Sooner or later an American President will have to take on the gun lobby

  Forum Editor 14 Dec 12
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or this kind of thing will keep on happening.

If ever there was a perfect chance for Obama to secure his place in history (for the second time)this is it.

  Al94 14 Dec 12

You're absolutely right but as I suspect it would be electoral suicide, it is unlikely to happen.

  Flak999 14 Dec 12

It'l never happen! Gun ownership is to much a part of the American Psyche. The NRA has to much power with lobbyists in congress and the senate, and the right to bear arms is enshrined in the constitution.

This is the price America will keep on having to pay!

  csqwared 14 Dec 12

I think that sadly Flak999 has hit the nail on the head. The right to bear arms, as part of the Constitution, is always going to be the thorn in the side of any president. The Second Amendment text states "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." There have been arguments that the first clause, relating to 'militia', allows for legislation but, again from Flak999's argument, the NRA are simply too powerful to allow it.

I pray I am wrong and, pardon the pun, Obama chooses to bite the bullet.

  bremner 14 Dec 12

Flak999

Totally agree.

  kad60 14 Dec 12

Unfortunately even if gun control was more restrictive or even prohibitive ,unlikely,the country is awash with illegal armaments bought on the black market.

The constitution needs updating given that it was written at a time when they did not have automatic weaponry but the NRA and manufacturers feed off the fear of violence which is highlighted constantly in the press and even movies.

Any law instituted by Obama would be automatically repealed when the Republicans return to office in a probable landslide victory.

  Mr Mistoffelees 14 Dec 12

I think only a Democrat president, on his second term, is ever going to try to do anything about guns in the States. I also agree that the lunatics, sorry Republican gun lobby, will do all they can to stop it and, if anything does get done, repeal any new laws as soon as they get back in.

  Forum Editor 14 Dec 12

"Any law instituted by Obama would be automatically repealed when the Republicans return to office in a probable landslide victory."

In your dreams. Once American gun laws are tightened they will stay that way. The problem is, no President has - so far - been prepared to take on the gun lobby in a direct fight. I'm not underestimating the scale of the mountain to be climbed, but sooner or later someone will have to start the ball rolling. It will become increasingly difficult for American society to tolerate the sheer scale of gun-ownership. The percentage of gun-owning Americans has fallen by around 10% over the past thirty years, so it looks as if there might be a dawning realisation that what was OK when the country was in its wild west era isn't OK in the 21st century.

  morddwyd 14 Dec 12

While it is inevitable that eventually someone will have to take on the gun lobby, we will see a United Ireland before we see gun control accepted (note, accepted, not enacted) in the US, and that certainly won't be in my lifetime.

  rickf 14 Dec 12

The question is why are'nt ordinary Americans unhappy, if not angry, about this. Such a waste if life. To us it would appear that they are crazy.

  johndrew 14 Dec 12

Fortunately the 'Herring Pond' provides an adequate separator for us in the UK otherwise we may have similar problems to those both in Dunblane and described here on a more regular basis.

As for the gun lobby being brought to heel, I think that would be a tall order for any administration. The national mindset in the USA appears resolute on the subject as a majority regardless of the number of similar incidents. Maybe it will take the prising of the weapon from cold, dead hands for the gun laws to be tightened; even then such problems will still occur I feel certain.

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