News / USA

    Theater Shooting Renews US Gun Control Debates

    Denise Paba, who lost her 6-year-old niece Veronica Moser, is comforted as she cries at a memorial for victims behind the theatre where a gunman opened fire last Friday on moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado July 22, 2012.
    Denise Paba, who lost her 6-year-old niece Veronica Moser, is comforted as she cries at a memorial for victims behind the theatre where a gunman opened fire last Friday on moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado July 22, 2012.
    Ralph Eckhardt
    The theater shooting Friday in Colorado has renewed gun control debate in the United States.

    A young attendee tries out a pistol during the National Rifle Association's (NRA) 141st Annual Meetings & Exhibits in St. Louis, Missouri, April 13, 2012.A young attendee tries out a pistol during the National Rifle Association's (NRA) 141st Annual Meetings & Exhibits in St. Louis, Missouri, April 13, 2012.
    x
    A young attendee tries out a pistol during the National Rifle Association's (NRA) 141st Annual Meetings & Exhibits in St. Louis, Missouri, April 13, 2012.
    A young attendee tries out a pistol during the National Rifle Association's (NRA) 141st Annual Meetings & Exhibits in St. Louis, Missouri, April 13, 2012.
    The Colorado shooter was able to arm himself because gun ownership in the United States has been protected by the U.S. Constitution since 1791. At that time, the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, were ratified to protect personal freedoms that had been curtailed by Britain, the recently defeated colonial power.  

    The Second Amendment says, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

    But a background check is now required for anyone seeking to buy a gun, to guard against selling to criminals and people who are mentally ill.   

    Gun control advocates say those limits are not enough and say strengthened controls will cut the 10,000 murders committed by firearms each year in the United States.  

    Despite the violence, a Gallup poll last year found nearly half of all American adults have a gun on their property and only one-in-four Americans favor banning handguns.

    This has not stopped calls in the U.S. Congress for tighter gun regulations. Representative Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, told the House of Representatives Monday, "The 70 killed or wounded [in the Colorado shooting] are the latest in a pattern that happens repeatedly, predictably, with overall loss of life being in the tens of thousands over the years."

    Gun rights are defended by the powerful lobbying group, the National Rifle Association, which argues that the right to bear arms is "the fundamental right that separates us from all other nations on earth. There is no greater freedom than the ability to own a firearm to protect yourself, your family, your community and your country."

    You May Like

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: ken hargesheimer from: lubbock tx
    July 24, 2012 5:03 PM
    Man buys guns and kills people; outlaw guns.

    DWI drivers killed 17,000 people last year; outlaw cars.

    by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
    July 24, 2012 6:00 AM
    Dear the National Rifle Association. Yes, you are the only one nation bearing arms and killing people like the brutes. If the ownership of firearms is the greatest freedom, it measns killing people is also the greatest freedom. Where's humanity? How do you feel if your families had been involved in this Colorado masacre, nomatter which either a shooting murderer or shooted victimes?

    by: Jose from: Texas
    July 23, 2012 7:42 PM
    I don't think a gun debate is going to do anything about the booby traps left in the apartment.

    It seems to me that violent movies like Batman are the problem. Why not ban sinister movies.
    In Response

    by: Jose from: Texas
    July 24, 2012 8:12 AM
    The teenager didn't have a machine gun. It's amazing how little you Australians know about guns.
    In Response

    by: Lindsay from: Australia
    July 23, 2012 10:47 PM
    You are not making any sense mate. How can a teenager get hold of a machine gun and kill innocent people. How can a country condone this anymore!

    by: Roger from: Michigan
    July 23, 2012 5:01 PM
    Used to live in CO...there is a lot of carry permit holders there....too bad they could not carry into the theater....would most certainly have saved lives....very similar to Luby's in Texas. Maybe CO with change there laws to permit carry in theaters now.
    In Response

    by: Jose from: Texas
    July 24, 2012 8:14 AM
    If it was an Israeli theatre, the shooter would have been dead before the police arrived and it is not because of a gun ban.
    In Response

    by: Lindsay from: Australia
    July 23, 2012 10:43 PM
    You are off your rocker mate!!!

    by: Carla from: Canada
    July 23, 2012 3:58 PM
    Maybe it is not the gun regulations so much but the type of guns and munition that are being sold?
    Why does someone need a automatic gun with a clip that holds 100 rounds?? Deer hunting?
    In Response

    by: Jose from: Texas
    July 24, 2012 8:13 AM
    It's a good thing he had a 100 round clip because they jam. No self respecting terrorist who knows about guns would use one.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.