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article imageGun control, gun rights & the talk of gun safety after Sandy Hook

By Can Tran     Dec 19, 2012 in Politics
While the NRA and other gun rights advocates are being demonized, other people are calling upon them to join an open discussion about gun control and gun safety.
Last weekend and the days that followed weren't kind the National Rifle Association (NRA), other pro-gun groups, and pro-gun rights advocates. This is due to the public outrage fueled by angry parents and capitalized on by gun control activists due to what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut with most of the casualties being children between 5 and 10 years of age. Gun rights have been forced to the proverbial walking plank or guillotine by growing negative opinion. While the NRA has been silent, it's very unlikely it has suffered much. In a Fox News article, the NRA membership hasn't gone down. Instead, especially since Sandy Hook, NRA membership has increased.
There were people sounding off on Twitter about rounding up NRA members and shooting them. Hollywood actress Marg Helgenberger, who used to star in “CSI,” said that one could only hope that would happen. However, Helgenberger said that even if that was the case it wouldn't change anything.
In a TIME article online, a sportsman who does skeet and trap shooting addresses gun rights. Andrew J. Rotherham, who wrote the article, said he couldn't support the policy aims of the NRA. He explained that there are many reasons that about many people which include hunters and more gun owners do not have membership with the NRA. Rotherham said that politics plays the main reason. He calls upon reaching out to pro-hunting moderates in hopes to address gun control legislation.
He calls upon for an organization that reaches out to people like him. In this article, there is the call for a more moderate alternative to groups such as the NRA. Rotherham supports prohibition against large-magazine firearms as they do not have a legitimate use in sports such as hunting. However, he said that the group will need authenticity and huge financial backing for it to be a real alternative to the NRA.
Ruth Marcus, in an op-ed on the Washington Post, gives ideas in looking toward technology. Some ideas offered are requirements to have guns stored in safes or rooms which require fingerprint-recognition in order to enter and get the firearms. In this, Marcus makes a reference to the latest James Bond movie called “Skyfall.”
Also, this is similar to a concept in “Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty” when playing as Raiden. By defeating the enemies, you cannot simply grab their weapons. This is due to their weapons having a special DNA lock. If your DNA doesn't match that of the original user, you couldn't use the firearm.
In this op-ed, Marcus writes about using similar political tactics against the NRA. One example utilizing the Supreme Court ruling known as Citizens United in which corporate entities are considered people as well.
United States President Barack Obama, when talking about gun control, said that NRA members should look at themselves right now. Instead of alienating the NRA, there are politicians asking the group to be part of the talks. Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California wants the NRA to come to the table with ideas; but, not with ideas about arming the teachers. Boxer said that teachers are not law enforcement officers and said law enforcement officers should be at the schools.
Furthermore, Boxer introduced a bill that allows individual state governors to decide if they want to use National Guard troops to protect the schools. This bill is called “Save Our Schools.” In her justification, Boxer said rhetorically asked about national defense's part in ensuring that the children of the country remain safe.
Also, she introduced another bill called the School Safety Enhancement Act. If signed into law, it would increase federal grant funding for things such as metal detectors, surveillance cameras, and so forth. In that respect, it eases the pressure off law enforcement.
In this respect, this can be combined with the op-ed on CNN by Peter Bergen. Bergen, in his op-ed, makes comparisons with the civilian death rate in the United States and the civilian death rate in Afghanistan. With this piece, Bergen makes his case of gun violence in the United States should be considered a national security issue.
In a Huffington Post blog, the author says that the NRA should do the following: toning down on gun rhetoric, stop the glamorization of guns, encourage the gun manufactures to stop with “cowboy” marketing plans, contribute money to help better research and treat mental health issues, and so forth.
In an article on the Nation Review Online, its author calls for the government and gun owners needing to work together to promote safety. The author writes that both sides of the gun debate want the killings to stop; but, the stalemate is caused because both sides have different views on how to go at it. This article lists things that both sides need to come together and do.
The first one would be to have a national campaign for gun safety. In this respect, gun owners and so forth need to be engaged in honest and open talks. With this said, work with such people instead of damning and demonizing them.
In this respect, the NRA plans to hold a press conference on the issue on Friday, December 21. Yesterday, the NRA broke its silence and said that the members were saddened by what happened at Sandy Hook. However, it is unknown what the NRA will say at the press conference or what it means by “meaningful contributions” to ensure safety.
With that said, people are calling upon people who stand on the side of gun rights to be part of the incoming discussions about gun control and gun safety.
In terms of gun deaths, the Center of Disease Control (CDC) says that by 2015 guns will dwarf traffic accidents in terms of non-medical related fatalities.
More about NRA, national rifle, National rifle association, Guns, Gun control
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