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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth 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.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs