Calling illegal-gun trafficking “contagious,” a Chicago researcher says that despite his city’s strict gun control, someone who wants to use a weapon to commit a crime can easily obtain one using social media or other networks on the underground market.
Responding to the outcry over the Florida school massacre, the White House says the president will back some version of a bipartisan bill introduced in November aimed at improving the federal system to conduct background checks of gun buyers.
California was the first state allowing judges to take guns away from people whose family members or guardians said exhibit warning signs of violence. No such measure was available in Florida, where school shooter Nikolas Cruz showed many indications he could pose danger.
Often missing in the gun control debate is the perspective of those who worry that a loved one might catalyze the next American tragedy. In the aftermath of Las Vegas, one of our regular columnists provides a poignant example.
An NPR/Ipsos survey finds that support for bans on assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines and “bump stocks” is rising, though Dems remain stronger on the issue than Republicans and independents. A pollster cautions that there have been similar reactions to other mass shootings–and the impact on public opinion may be temporary.
The president announced he would visit Las Vegas Wednesday, after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Alleged gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire late Sunday on an outdoor country music concert near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing at least 58 people and injuring more than 500. Paddock took his own life as officers stormed his hotel room.
Gun control backers say the incident showed that guns with high firepower are too accessible. Gun rights supporters said it demonstrated why having guns in public would help people defend themselves against such attacks. “If this had happened in Georgia, (the shooter) wouldn’t have gotten too far,” said Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), who was on the baseball field.
A Journal of the American Medical Association study found strong evidence that laws strengthening background checks and purchase permits helped decrease gun homicide rates. A second JAMA paper found an increase in gun homicides following implementation of Florida’s stand-your-ground law in 2005. Such scientific studies of firearms have been rare since Congress began withholding funding for gun violence research 20 years ago.