President Barack Obama addressed the issue of gun control at his annual State of the Union address Tuesday.
The Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., shootings have caused a much deeper debate between those for and against gun control.
“Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals,” Obama said. “Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned.”
“Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress,” Obama said. “If you want to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote.”
The Gun Owners of America’s executive director Larry Pratt said in an interview he would “not agree that there is an epidemic of gun violence in this country; in fact, our murder rate has been declining over the past several years.”
These proposals include background checks for gun sales, a ban on assault weapons, limiting ammunition magazines and having tougher consequences for those who sell guns to criminals.
“Gun control is not going to stop criminals from obtaining guns or high capacity magazines,” said Eastern Michigan University student Chris Schmitz, who often goes shooting. “Chicago has some, if not the strictest, gun laws in the country yet they still have a ton of gun-related murders.”
Statistics from the BBC showed America has the highest rate of gun violence for developed countries, with a gun murder rate of 3.2 murders per 100,000 people.
“I feel like any increased regulation of killing machines wouldn’t do any harm,” EMU junior Michael Still said. “We have a right to bear arms, but making the process hard couldn’t be a bad thing.”
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