Gun rights advocates, led by the National Rifle Association, form a powerful lobby that politicians fear to cross. For many of them, it is a core voting issue, a line they will not cross, which, as President Obama recently lamented, is less often true for those who want gun control.
These advocates have effectively deployed the argument that after mass shootings, when emotions run high – and interest in new restrictions spikes – is not the time to debate the issue.
Opponents of gun control often talk about President Obama wanting to take guns away from lawful owners, and although he has never proposed to do that, many gun owners continue to believe it.
The gun lobby has also become more unyielding in recent years. The N.R.A. has hardened its opposition to expanded background checks, for example, and after years in which the group gave subdued responses to mass shootings, after the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, Wayne LaPierre, the N.R.A.’s executive vice president, famously declared that school employees should have been armed, because “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
Over the past generation, American politics have become more bitterly partisan, and regional divisions more rigid. As a result, gun control has become an increasingly partisan issue, with Republicans more uniformly opposed – at a time when Congress and most state houses are in Republican hands.
The result is that in recent years, states have gone in opposing directions. Responding in many cases to the same mass shootings, some have made their gun laws stricter (such as Oregon and Connecticut) while about the same number (including Arkansas and Georgia) have made theirs weaker.
In Congress and in more conservative and rural states, gun control tends to be a non-starter. Gun control advocates say politicians’ fear of the gun rights lobby is exaggerated, but even in swing states and some more liberal ones, that lobby has a reputation for punishing those who step out of line.
After Colorado enacted new gun controls, in 2013, gun rights groups succeeded in recalling two Democratic state senators who had voted for the measures, including the Senate leader. In 2014, they targeted two Democratic governors who had signed tougher gun restrictions into law, John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Dannel Malloy of Connecticut, but both were narrowly re-elected.
Another example of the gun lobby’s power came after Smith & Wesson broke with the rest of the gun industry in 2000, agreeing to several control measures to settle government lawsuits over gun violence. The N.R.A. led a boycott of Smith & Wesson, its sales plummeted, and rather than setting an example that other gun makers would follow, the company backed out of the deal.
In this article we shall be taking a look at the major advantages and disadvantages of gun control. But before we start with that, let us first take some time to understand exactly what gun control refers to.
Gun control is a term which refers to the laws that regulate the sale and ownership of firearms. In certain places in the world such as in the United Kingdom, there are strict laws that limit the possession of firearms, whereas in other places such as in the United States, there aren't strict laws that limit the possession of firearms. This means that it is easier for the average person in the United States to get access to a firearm than it is for a person in the United Kingdom.
Firearm possession has always been a very controversial issue in many parts of the world – especially in the United States where there is always a fierce debate between opponents and proponents of gun control. One group thinks that every citizen should have the right to possess a firearm whereas the other group thinks it is totally wrong for citizens to possess firearms. This debate has been ongoing for decades, and from all indications, it is going to carry on for more decades to come.
Let us now take a look at the arguments put forward by proponents and opponents of gun control. In doing that, we are basically taking a look at the pros and cons of gun control.