News / USA

Gun Control Debate Firing Up Local Communities

Gun Control Debate Firing Up Local Communitiesi
X
March 13, 2013 11:23 AM
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.
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.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs