Five reasons why US gun control will fail

Discussion in 'Americas' started by pmaitra, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Tim Wigmore

    Tim Wigmore is a freelance journalist, and has written for Coffee House, The New Statesman, The Independent and Cricinfo. He blogs mainly on British and American politics and cricket, and tweets @Timwig


    One hundred days after Sandy Hook, five reasons why US gun control will fail

    It's now more than 100 days since the Sandy Hook shooting at an elementary school in Newton, Connecticut. The families of the victims have argued passionately for increased gun control, which has more support among the American public than for decades. Yet US gun laws may barely be changed by Sandy Hook at all. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put a series of gun-related bills onto the legislative calendar, which will be addressed after Congress’s two-week Easter break. It is on these that prospects for gun control rest – and they're not very good.

    Already, it is certain that an assaults weapon ban will not pass, with Reid saying that fewer than 40 Senators supported it. The debate has now moved onto a universal background check system, stricter federal laws on gun trafficking and provisions to improve school safety.

    The most important of these measures – a universal background check system – may well fail too. Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator Tom Coburn are negotiating a deal on it, and agree on the merits of a background check. The problem is that Coburn refuses to accept a system of comprehensive record keeping. Instead, he proposes an expensive system of federal agents conducting stings to ensure that gun sellers are conducting background checks. If the Democrats reject this, the measure could collapse completely.

    So gun reformers may not succeed in changing gun laws post-Sandy Hook. That’s despite unrelenting pressure from campaigners, including from Slate’s gun death tracker (3,000 gun deaths since Newtown, and counting). Support for reform is at historically high levels – 91 percent support background checks at gun shows; 82 percent favour making illegal gun sales a federal crime; and 57 percent want an assault weapon ban – yet American gun reform could fail again.

    Here are five reasons why:

    1. Obama's lack of friends in Congress. Republicans have little wish to comply with Barack Obama’s gun control agenda, and many resent the way he has attempted to moralise on the issue. Plenty of Democrats also see Obama as aloof. This is why Obama has had to entrust Joe Biden – a man with 36 years of Senate experience and friends in both parties – to take charge of gun control.

    Obama's terrible relations with Republicans are compounded by intense gerrymandering from both parties. This minimises the number of competitive congressional districts and means House Republicans are more concerned with a primary challenge than losing to a Democrat.

    2. America's other problems. Obama wanted to make gun control a key issue of his second term. But America's seemingly non-stop series of political crises – the fiscal cliff, the sequester et al – mean that it is hard enough just managing day-to-day problems. There are only so many hours in a day.

    3. The complexities of the American legislative system. This isn’t only the result of divided government: the labyrinth of sub-committees is hard enough to navigate when one party controls the presidency and both Houses. When the vote on gun reform comes, it will be almost four months after Sandy Hook. A quicker vote might have increased the pressure on Congress to vote for the measures.

    4. The National Rifle Association is easily mocked, but it retains real power in America. After Congress voted in favour of an assaults weapon ban in 1994, the NRA targeted 24 Congressmen in that year’s election: 19 were defeated. Perhaps it’s no wonder Congress isn’t enthusiastic about the legislation being re-enacted this time: even the Democrat Senate Majority leader Harry Reid is opposed.

    5. Democrat Senators are scared. In the 2014 midterms, eight Democratic Senators who gained seats in 2008, on an anti-Bush ticket of Obama-mania, will face re-election. People like Mark Begich (Senator in normally safe Alaska) and Kay Hagan (defending her North Carolina seat) know that supporting gun control will probably lower their chances of re-election. The NRA recently took out a full-page ad urging locals to tell Hagan to oppose gun control laws – a warning to her, and other Democrats in purple states, on what they can expect if they vote for increased gun control.

    Source and Comments: One hundred days after Sandy Hook, five reasons why US gun control will fail – Telegraph Blogs
     
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  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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  4. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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  5. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    People in America tend to take care of themselves.
    At least back in the country side they pretty much live on their own.
    The Government would be shooting down its own foot if it tried to infringe.
     
  6. average american

    average american Senior Member Senior Member

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    I expect some progress will be made on gun control, like stronger background checks,,,,its going to be slow.
     
  7. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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  8. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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  9. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    The fact that the Americans have a legislative and administrative system that is stuck in the 18th century combined with the history of the Cold War which saw all kinds of anti-government propaganda fed down their throats by heir own government means that they will continue killing each other by the thousands every year and nothing will change.

    "Gun control" is a lost cause for the US and I stopped arguing about it long ago.
     
  10. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    The Constitution of the United States was written in the 18th century, last amended in 1992. I'd rather live under it than any other in the world.
     
  11. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    Gun control will fail because criminals will ALWAYS have access to guns

    If getting guns becomes difficult for the common people ie those who need guns
    such as people living in tough neighbourhoods or small business owners then
    crime will definitely rise
     
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  12. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    If I had the power I would make you an honorary member of the NRA. :)
     
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It will fail because the Americans are trigger happy!
     

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