Second Amendment has taken a slight bruising after Sandy Hook, unlike
other controversial social issues such as gay marriage and drug
legalization, which are gradually becoming more accepted by society,
gun control is not gaining ground.
There is concern across America that the Sandy Hook mass shooting has
given gun control efforts significant – and unwarranted –
momentum. Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado
signed new gun control legislation this week, and
President Obama is again pushing Congress to pass additional federal
gun control laws. Although it is a sad week for Second Amendment
supporters in Colorado,
that state is an outlier. What happened in Newtown was a tragedy, but
heightening gun restrictions is not the right response.
Governor Hickenlooper, a Democrat, signed into law on Wednesday
legislation that expands background checks on gun purchases and
limits the sizes of ammunition magazines to 15 rounds. Colorado used
to be more of a purple state that could go either Democrat or
Republican, but in recent years it has turned
into a blue state. It was home to the 1999
Columbine school shooting and the Aurora
movie theater shooting that killed 12 people
last summer. These tragic incidents, combined with Sandy Hook,
created an emotional climate to pass gun control legislation.
Contrast Colorado with nearby Arizona. Arizona experienced the
tragic, high-profile shooting of Congresswoman
Gabrielle Giffords in 2011. Yet there is no chance
any new gun control laws will be passed. In fact, Arizona is
the most gun-owner friendly state in the
country. The state's legislature and most top political offices are
whereas, the reverse is true in Colorado. This is evidence that a
high-profile mass shooting is not enough to turn the tide in favor of
gun control; the political climate is more determinative.