It's been roughly almost a month since the horrific events that transpired in Newtown, Connecticut. On December 14, 20-year-old Adam Lanza stormed into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed almost 30 people. The shooting at Sandy Hook became the second deadliest shooting in the United States; but, the circumstances were very severe due to most of the victims being young children. This had inevitably reignited talks about gun control legislation. You have all sides of the issue having their say and their own different views on how to deal with increasing gun-related violence. Obvious proposals would be to ban assault weapons, arm the faculty, have guards set up, allow firearms on campus, and so forth. When meeting with representatives from various groups and industries brought into the gun debate, United States Vice President Joe Biden said that there's no “silver bullet” to deal
with the problem of gun violence.
For those that do not understand the silver bullet analogy, it has to do with supernatural mythology. It is believed that silver is the one metal that defeats evil. One example of such mythology is werewolf mythology as it takes a silver bullet or a weapon made of silver to put it down. In this respect, with what Biden said in regards to the silver bullet, there's no instant way to deal with the issue. With the information Biden is receiving from groups such as the ESRB, the NRA, and so forth, he plans to make policy recommendations to United States President Barack Obama on Tuesday. Biden said that this is not a problem that can easily be solved.
He didn't just talk about mass shootings; Biden addressed gun violence in general. In short, combating gun violence is going to require a combination of different policies.
In a Washington Post article dated today, the liberal think tank known as the Center for American Progress (CAP) has recommended thirteen new gun policies to the White House. There are a number, as reported by WP, that do not require Obama get approval from the US Congress. These proposals are supported by VP Biden; but, they will draw opposition from the NRA and other gun rights proponents. The CAP proposals are pretty much the same one would hear in the news reports such as banning military-grade assault weapons, banning high-capacity ammo clips, and so forth.
One CAP suggestion that garners much attention is to make the ATF part of the FBI. By merging the two together
, the ATF would have the power to combat gun crimes and illegal arms trafficking. The group has urged Obama to support the assault weapons ban proposal by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and to give public health research agencies funds to study the impact of gun violence on injuries and death.
Come Monday, the CAP will be the moderators of a public discussion with Democrats. These Democrats are Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Senator Charles Schumer of NY, and Representative Mike Thompson of CA.
In a Chicago Tribune article, the centrist think tank known as Third Way says that Biden's going to be in a tough fight with Congress
. The group points out that bans are always the toughest to fight. It points out that the assault weapons ban proposal will be a very tough fight. In another Chicago Tribune article, Biden's taking a close look at technology as a way to combat gun violence. There is the look towards “smart gun technology
” that allows weapons to recognize the fingerprints of a gun owner. However, it's not known on how feasible this technology would be.
CNN reports that the NRA is expecting a very tough political battle; in preparation, the group is preparing an ad campaign. The group plans to use both print and digital ads
to build up opposition to possible new gun restrictions to be introduced. So far, it's going to be a battle of manpower. It is reported that as the sales of firearms continue to increase. The Times of India reports of gun shops being crowded by people wanting to buy assault rifles, high-capacity magazines, and so forth. One dealer interviewed in the article explains that normally a 30-round magazine would cost $12. Now, such a magazine costs $60. People are stocking up
out of fears of possible bans. The article also talks about the group Third Way. In this article, it is reported that Third Way urges not to focus on weapons bans; instead, Obama's administration needs to focus on the background checks and going after gun traffickers.
An op-ed piece from Newsday, one group that seems to be excluded from the talks
are most likely the victims of gun violence.
Biden met with various groups
such as the NRA, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), Electronic Arts (EA). He also met with executives of Hollywood, the video game industry, and so forth. Also reported is that Attorney General Eric Holder also participated in the meeting. In meeting all these groups and people, Biden is gathering as much input as possible before making proposal recommendations.