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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs