For some Americans, guns are over-regulated. For others, they are under-regulated.
Recent mass shootings, which include two that set U.S. records, have fired up gun control advocates. A climate of outrage at the country’s disproportionate number of killings by firearms, and at school shootings in particular, raises some possibility that activism – the March For Our Lives movement and others – might halt the overall erosion of gun control. The erosion is exemplified by the 1986 amendment passed by Congress, which is titled The Firearm Owners Protection Act.
For gun safety advocates, tightening and closing loopholes in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the GCA and state firearms laws will be a priority. Stephen Paddock, the record-holder for the worst mass shooting, and Adam Lanza, the record-holder for the worst school shooting, both killed with weapons legally purchased through the NICS. The New York Times pointed out in Feb 2018 that a vast majority of guns used in 19 recent mass shootings were bought legally and with a federal background check, as required by law.
A Time Magazine timeline of major gun control laws traces the tugs-o-war. It details each instance where a control was introduced in Congress and subsequently neutralized.
Whether the outrage that followed the recent mass shootings can even-up the contest will depend on whether it can outlast and outmaneuver the intense lobbying of Congress by the National Rifle Association for the firearms industry. A Denver Post headline after the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999 observed that the “Massacre energizes gun debate – but not lawmakers.”
#22564 Published: 03/29/2018