Saturday, January 3, 2015

Gun control advocates taking their battles to the state ballot

A November ballot victory in Washington had confirmed the gun-control movement's new strategy, focus on states in which they can introduce ballot measures. Their introduction of broader background checks in Washington has set the stage for what they hope will be a flourishing point as they embrace their growing support and a bit of an image change (i.e. using gun safety instead of gun control).

After the tragedies of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting in 2011 and Sandy Hook in 2012, gun control group have said that their grass roots support is stronger than ever, even to the point that they outspent the NRA in the Washington election. In 2016, they are already looking to introduce measures in regions such as Maine, Arizona and Oregon.

As they work to refocus their strategy away from the federal government, the National Rifle Association has followed. The extremely vocal interest group has been so far successful in blocking most gun control legislation and even having a part in electing supporters out of office. Already the NRA has headed to court to fight this most recent ballot.

Some of the most recent pew surveys reveal a greater complexity to the american public's' overall opinion. A December 2014 Pew Poll reveals that, for the first time in two decades, over 50% of those polled supported gun ownership over gun control, but a 2013 poll found that three quarters of Americans support an extension of background checks. It makes sense that Americans see value in their right to bear arms, especially in cases of self defense, as well as wanting to keep guns out of the hands of those deemed not responsibly by society, but I'll ask "what do you think?"

Do you support an expansion of background checks?
What's your opinion on gun control advocates changing their chosen route of legislation?
If you support gun control, where should the line be drawn?


Samantha Bhaumik said...

I am a strong supporter of background checks and stronger gun control. I believe that in order to have the right to own a gun, one has to prove their trustworthiness. I think it is unbelievable that someone would oppose further background checks. These wider checks are making sure that everyone who has a deadly weapon is competent and stable. It seems that the US only realizes that the right to bear arms shouldn't apply to everyone when there are horrific shootings (like Newtown). In order to get legislation passed, I think it is smart to promote this movement as gun safety instead of gun control. Making it about safety makes it less about taking away rights and more about taking necessary action to prevent more death by gun.

Angelia Fontanos said...

I support background checks and stronger gun control. Background checks ensure that only those responsible enough and of sound mind are allowed to own a gun, which I believe can play a big role in reducing the number of deaths caused by guns. I think it's a good idea that the gun control movement has decided to shift their image to gun safety instead. By switching their image to gun safety, the gun control movement can ease Americans who feel strongly about having their right to bear arms, while informing them on how to properly use and care for a gun. Although I support strong gun control, I think there is a line in having too much gun control. I don't think the process of going through a background check or obtaining a permit to buy or own a gun should be too difficult or long. The processes for background checks and obtaining permits should be complex enough so that not just anyone can pass.