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article imageFinding the 'middle ground' in the growing debate about firearms

By Can Tran     Dec 20, 2012 in Politics
In further talks about addressing the umbrella of gun control legislation, there is the talk about meeting at the "middle ground" when bringing up the issue.

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While emotions have risen to unprecedented levels in the tragic shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, it doesn't mean that the battle for new gun legislation is going to be a pretty brutal political battle and could greatly impact what happens during the 2014 US Election Cycle. While there's growing public anger and outcry which gives leverage to those that are aiming for gun control and less guns, pro-gun advocates are not simply lying there and taking the beating. Instead, pro-gun advocates immediately pushed back with arguments of that gun control is not the solution and it wouldn't do anything to prevent such tragedies.
Since the shooting took place, the National Rifle Association (NRA) was silent until a few days ago and said it was shocked and saddened by what happened at Sandy Hook. It plans a press conference on Friday, December 21. Until then, nobody really knows what the NRA plans to say
In terms of pro-gun advocates, they say that adults working at the school should be armed. Pro-gun advocates, both Democrats and Republicans, have called forth to arm any faculty or administrative members who are able to use guns. In this respect, there is the belief if someone was armed at the school, Adam Lanza could have been neutralized.
However, there are many that believe that arming the teachers is not the answer. In an op-ed from the Kansas Star, the author says that “arm the teachers” is the typical argument that first comes to mind; but, it is deemed to be “flimsy” at best as the article starts out. The article believes that arming the teachers is not the answer. It points out the shootings in Arizona that took place early 2011 where then-Democratic Representative Gabby Giffords was shot in the head. While she survived, others did not. One of the casualties of the shooting included a young child. The article points out that Arizona is a state with a concealed-carry law.
It also further points out that one of the people who wrestled the gun away from the shooter almost got shot by someone who was armed at the gathering. Plus, it points out the “fight or flight” scenario where many would choose the latter option. The article points out that simply arming the average person, including someone who works in the school system, wouldn't help solve such problems. It points out important factors: skills, composure and so forth in a tense situation.
While the two arguments are there, growing public opinion is not on the side of gun rights. Celebrities such as Lady Gaga are leading calls for new gun control legislation. With the celebrities having large fan bases, their fans are sure to be following their calls for it. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is one of the high-profile politicians to lead the call for new gun control legislation and is leading a new campaign called “Mayors Against Illegal Guns' Demand a Plan.” It has celebrity support from people such as Martha Stewart and MC Hammer.
In this respect, this can be seen as further demonizing of NRA and other pro-gun advocates. Senator Chuck Schumer D-NY talked about the important of meeting the NRA halfway when it comes to talking about gun control. Schumer talks about when he was much younger about taking an NRA sharpshooter course and said he has a merit badge for it. He compares the NRA of the past to being like AAA. However,
Schumer talked about support for gun control being high when there were more crimes and said it became the other way around as crime lessened. He said that gun-enthusiasts and other pro-gun advocates need to be reaffirmed that the 2nd Amendment does not get violated. Schumer's calling for middle ground.
In an article on Bloomberg News, it says not to use the words “gun control.” Instead, the article says to use phrases such as: “gun safety,” “anti-violence regulation,” “military weapons for the military only,” and “common sense.” However, the use of anti-violence regulation could end up affecting contact sports that are deemed violent and aggressive.
The article further says that liberals need to downplay arguments though they are argument; but, they have no effect when it comes to politics.
After the NRA gives its press conference, the NRA president and vice-president will be interviewed on Sunday. David Keene, the president, will be interviewed on CBS' “Face The Nation.” Wayne LaPierre, the vice-president, will be interviewed on NBC's “Meet The Press.” Whatever they say at the press conference and the following interviews could further affect the public opinion towards the group.
In a Seattle Times article, there are NRA members talking about having to give up some ground such as high-capacity magazines. One person says that those things aren't even useful.
According to a recent Gallup poll, results say that more Americans favor the idea of banning assault and semi-automatic weapons.
Even state governors are throwing down with each other when it addresses the issue of assault and semi-automatic weapons. Ed Rendell, the former Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania, has called out current GOP McDonnell of Virginia on “cowardice” for dodging the conversation about such weapons.
With both sides of the debate sparring with each other, the is one question: what exactly is the “middle ground?”
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