Inside and outside of Oakland

Gun Control: Many facets to the debate

  The already polarized debate over gun control will likely become more so in the aftermath of President Barack Obama's $500 million proposal for greater controls announced Wednesday.
  The president issued some 23 executive actions and wants Congress to take additional steps to control guns in the wake of the massacre a month ago at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

  Obama wants Congress to ban assault weapons, require background checks for gun purchases, limit high-capacity magazines and put an additional 1,000 police officers in schools.
  By executive order, he authorized tougher penalties for people who lie on background checks, required federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations, authorized community grants to keep guns from people who shouldn't have them and gave schools flexibility to use federal money to improve school safety.
  In images, here's a look at some of the key facets to the gun control debate:


 Opponents of greater gun controls point to the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gives people the right to bear arms.

Underlying support of the Second Amendment is a historical mistrust of government — both in this country and in repressive governments throughout history.


And there are parts of the country where gun ownership is considered the norm, not the exception.

Proponents of greater gun controls quote statistics comparing the United States to other countries when it comes to deaths from the illegal use of firearms.

  Personal Safety

Opponents of restrictions on gun ownership argue that people are far better able to defend themselves than police agencies or the government is.

And they say people can defend themselves immediately before they can be harmed.


Proponents of greater controls point to the recent mass killings as a reason why gun controls are necessary for the safety of the public.

And gun control advocates say that people are far vulnerable to violence when they have a gun in the home than when they don't.

Poor Image

Some gun control advocates say it's simply poor image to have guns so easily available that our presidents can be shot.

Big Business

Others point to the NRA and say the fight over reasonable gun control is really about the arms business itself.  

What's your opinion?

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