Last year marked the deadliest year in mass shootings in United States history, with incidents at an movie theater and religious temple leaving hundreds of people dead or injured.
The recent rash in mass shootings has ignited passionate debates and sparked hundreds of comments on Patch among those who are both for and against tighter gun control laws.
Two stories in particular generated more than 300 comments: One on President Barack Obama's proposed gun control measures and one on an ad by the NRA that referred to the president's children.
On Wednesday, Obama proposed a comprehensive gun policy reform that included a series of executive actions.
Under the proposals the president is recommending:
- universal criminal background checks for private and retail gun sales;
- reinstating the ban on military assault weapons;
- a limit on ammunition magazines;
- more gun research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
- helping schools develop emergency plans;
- adding more resource officers to schools;
- adding more police officers on the street; and
- new gun trafficking laws and more.
The package will cost about $500 million, reported the Huffington Post. Dozens of comments on Patch support the president's initiatives, but just as many say this is a violation of the right to bear arms. Here's a sampling of what some readers had to say:
"...Whether it's based on politics or not, if these prevent one crazy, unstable person from possessing a gun and harming someone, it's worth it," Patch reader Satori said.Brian Dey: "This, specifically under the 2nd Amendment, is the right to bear arms against a tyrannical government. If the government can carry 30 or more, than so can I — period."
Related: Hundreds in Madison for Pro-Gun Rally
Keith Schmitz: "Suckers. The only people who are benefiting are the gun and ammo makers and dealers. What's amusing are the guys who are going to take on the U.S. military, who will crush these Rambos like a bug. Funnier still is these gun nuts voting for the politicians who are making this military even larger.
Michael McClusky: "What is with this executive order mania? Does anyone question the president's sanity in continuously bypassing the Congress and the Constitution? This man certainly should be second-guessed."
CowDung: "We are less safe in America because of societal issues, not because of the gun lobby. We have a culture that embraces violence--until we address that, we will continue to be less safe."
But the and neither are Patch readers.
The NRA released an ad that injects Obama's children into the guns-in-schools debate. Here's where Patch readers stand on the issue:
KHD: "NO, I don't think (the ad) goes far enough. Pull the guards from Obama's kids school. Why should my tax dollars pay for his kids when mine don't have any protection? Obama is the one out of touch."
WIwishes: "Sandy Hook was not an attack on CERTAIN children. It was random. Trying to compare the president's children who are famous and under threat through no cause of their own to yours and my children is ridiculous. Those children HAVE been threatened repeatedly simply because of their father. Yes, our children are average....not an insult so stop acting like it is. You don't get to choose what your tax dollars go towards...that's life. Do I want my tax dollars spent on a NASCAR car for the Army? No, but I don't get to choose. And neither do you."
Join the conversation! Post your thoughts below in the comments section on the President's gun reforms and the NRA's ad. Or click the links above to head back to the original stories and add your comments to the mix.