With the new Conceal Carry Reciprocity Act looming there seems a greater split between gun control enthusiasts and those who support the right to bear arms. Both sides insist their point of view is right.
Both sides have facts and studies which seem to support what they espouse.
Statistics show that mass shootings have continued to occur in such school districts as Parkland, Florida and Santa Fe, Texas. Churches in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Charleston, South Carolina also spurred those who pressure Congress for tighter gun control.
In 2017 alone over, 2,200 people were shot in mass shootings and over 400 were killed.
The deadliest of these was at a Las Vegas music festival, where 58 were killed and hundreds injured.
Earlier in 2015, a San Bernardino, California, couple opened fire at a social services center. When they were done fourteen lay dead and twenty-two more were injured.
With these deaths still recent, the Senate rejected a bill to tighten background check requirements for those applying to own a handgun.
There’s a major issue here. How can the government strike a balance between gun rights and public safety? A larger issue is: What evidence do we have that tighter gun controls will indeed stop such mass shootings?
Studies have shown that areas with tight gun controls are not less likely to be the site of mass shootings.
It has also been noted that mass shooters did not use guns they legally obtained. Some did not even own the guns they fired on crowds on campuses, in churches, or at public gatherings.
No matter whether pro-gun control or pro-gun rights, we all want whatever it takes to increase public safety.
The government is pulled in two ways politically. In a climate of mass shootings and public fear, many oppose any type of gun control legislation. In fact, the president vowed to protect the Second Amendment rights of Americans as part of his 2016 election campaign.
None of the recent four gun control proposals has passed. The last major gun control legislation to be enacted concerned a ban on assault weapons in 1994. It failed to be renewed when it expired.
According to a Pew Research Center, June 2017 poll nearly 85% of Americans want increased background checks for handguns whether purchased at a gun show or at a firearms store.
However, with little—if any—proof that tighter gun controls have or will increase public safety, there is not much legislators can cite to support tighter gun controls and more rigorous qualification for concealed carry permits.
There’s also a money issue at stake here. gun rights like the National Rifle Association are passionate about second amendment rights. They boast a huge membership and donations to political leaders’ campaigns from the grass roots up to the White House. They spent almost $55 million on 2016 political campaigns.
On the issue of gun ownership and concealed carry rights, they are eloquent and organized.
It has been suggested that pro-gun control and pro-gun rights groups might find common group toward increasing public safety through mental health programs. Both sides see this as an inconclusive solution. And so an age-old battle rages on.