The endless gun debate revisited
OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Since yesterday's shootings, the Second Amendment now overshadows even the Russian investigation. The debate is as old as the Constitution, but never more rancorous.
With the eighth school shooting in 2018 now recorded, among the agony and anguish, the endless battle over gun control has reached yet another high point.
"You hear this on the news all the time. You'd never think it's gonna happen and it's happens," said one crying mother holding on to her daughter Natalie who survived the shooting,
The National Shooting Sports Foundation – a gun industry supported group – says that one in every five guns sold is an AR-style assault rifle, like the one used by the Florida shooter. All told, it's estimated that there are now 15 million AR type assault weapons owned by Americans. That is almost seven times the number of active and reserve uniformed personnel in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard
Florida Governor, Rick Scott, a long time gun advocate, promoted more discussions and sail.
"How do we make sure that individuals with mental illness do not touch a gun? We need to have a real conversation so we can have safety for our public schools in this state," he said.
And Florida federal legislators echoed the thought.
"Let's have a conversation on how to deal with mental health issues, how to make sure dangerous people don't get guns and how to make sure that law abiding citizens don't get their Second Amendment rights interfered with." said Representative Tom Deutsch,(R) Florida.
In a Congressional hearing today, the Secretary of the Treasury hinted at bolder action. "The gun violence: it's a tragedy what we've seen yesterday. I'd urge Congress to look at these issues," said Steve Mnuchin.
Congressman John Lewis asked, "Do you propose to do something?"
Secretary Mnuchin replied, "I have vast responsibilities as Treasury Secretary, but this is out of my lane."
President Trump spoke to America, decrying the shooting but offered no practical or specific solution, especially on the thorny issue of gun laws. "We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health," Trump aid.
Former President Barack Obama tweeted, "Caring for kids is our first job. And until we can honestly say we're doing enough to keep them safe from harm, including long overdue, common-sense gun safety laws that most Americans want, then we have to change."
Senator Diane Feinstein, a long time gun control advocate and enemy of assault rifles tweeted: "My bill to ban assault weapons is ready for a vote. How long will we accept weapons of war being used to slaughter our children?"
With between 270 and 300 million of all types of guns in U.S. civilian's hands. and with that figure rising, many wonder: is there, or can there, ever be a limit?