It’s becoming quite clear, that if you want something done – you have to do it yourself. That appears to be the case with Connecticut. Three and a half months after 20 first-graders were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, lawmakers there have reached a deal on what could be the toughest gun control laws in the nation.
But what about reform on the federal level? There may be some bills to debate, but legislation increasingly appears to be more watered down. The Washington Post reports that bipartisan plans to make gun trafficking a federal crime could be gutted, if proposed language by the NRA is accepted. Universal background checks don’t look promising either. And the White House acknowledges that two other proposals — bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines — are not politically viable.
Connecticut, whose bill is expected to be signed into law this week, follows New York State and Colorado in enacting gun laws. Both states passed improvements to the background check system, and a limit on high-capacity magazines, as well as some other measures.
While examples like Connecticut show progress, such laws may not have prevented the tragedy in Newtown. But it’s something. However, without any reform on the national level – are we just becoming a more fractured nation?
The New York Times reports that Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s office has “sent letters to 34 different firearms and accessories manufacturers in other states, particularly where stricter gun and ammunition laws are being considered or passed, encouraging them to relocate to Texas.” Grassroots Facebook pages are also encouraging gun manufacturers to operate in more gun-friendly states like Alaska, Alabama or West Virginia.
And a town in Georgia has actually passed a law requiring gun ownership.
Do we need to be a United nation when it comes to preventing another tragedy like Newtown?
Six relatives of Newtown victims visited the Capitol on Monday, asking lawmakers to ban existing high-capacity magazines. Some handed out cards with photographs of their slain children. There is no indication today that the Senate will vote on anything the nation envisioned back in December.
We’ll look at the backward momentum gun reform has taken on the national level today at 12 p.m.
Michael Eric Dyson, Professor, Georgetown University/msnbc Political Analyst (@michaeledyson)
Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Editor, The Nation (@katrinanation)
Patrick Murphy, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress/msnbc Contributor (@patrickmurphypa)
Karen Finney, Columnist, The Hill/msnbc Political Analyst (@finneyk)
Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood (@cecilerichards) [3A]
State Senator Barbara Buono, Democratic New Jersey gubernatorial candidate (@buonofornjgov) [3A]