Arthur Hayhoe on politics of Gun control

04/19/07 Mitch E.Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

Tomorrow marks the 8th anniversary of the student shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, the last mass gun slaying that seemed to shock America.


In the immediate aftermath, there were many calls for gun control – but little came of it.


8 years later, there are fewer calls for gun control measures.  In fact, there are just as many  if not more calls for students to be armed in class .  However, a bill to do just that died in Committee in the Virginia legislature last year.


But there are not easy times for gun control advocates. 


In 2004, President Bush signaled that he would sign legislation extending a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines that had passed as part of Clinton's 1994 crime bill. GOP leaders allowed the law to expire without a vote.


Arthur Hayhoe is Executive Director of the Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. 

WMNF asked him if he thinks that legislation could be passed in Congress right now?

(roll tape#1 o.q.”do anything with it”)


Yesterday in Tallahassee, the all powerful National Rifle Association suffered a rare defeat in the Florida Legislature, when a committee rejected an NRA –backed bill that would have allowed employees to keep guns in their cars at work despite an employer’s objections.

 Marion Hammer, an NRA lobbyist, made it clear the group plans to reintroduce the legislation next year. She said the bill is necessary to give employees the ability to protect themselves during commutes. 

The bill was opposed by some major corporations – including Disney and Publix.  Major business groups were also against it.  Again, Arthur Hayhoe from the Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (roll tape2 o.q.”they’re going to go to court”)

 Although politically the issue of gun control may be tough, in fact, the public does support such measures.  Last fall, a question on gun control was included in an October Post/ABC News survey. The sample was asked whether they favored or opposed "stricter gun laws." Sixty-one percent said they favored tighter restrictions while 37 percent opposed more stringent regulations.  


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