According to some posters, pollsters, politicos and pundits, 2009 is shaping up to be the Year of the Gun. That's because of the challenge to laws, the level of gun violence and the fueling of suspicion and distrust of government worldwide.
America has challenges through the several states and is often considered to be the hotbed of controversy on the subject of guns. It isn't alone, of course, but perhaps discussion should start with a narration of its 2009 gun events.
The year began with a bang as reported in the Washington Post as Congress sought to find compromise on gun legislation. By May the GOP was able to get 27 Senate Democrats to vote with them to loosen rules for firearms in national parks. The measure sailed through, with the signature of Barack Obama, attached to an unrelated credit-card bill.
Early in the year it was reported that President Obama was seeking an assault rifle ban. Even as this was being reported by ABC News, gun rights groups began to expand protest and concern about restrictions on guns. The result: a relaxation on restrictions.
Some states, in expressing their independence from federal regulations and concerns about restricting gun rights, opted to make their own laws and loosen them in many quarters. Montana is an example of that. Governor Brian Schweitzer, a self-proclaimed gun enthusiast, signed into law legislation that aims to exempt Montana made guns from certain federal laws. He said this by way of underlining the states rights argument with respect to firearm regulations, " It's a gun bill, but it’s another way of demonstrating the sovereignty of the state of Montana."
In the meantime police deaths by firearms have increased by 24 percent according to recent statistics reported by Fox News .
Fox goes on to point out 2009 was a " particularly perilous year" for police officers and guns with a total of 47 killed by guns in the line of duty so far this year, up from 38 in 2008..
Even as the United States sorts out its regulations across the country regarding guns, other countries also have issues with guns. The Star Online reports In Kuala Lumpur a man is said to be facing death for killing a woman on his birthday and has two other charges related to possessing firearms illegally. The Times of India reports gun deaths increasing from "trigger happy" New Delhi and has an entire website devoted to news about guns. Gun trafficking and deaths is more, therefore, than just a U.S. problem.
With the increase of violent crime and the increased suspicion the public has regarding governmental regulations, as evidenced by state sovereignty discussions and new legislation, 2009 could be, according to those concerned about the growing violence, the Year of the Gun, just as Knox News reports it has been for Tennessee in a year of looser gun laws