December 19, 2012 |
Announcing Wednesday that he would send proposals on reducing gun violence in America to Congress, President Obama mentioned a number of sensible gun-control measures. But he also paid homage to the Washington conventional wisdom about the many and varied causes of this calamity — from mental health issues to school safety. His spokesman, Jay Carney, had said earlier that this is "a complex problem that will require a complex solution. " Gun control, Carney added, is far from the only answer.
December 21, 2012 |
Robert J. Spitzer is distinguished service professor and chairman of the political science department at the State University of New York College at Cortland. He is the author of four books on gun policy, including "The Politics of Gun Control. " After the horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, a nation long resistant to gun control seems ready to act — or at least talk about acting. President Obama has said he will make firearm legislation a "central issue" of his...
January 14, 2013 |
Once, after I had written about gun control, a guy called to differ and said that had the Jews of Germany been armed, the Holocaust never would have happened. That assertion, so ahistorical as to be almost laughable, stopped me in my tracks because it went to the black heart of the gun-control debate : It's not about guns. It's about the government. It's about the government in two respects. The first is the conviction that guns are needed to protect Americans from their own government.
September 22, 2013 |
How does change happen? More to the point, in the wake of 12 gun murders in the Navy Yard and a 3-year-old shot in Chicago : Why doesn't change happen when the need seems so obvious? It seems obvious that military-style weapons with no hunting or self-defense purpose should not be circulating. It seems obvious that people who hear voices and repeatedly fire guns in anger should be treated before they can buy more guns. Yet nine months after the school shooting that was supposed to shift...
April 13, 2012 |
Monday marks five years since the massacre at Virginia Tech , where a mentally ill student, Seung Hui Cho, used two handguns he had bought legally to kill 32 people and wound 25 others. Other than a relatively minor law to improve the national database used for background checks, no significant gun-control legislation followed that tragedy. Since then, there have been several mass shootings, including additional school rampages and the attempted assassination last year of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.)
January 15, 2013 |
When I covered Congress in the mid-1990s, one of my favorite characters was Steve Stockman , a former street vagrant who somehow got swept to power in the Republican Revolution of '94. Voters in his Texas district, realizing their mistake, swept him out two years later — but not before he distinguished himself by demanding a federal investigation of the 1948 Kinsey Report on male sexuality and by claiming that the deadly 1993 assault...