Gun control debate to begin

by Donny Kendal, Staff Writer

Legislation regarding the highly publicized gun control debate has passed its first stumbling block in the Senate when it passed a potential filibuster with a 68-31 vote.

The calls for additional gun control laws garnered a lot of attention after the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut on December 14th.  Since then, President Obama and other lawmakers have pushed for more restrictions in an attempt to prevent similar events from taking place again.

As reported in USA Today, a proposed portion of the changes to gun laws will include a deal to expand background checks when purchasing firearms. This amendment is considered bipartisan, sponsored by Senators Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey. If the new changes are accepted, all commercial gun sales would necessitate a background check.

Opponents say further restrictions will only lead to larger problems. A Reason Magazine article explains that universal background checks could cause the creation of a national database to track guns. Some fear that this database could be used for future gun confiscations.

President Obama sees these steps as important for our safety. Press secretary Jay Carney said Obama, “reiterated that much work remains and pledged to continue fighting for the votes.” Another vote is expected this week to formally begin debate on the various proposed amendments.