Policy Round Up: Gun Control

Written by

Tyler Grote
Tyler Grote Tyler Grote is an editorial assistant with GlobalPolicy.TV. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics and a minor in rhetoric. He is passionate about urban planning and development issues, particularly as they affect struggling urban communities. He has a strong interest in smart growth policies that revitalize old and develop new neighborhoods that encourage an active environment where people can live, work and play.

Last Monday, the United States was shocked and saddened by yet another mass shooting rampage, this time just miles from the White House at Washington, DC’s Navy Yard. As with recent tragedies in Aurora, Colo. and Newtown, Conn., as well as the high-profile George Zimmerman case in Florida, the general public and elected officials have called for serious gun control reform.

Ed O’Keefe of The Washington Post says gun control has popped back onto the radar for Americans and officials on Capitol Hill, but there is little expectation that the recent events will lead to any new gun control legislation.

The events come at a time of shifting public sentiment on guns. Public support for stricter laws has faded since April, when the Senate failed to advance a bipartisan proposal to expand the federal background check system for gun sales. The recent recall of two Colorado state legislators who supported stricter state gun laws is also viewed as a warning to lawmakers who favor stricter gun control laws.”

“The legislative calendar is of little help to them as well: The House and Senate face a Sept. 30 deadline to pass a short-term budget and are preparing for a much sharper battle over expanded borrowing authority for the federal government that could stretch into November. Republican leaders in the House did not permit votes on gun control bills last spring and are expected to move on to immigration reform once the fiscal fights are over.”

Read the full article on The Washington Post here.

President Obama spoke at Navy Yard memorial service this weekend, calling for the nation to demand actions be taken to prevent this type of senseless violence.

The president did not vow to throw the weight of his presidency behind an effort to enact gun-control legislation, as he did in December at a memorial service after the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Instead, he urged the nation to demand such measures.”

“‘By now . . . it should be clear that the change we need will not come from Washington, even when tragedy strikes Washington,’ he said at Sunday’s service on the barracks parade grounds. ‘Change will come the only way it ever has come, and that’s from the American people.'”

Read the full article on The Washington Post here

Emily Bazelon of Slate discusses that the biggest issue to be addressed with new gun control measures is the availability of guns to the mentally ill and that determining who in fact is “mentally defective” may be the most difficult part of this entire dilemma.

The hard part here—and it’s really hard—is that to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill specifically, as opposed to making it harder for everyone to own them, the government has to decide who the mentally ill are. You don’t have to be paranoid to worry about the creation and keeping of such a list. Who gets on it, and on what basis? What else could it be used for?”

Read the full article on Slate here.

Echoing the point that the Navy Yard shootings will not lead to more gun control legislation, Rich Lowry of Politico says that this debate should not be about guns, but about mental health.

“The Navy Yard massacre won’t revive the gun debate in Congress for a simple reason. There is no gun control agenda this side of a total ban and confiscation that would have stopped Aaron Alexis.”

Read the full article on Politico here.