In the wake of the recent mass shootings that took place in Georgia, Colorado, and California, lawmakers have been pushing for the passage of legislation to help curb gun violence. In California, for example, state lawmakers on Tuesday, April 6th, announced a proposal that would levy a new excise tax on gun and ammunition sales. The goal of this tax, according to the executive director of Gun Owners of California, an advocacy group is to discourage individuals from purchasing guns. If passed, the revenue from the tax would be used to fund violence prevention programs. In Oregon, another democratic state, a number of bills have been making their way through the legislature this session. The three bills (HB 2510, HB 2543, and SB 554) would require owners to secure their guns with a trigger or cable lock and keep them in a secure container or gun room, close the “Charleston Loophole,” and would allow local governments and agencies to limit possession of firearms in public buildings by concealed handgun licenses while also increasing fees for these license. In Colorado, lawmakers are considering repealing a 2003 state law that preempts local gun restrictions as well as banning assault weapons. However, in some states, such as Texas, GOP lawmakers are committed to protecting gun owners’ rights despite the recent shootings. In Georgia, where a gunman killed six Asian women, lawmakers are pushing for legislation that loosens, rather than tightens gun laws in the state. This move has been described by some senators as a “step in the wrong direction.” Although, President Joe Biden has called for bipartisanship in addressing gun violence in the United States, gun control is and will likely remain a partisan issue.
Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom.
The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.
- Writing: Explain the impact that the recent mass shootings have had on gun control legislation.
- Debate: Do you believe that local governments should have the authority to enact their own gun restrictions despite state and federal laws?
- Poll: Gun violence is a public health epidemic. (Agree or Disagree).
- Short Answer: Discuss the different reforms that are being considered by lawmakers.
Cover Image: © iStockphoto.com/YingYang