft Monday aims to bar suspected terrorists from buying guns, and the issue of gun control is looking to be key to her re-election effort this year. But Ayotte’s involvement with gun policy and politics extends farther back that her six years in the U.S Senate.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

New Hampshire Rep. Annie Kuster joined dozens of Democratic colleagues who took over the floor of the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday to call for a vote on gun reforms.

“We have got to take a stand,” Kuster said Wednesday, during the gun discussion. “We can be silent no longer. We need a vote on the floor of this House.”

A day after the Senate rejected four separate gun measures, New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte is among a group of bipartisan group of senators backing a new gun proposal—one they hope will end the bipartisan impasse on policies designed to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists. She joined NHPR’s Peter Biello to discuss the proposal.

This bill gives authorities the power to deny firearm sales to people who appear on the TSA’s “No-Fly” list. This seems like a fairly basic policy. Why do you think agreement has been so hard to reach so far?

Natasha Haverty / NHPR

Primary elections have a tendency to push candidates to the political extreme—fire up the base and draw bright lines around the issues. But during the New Hampshire presidential primary, where political independents play a central role those tactics often mean the campaign rhetoric sometimes doesn’t line up with how voters actually think.

Here are a few voters feeling that disconnect on one issue: guns.


Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords spoke in Concord on Tuesday

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords today announced a new advocacy group that will focus on reducing gun violence in New Hampshire. The group will push for tighter restrictions on who can buy guns.

The group is called the Granite State Coalition for Common Sense and counts among its members familiar political faces like former House Speaker Terie Norelli, and former First Lady Susan Lynch, as well as a number of law enforcement officials. 

Michael Saechang / Flickr/CC

Two more high-profile mass shootings this past month have rekindled the national debate over guns, gun rights, and gun regulation. Politicians have weighed in from the Presidential campaign trail and on Capitol Hill, but common ground remains elusive. Some say we need to tighten laws and oversight in the interest of public safety, while others say the solution is for more civilians to arm themselves in the interest of self-defense.


This primary season, NHPR is taking a closer look at some of the issues defining the presidential primary races in a series we’re calling Where They Stand. Today, we’re looking at gun control and the Democratic candidates' positions, both past and present.

josh rogers/nhpr

Hillary Clinton spoke at Manchester Community College Monday. She noted the location was similar to that of the recent mass shooting in Oregon that left nine people dead. Clinton told the crowd the nation needs to stop greeting such events with what she termed a shrug.

“It’s time for us to say, 'Wait a minute, we are better than this. Our country is better than this, and there are steps we can take.' "

Clinton is proposing that any person engaging in "a high volume of gun sales," over the internet or at gun shows, perform background checks like seller at gun stores.

Rene Jakobson via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/4UoQ63

Just a few years ago, marriage equality seemed dead in the water. Now the players are running a victory lap. Today, we learn how gun control activists are now recruiting ideas and people from the gay marriage movement. Then, one of the most isolated communities in the world is about to become a lot more social when their first airport opens next year, but the change may not be welcome. And, summer vacation season is in full swing with tourists jet setting all over the world. But what happens when the place you’re visiting is in the midst of a global financial crisis? We’ll speak to a man traveling to Greece this week to find out how he’s planning to pack.

Is Gun Violence a Public Health Issue?

Jun 29, 2015
Michael Saechang / Flickr / Creative Commons

After the latest mass shooting, both sides of the divisive gun debate are digging in and change appears unlikely. But there are some who frame gun violence in a third way -- as a public health issue. Still others see this as a thinly veiled approach to more gun control.

Nine of 14 North Country representatives voted Wednesday to kill a bill that would have required criminal background checks on all commercial firearm sales.

All but one were Republicans.

Five Democrats opposed killing the measure.

Gun Store / Flickr Creative Commons

  The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will hear arguments Thursday on a bill that would expand background checks for gun sales in the state.

The bill, sponsored by five Democratic representatives and one Republican senator, would require all commercial sales or transfers use a licensed firearms dealer. Licensed dealers are required to vet buyers through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. But sales at gun shows or through personal ads are currently possible without background checks.

22860 / Flickr/CC

With a new bill addressing how Granite Staters are allowed to carry a concealed gun, many are tapping in to the perennial conversation about concealed versus open carry. And while the right to bear arms is well-established in New Hampshire, there’s still debate about the who, where, and how when it comes to firearms.

GUESTS:

Mary Schwalm/AP

Former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords is coming to New Hampshire to discuss protecting women from gun violence.

Giffords, who was shot in the head in 2011, has become a national advocate for gun reform and started the group Americans for Responsible Solutions.

On Wednesday in Concord, she'll join female legislators, law enforcement officers and the president of the Manchester YWCA, the site of a 2013 murder suicide.

The discussion will center on how to prevent domestic and gun violence through legislation.

christopher.woo via Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Freakonomics co-author Stephen Dubner about three issues that have been dominating headlines lately. In case you’ve missed them and need to catch up quickly, we’ve compiled the highlights so you can be a champion of serious water-cooler discussions.

The major take-away? Dubner urges you to think like a freak, and to listen to more public radio.

New Hampshire lawmakers are mulling two bills that would expand background checks for gun purchases.

The House is expected to vote Wednesday on legislation that would require private sellers to conduct sales through licensed firearm dealers who, under federal law, must perform background checks on prospective buyers.

Gun Store / Flickr Creative Commons

A new bill would prohibit gun sales to some with mental illness. Supporters say it’s a common sense public safety measure. But there has been fierce opposition from some gun-rights groups, and from advocates who say the mentally ill are being unfairly singled out and are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violence.

GUESTS:

Amanda Loder / NHPR

  In the wake of the Newtown shootings, policy makers in New Hampshire and around the country asked themselves if there are policies that need changing. And one area where compromise seemed plausible was improving mental health reporting in background checks.

That was the subject of a bill before a state Senate committee today.

However, the proposal ultimately united groups --- ranging from the Second Amendment Sisters to the Disabilities Rights Center -- in opposition.

courtesy of Tim Schreier, flickr creative commons

Since Newtown, debates over gun violence have focused largely on how to keep guns out of the hands of people who kill other people. The truth is that - by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 - suicide is the leading cause of death by gun violence.

It’s a toll not often discussed, but one that some law enforcement and public health officials say is worsened by easy access to guns.  We spoke to Leon Neyfakh this past January when he wrote about the topic in the Ideas section of The Boston Globe.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

The news was hard to fathom a year ago: twenty first graders and six educators shot to death during an ordinary school day in Newtown, Connecticut.  Afterward, the national soul-searching seemed to reach new depths, with President Obama insisting “these tragedies must end, and to end them we must change.”  At the time, polls showed a majority of Americans agreed some aspects of gun laws could be altered, expanding background checks, for instance.   But Washington lawmakers failed pass legislation, and the debate has since shifted to the states.  Both sides have scored victories in state leg

Last week, a Senate judiciary panel approved a measure to reinstate a ban on assault weapons. Those same legislators could have a whole new field of weaponry to contend with: homemade guns. A small, Texas-based company called “Defense Distributed” has been spearheading technological and legal advances behind the 3-D printing technology that could produce guns.

Feminist Spring

Jan 31, 2013

The increasing prominence of women’s issues on a global scale has a number of scholars and activists wondering if we are on the verge of a “Feminist Spring”.  Two years after seething political and social discontent exploded into protests that changed the landscape of the Middle East, mass movements are forming around women’s issues. From the streets of India to Steubenville, Ohio, protestors are marching against sexual violence against women. In Syria, Bahrain and Yemen, women are active members of the ongoing resistance. Here in the US, a record number of women are now in congress and running states as governor, and issues like reproductive health and gun control have activated formerly silent female voters. Sahar Khamis is assistant professor of communication at the University of Maryland. She’s written extensively about female activism in the Arab spring uprisings, and joins us for a read of where those struggles stand today.

Grappling over Gun Laws

Jan 11, 2013
Auraelius via Flickr Creative Commons

We wrap up our three-day series on possible lessons from the Newtown shootings, with a look at some of the battles brewing over gun control and gun rights. President Obama has said he’ll do what it takes to curb gun violence. And lawmakers here in the Granite State are gearing up to take on such gun-related issues as the state’s Stand Your Ground law.

Guests:

Roger Wood / NHPR

Today, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband launched a political action committee with a goal of countering the influence of the gun lobby. the new PAC leverages public calls for stricter gun controls following the Sandy Hook shooting last month.

woodleywonderworks via Flickr Creative Commons

A study finds that the very act of holding a gun (even a wii gun!) prompts subjects to identify an object held by another person as a firearm...even when it's just a shoe.

We talk to the researcher behind this work, Jessica Witt of Colorado State University.

The Knowles Gallery via Flickr Creative Commons

Gun violence is an everyday occurrence in many cities in the united states, but after a tragedy like the Aurora  shootings or the Virginia Tech shootings, the gun control debate starts to make more noise on the socio-political landscape.  The second amendment typically divides parties and beliefs, but are gun control laws starting to divide the N.R.A itself? The National Rifle Association is a major player in keeping the Second Amendment exactly how it is for better or worse.