UPDATE: What’s Going on With the Gun Debate?

The Senate Takes a Stand

Yesterday, June 15th, around 11am ET, Senator Chris Murphy (D) of Connecticut took control of the Senate floor stating that he was prepared to retain control until the Senate agreed to vote on gun violence measures. Does everyone remember the word ‘filibuster’ from high school? It wasn’t a traditional filibuster, but it is drawing a lot of attention. (More on that here)

Senator Murphy stated during the 15-hour hold that there has been no action against gun violence in the four years since Sandy Hook, which happened in his state. Only one measure has come to a vote, and that was three years ago. With 33,000 Americans dying every year because of guns, Senator Murphy said it was time to say “Enough!”

The two main things that are being argued for are:

Universal background checks with a closure to gun-buying loopholes

Putting people on the no-fly list on a no-buy list when it comes to firearms

Several other leaders joined Murphy, making their statements concerning inaction, gun violence, hate crimes, terrorism, loopholes and even commenting on the job of the Senate. Two Republicans were included in the mix. The hold ended around 2am ET Thursday morning.

The American Medical Association Makes a Statement

Also this week, the AMA declared gun violence a public health epidemic and began a significant push to re-open research into gun violence, which has been halted for over 20 years. In 1996 the NRA accused the Center for Disease Control (CDC) of promoting gun control. As a result, federal funding dried up. Many researchers state that, for fear of not receiving funding for other projects, they have left studying gun violence behind. New researchers are even warned that studying guns could immediately kill their career.

The President of the AMA, Dr. Steven Stack, has likened the potential for new gun research like studying automobile deaths. That research resulted in things like seat belts and airbags. “Nobody’s car was taken away,” he says.

Is it working?

Vox thinks so. Here is their article. It goes deeper into what is being called for and what the filibuster accomplished. It also takes a look at the measures being discussed in depth. It’s a good one, check it out.

Getting the Background

We dove into the history of gun violence and 2nd amendment rights/arguments in the episode Guns in America: How Did We Get Here? Listen to that episode from Soundcloud or the website.

We’ll keep you posted!


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