The Daily Gamecock

Gun control policies still needed in US

Arizona events prompt safety


HakeemJefferson01The recent events in Arizona have sparked a national debate regarding civility in our political discourse. Politicians and commentators on both sides of the aisle have committed to toning down their rhetoric while encouraging citizens across the country to do the same. There is, however, a debate that has not gotten enough attention in the days and weeks following the death of six innocent bystanders and the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

As representatives demonstrate bipartisan support for a return of civility to our politics and plan to literally cross the aisle and sit with one another at Tuesday's State of the Union Address, there appears to be much less bipartisan support for sensible gun policies that would make it more difficult for individuals like Jared Loughner to obtain the weapons and ammunition he used to commit his heinous crime.

In a joint interview with Meet the Press' David Gregory on January 16, Senators Chuck Schumer and Tom Coburn found it difficult to agree on much regarding gun control policies. Senator Schumer, a New York Democrat, called for stricter gun laws. His colleague, a Republican from Oklahoma, argued that stricter gun laws are not needed. Why is it so difficult to achieve bipartisan support when it comes to gun policies in this country? The answer is simple. Both parties are beholden to special interest groups that demand they hold fast to party platform points which the other party strongly rejects.

Democrats and Republicans owe it to the American people to act in a bipartisan fashion to ensure that our nation's gun laws are sensible, effective, and consistent with the values enshrined in the Second Amendment. The safety and security of millions of Americans depend on it.