Approaching a month since the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, the national debate on gun control has taken an alarming turn, and answers for effective legislation to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people while respecting the Second Amendment seem no closer to the table. The pro-gun and anti-gun sides appear to be becoming more vitriolic towards each other, and majority-supported policy to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable has not come easily.
Two weeks ago The Journal News, a small northern New York suburb newspaper, drew the ire of conservatives across the country and made national news after publishing the names and addresses of handgun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties. This week, Gawker published the names of all the gun owners, as they refer to as “assholes,” in New York City.
A story coming out of Los Angeles picked up by TMZ has shocked many in the wake of the Connecticut shooting, as a 24-year-old man who threatened on social media to recreate the Sandy Hook shooting in California will not be prosecuted by police. When police first heard about his threats Kyle Bangayan was arrested and police found in his house six semi-automatic handguns, two rifles and one shotgun. Police say they released Bangayan because his threats were not specific.
Vice President Joe Biden is currently overseeing a task force to lower gun violence that is expected to recommend far-reaching gun control legislation, and state governors like Andrew Cuomo of New York have proposed new and extremely tough laws on gun ownership.
Second Amendment enthusiasts and many conservatives have opined that these massive legislative overhauls on gun control are being proposed with little input of gun owners, and the actions of Gawker and The Journal Times feed in to an unfair assumption that anyone who owns a gun is dangerous.
On ‘Real News’ Wednesday the panel discussed the direction the gun control debate has gone in recent weeks, and how lawmakers can work to decrease gun violence without stepping on civil liberties or compromising safety.