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.
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.
It’s relatively short, only twenty-seven words, but long on controversy. And it’s recently resurfaced in our debates over gun rights and gun control. We’ll pick apart the language of the second amendment with two constitutional scholars and examine what our founding fathers may have really meant, and how we look at it, in our time.
It’s one of our nation’s most divisive issues. Anew book called “Gunfight” looks at both the history of debates over gun laws and how it shapes our current dynamic, describing pro-gun groups bristling at any hint of regulation and gun control advocates seeking sometimes ineffectual laws. We’ll look at America’s long debate over the second Amendment.