US gun reform

Enthusiasm for US Gun Reform Wavers

It’s an all too familiar scenario in the US.

A psychotic gunman — yes, they’re almost always men — loads up on ammunition and high-powered guns and takes out his life’s frustrations by committing mass murder.

The survivors and victims’ families rally for tougher gun laws. Many would like to see guns banned altogether.

The politicians step carefully in the early weeks following the tragedy. They make some of the right noises. But in the end, little or nothing changes.

Guns are ingrained in US culture. And no amount of mass shootings is going to convince Americans to follow in Australia’s footsteps.

In a sign of just how fast support for tougher laws is falling, US President Donald Trump will only support a modest set of fixes to gun laws, stepping back from some of the more sweeping changes he had considered after the country’s latest mass school shooting, senior officials have told reporters.

Opting for a plan the administration officials described as ‘pragmatic’, Trump backs legislation proposed in Congress aimed at providing more data for the background check system — a database of people who are not legally allowed to buy guns.

More contentious proposals, such as raising the minimum age for buying guns to 21 from 18, or requiring background checks for guns bought at gun shows or on the internet, will be studied by a commission headed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the officials said.

The Justice Department will also provide an unspecified amount of grants to states that want to train teachers to carry guns in school — an idea already in place in a small number of states, and backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) gun rights lobby. 

Trump has said he believes armed teachers would deter school shootings and better protect students when they happen.

The president, who championed gun rights during his 2016 campaign, vowed to take action to prevent school shootings after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on 14 February.

The shooting reignited the national debate over gun control. Students who survived the attack have pressured politicians to crack down on guns, and plan a march in Washington on 24 March.

Trump challenged Congress to develop a comprehensive bill during a televised meeting with politicians last month, embracing suggestions to close loopholes for gun buyers seeking to avoid the background check system, raise the age limit for buying rifles, and find ways to temporarily seize guns from people reported to be dangerous.

But his initial enthusiasm for restrictions was not shared by many of his fellow Republicans in Congress, wary of measures that could be viewed by some voters as infringing on their constitutional right to own guns, particularly leading up to the November congressional elections.

So he has embraced a proposal from John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, which is supported by many but not all Republicans.

The Australian Tribune with AP

The Australian Tribune with AP

The Australian Tribune with AP

Comments: 2

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  1. It would be interesting to see the reaction, and action, if a gunman took out a substantial number of Congressmen, their spouses and family at a Democratic or Republican Convention. Or perhaps the top dogs at an annual NRA Convention.

  2. I doubt if anyone was killed at Parkland Florida…There are so many unanswered questions, i mean the dude
    was on drugs as they all are, obviously the event was staged…Just the same with Port Arthur…all fake…
    But jeez people just give up your guns and there will be no country left…It’s just not worth living in………..