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  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 10:00am
CommentInsight & Opinion

US gun law debate has knock-on effect

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 January, 2013, 5:21am

The world is watching while the US divides more bitterly than ever in a national debate it has had before, and must have again, on whether to accept more control of guns in the community. The horror of the shooting massacre last month of 20 small schoolchildren by a lone gunman remains fresh enough in the memory to compel attention.

President Barack Obama has seized on it to rally public pressure for a reluctant Congress to pass broad gun-control legislation, including a ban on possession of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, expanded personal background checks and tougher gun-trafficking laws.

That such measures could divide a civilised nation still in mourning for its children may not be easily understood in Hong Kong and other law-abiding places with more effective gun control, including Britain and Australia, where civilian mass shooting atrocities led to broad public support for tougher legislation. But Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms and Obama is taking on one of the country's most powerful interest groups, the National Rifle Association, and other forces that have successfully opposed new gun laws for decades.

He has, therefore, elevated gun control into one of the most divisive issues of his presidency, along with health-care reform, gay rights and immigration. The White House has foreshadowed a co-ordinated effort with interest groups to take the fight into strongholds of gun ownership and persuade their congressional representatives to back new laws.

At the same time, he can ill afford to further antagonise a partisan Congress ahead of what is certain to be a bruising fight over the need to raise the national debt ceiling so America can continue to pay its debts and avoid jolting global economic confidence. That is another reason for the rest of the world to take an interest in how the latest attempt at gun control plays out politically.


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Truth Seeker
Mr Obama is the perfect example of the tyranny of the government the framers of the Constitution sought to thwart.. His union backers (over USD1 Billion donated to his election) threaten physically anyone who speaks or acts against Obama. History shows the taking of the guns is the first step towards Dictatorship. Many other Obama initiatives resemble Hitler's actions and actions of other rising dictators. Mr Obama amplified the school tragedy to gain public sympathy as he tries to circumvent the Constitution of the USA and bypass Congress to gain on his drive to dominance and his party;s dictatorship.
The issue is more complex than just one of politics. The constitution is pretty clear on what it means in the Second Amendment. It does not mince words other than saying the right to bear arms shall not be abridged. The same is stated in the context of such being necessary to an ordered militia. So it is not tied to having a shotgun to shoot geese but rather to allowing the citizenry to have their guns to avoid the tyranny of the government. The US Constitution is a bit of a curiosity to many other nations as it is clearly above alternation by normal law. Even yelling "fire" in a crowded movie house was at the end of the day not prohibited (you can read the case). The problem is amending the constitution has a procedure but it is hard and Obama has nowhere near the votes to do it.


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