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    Talk about gun control heats up

    NEW ORLEANS (Feb.21, 2013)- Is there a growing backlash in the court of public opinion on gun control, or will the National Rifle Association win?

    Gun control has become a pressing issue once again with recent events, including the Sandy Hook school massacre in the East and, just last week, the Chris Dorner incident in the West. It’s is the topic of discussion everywhere – family functions, offices, social media, talk shows, grocery stores, college campuses, schools, airports, etc. We are living in a time where we have to be wary of our surroundings.

    Should civilian possession of handguns and other non-hunting guns be banned or severely restricted? While the Obama administration tries to limit some gun sales, stores can’t keep certain guns and ammunition in stock as others try to grab as many as they can while they still can.

    President Obama is pushing for stricter gun laws as his hometown Chicago is plagued with many instances of gun violence. The city suffered more than 500 homicides in 2012, including a record number of gun deaths for victims under age 18.

    But it was the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre of innocent young victims left many feeling unsafe and helpless that renewed the conversation on who should have what type of gun. In December, Adam Lanza grabbed three guns from his house – a semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle made by Bushmaster and pistols made by Glock and Sig Sauer –  and shot 20 children and six adults at the school in Newtown, Conn., after he killed his mother and before he committed suicide. It was the second-worst school shooting, with the 37 killed at Virginia Tech in 2007 being No. 1.

    Just last week, Christopher Dorner, a former Los Angeles Police Department officer and veteran, launched a deadly revenge campaign against the department for his firing, warning he would bring “warfare” to officers and their families. He is believed to have killed four people before dying in a shootout and fire at a mountain cabin.

    I’ve had many conversations on gun control, and the talk often becomes very heated. All the parties involved in the discussion want to be right. If assault weapons are banned completely, do the people who already have assault weapons relinquish their possessions? Then again, assault weapons serve no purpose in everyday life and should be used by military personnel only.

    Legalized gun ownership means guns have a greater chance of falling into the hands of kids, potentially resulting in some deadly accidents. On the other hand, banning guns will create another potentially large source of organized criminal revenue, as a black market for guns develops.

    Some say banning guns takes away our liberty and is one more step toward socialism and totalitarianism.The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ensures that a citizen has the right “to keep and bear arms.” But does that mean you have a right to bear assault rifles?  The amendment does not specifically state what arms a citizen may possess.

    If guns are within everyone’s reach, who needs protection – the citizens or the criminals?

    Even though the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy and the victims of Dorner’s killing spree received attention, countless incidents never make the news. How long will this be on our minds? And what difference will it make? Did you even remember Virginia Tech, which happened just six years ago? Doesn’t anyone know the meaning of compromise anymore?

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    Talk about gun control heats up