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Gun Control Debate Firing Up Local Communities

Gun Control Debate Firing Up Local Communitiesi
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March 13, 2013
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. VOA's Jeff Seldin explains.
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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.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

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by: Troy Scott from: Arkansas
March 14, 2013 2:18 AM
The Obama administration has repeatedly stomped all over the constitution of the United States. Other administrations have done it in the past but Obama has shown over and over that he has no regard for it or respect for it. The most ignored is the 10th amendment. Read and understand this: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Thus is you understand this it means that since nowhere in the constitution does it mention assault weapons. Each STATE has the right to vote on their own laws pertaining to them. After that it will be up to the Supreme Court to decide if such states laws fall within the Constitution. CONGRESS! Quit wasting time on things you are not even supposed to control and get the job done you were hired to do!


by: Emenot from: home
March 13, 2013 10:55 PM
<''Two cars came through the block, opened fire," explained Cathy Lanier> Wow, I didn't know cars can shoot...lmfao


by: mark
March 13, 2013 6:29 PM
A perfect example of successful gun control. People gunned down in Washington streets, home of some of the strictest gun control laws. Problem is: outlaws and criminals DO NOT OBEY LAWS! These misguided people want to do SOME thing, but don't know what to do, so they make more laws. Never mind that many of the laws on the books are not enforced. Never mind that there is no money to implement these new laws. But, at least the can say, " we did something."

In Response

by: onlooker from: Sydney
March 13, 2013 8:06 PM
Mark.. stop whinging and do something.... at least the govt is trying to curb the violence that you nincompoops are preventing...


by: PermReader
March 13, 2013 10:08 AM
Jeff! America- the freedom- World leader and it`s sitizens use more individual freedoms than the majority of European countries.Simultaneously many immigrants are not used to these freedoms.People`s right to have the guns is the importaint political freedom that they want to preserve at any price including the victims of the mad people.

In Response

by: Damon
March 19, 2013 4:20 AM
Is freedom more important than children's lives?Just think about it!

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