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Gun Control Debate Firing Up Local Communities

Three months after a tragic mass shooting at a U.S. elementary school brought the nation to tears, lawmakers are starting to move ahead with various proposals to curb gun violence. But the slow progress in Washington has much of the highly sensitive debate playing out on a state level.

Scenes of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut are seared in the minds of many. Twenty students and six teachers died in the December mass shooting.

Yet it has only been in the past two weeks that federal lawmakers have started to act - a Senate committee sending several bills to the full Senate for consideration.

"The time has come, America, to step up and ban these weapons,'' said California senator Dianne Feinstein.

U.S. President Barack Obama has urged Congress to act, promising to make another push even as he and lawmakers clash over budget issues.

In the meantime, at the state and local level - people are taking matters into their own hands.

The town of Byron, Maine, overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to require every resident to own a gun and ammunition.

The same day, at the Connecticut state capital, the National Rifle Association sponsored a gun rights rally.

Outside the Indiana statehouse advocates on both sides trying to make their voices heard.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma - action of a different kind - police inside a school training for the worst case scenario. The idea - to make things as realistic as possible.

In the meantime, on the streets of Washington this week -- not far from the U.S. Capitol - a deadly reminder of the damage guns can do in the wrong hands.

''Two cars came through the block, opened fire," explained Cathy Lanier, Washington, DC polic chief. "11 people have been transported.''

The debate over gun rights and gun control still far from settled.

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