The opposite approaches to gun policy taken by Arizona and Connecticut after the Newtown, Ct., school shootings exemplifies the national divide on the gun issue, says Carnegie-Knight News21, a national investigative reporting project involving college journalism students. While Connecticut took extreme measures to muscle through one of the nation’s most comprehensive packages of gun laws, Arizona legislators moved to make it easier to carry guns in public. Governors will be elected in both states this fall, though neither race is expected to change the gun debate.
A new Arizona governor could mean approval for a controversial gun bill rejected by outgoing Gov. Jan Brewer, a member of the National Rifle Association. It would have allowed concealed carry permit-holders to carry guns in all public buildings that are not already protected by guards and metal detectors. Seth Wilson, whose grandfather was killed in the Tucson shooting in which former Rep. Gabby Giffords was wounded, says, “We have a huge society that is in denial about guns in America. Guns are not the problem. Education is the problem. How to use a weapon. When to use a weapon. And it's not taught.” News21 will publish a series of other stories on gun policy later this month.