State And Federal Government Consider Gun Measures

A little more than a month after the Newtown tragedy in Connecticut, state and federal officials are taking "meaningful action."

Here's President Obama announcing his set of measures.

"While there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely. No piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil. If there's even one thing that we can do ... "

In the Texas legislature, there are a little more than five dozen bills related to guns: anything from allowing guns on school campuses to blocking different types of guns sold.  Ben Philpott, who covers politics for NPR member station KUT in Austin, says bills being considered in Texas are a bit different from many other states.

"Whereas looking at possible gun control measures — and there are a couple of those that have been filed — most of the bills that have been filed are instead looking at maybe expanding where you can take your gun that you're allowed to carry by having a concealed carry permit."

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst has talked about state-funded training some school officials.  And Philpott thinks that a perennial bill of allowing guns on college campuses will possibly pass both chambers this session.  Other bills filed near the beginning of the session, Philpott says, have less support now.

"There've been a couple that would have reduced the amount of time and training needed to renew your concealed handgun permit."

KUHF asked members of our Public Insight Network about their thoughts on gun control.  David Haviland from Pearland owns a 40 caliber.  He supports universal background checks — something that the president put on the table — but he doesn't agree with the president's position on banning assault weapons.

"My problem is it's kind of like closing the barn door after the horses have left.  And as thugs and hoods become more  brazen with even  daylight break-ins of homes, some of them are going to start carrying [them] if they're not carrying these things already."

Haviland says he uses a gun for protection, and he says he was relieved that he owned a gun after he learned of the news of the Newtown shooting. Champions resident Linda Wilson feels differently. Her views on guns have been partly colored by something that happened in high school, when two of her friends were together.

"They were in theory looking, playing, whatever, with a supposedly unloaded gun, and it wasn't unloaded and it killed him when he was fifteen-years old.  He was shot in the head."

Wilson thinks guns are made to kill, and she chooses not to have them in her home.  And since the Newtown massacre, Wilson has been in several discussions about gun control.  She says many people have considered buying guns. And on the other hand, some moms that she knows have gotten more active and vocal in support of passing gun control measures.

 

White House 'fact sheet' on President Obama's executive actions related to gun violence by mmemmott, NPR

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