In Some States, Gun Debate Reveals Political Complexities of Issue


Although the debate over curbing gun violence is breaking down mostly along partisan lines in the nation's statehouses, the handful of exceptions show the political and geographical complexities of the issue, reports the New York Times. More than a dozen governors invoked the Newtown, Conn., school shooting in their State of the State addresses in recent weeks, and most have weighed in on the shooting in other forums. Several Democratic governors, mainly along the East Coast, are calling for banning some semiautomatic weapons or large-capacity magazines, while several Republican governors have pressed for other measures, noting their opposition to more restrictive gun laws.

But the state-level debate has not always followed party lines. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a Republican, says he supports his state's laws, which he described as “some of the toughest gun-control measures in place in the country.” But a more traditional party-line approach is being taken elsewhere. Democratic governors in Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Massachusetts are among those calling for stricter gun laws, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York has already was passage of sweeping gun measures. “Who can watch the sad images of the last several weeks, who can see the pictures of those young faces, and honestly say that we are doing enough?” Gov. Martin O'Malley of Maryland, a Democrat, asked last week.

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