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The bane of guns in the US

May 19. 2013 9:44PM
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America has witnessed yet another shocking incident of gun violence. At an annual Mother’s Day parade in New Orleans, which was attended by nearly 400 people, gunmen opened fire, injuring at least 19 people, including three children.

The shooting, which has resulted in arrests, has been described as a flare-up of street violence, brought an abrupt interruption in celebrations and caused the mood to grow somber.

This incident has followed a surge in gun-related violence during recent in the US, and justifies the necessity to enforce more stringent gun ownership laws. But if historical examples are anything to go by, accomplishing this would be no easy feat. After the mass shooting at a Connecticut school last year that killed 26 people, President Obama introduced a bill, which aimed to impose tougher checks on gun ownership and ban assault weapons. But with Congress divided on the issue due to the strong lobby of the National Rifle Association (NRA), that gun control package is currently stalled. And, in fact, the clause concerning the ban on assault weapons was dropped entirely from the package.

But gun control is not completely a lost cause. State-level changes to gun laws have taken place in the aftermath of the Connecticut massacre. Both New York and Connecticut this year imposed tough checks on gun ownership and banned assault weapons.

And now, after the New Orleans shooting, Obama has again pressed for regulation of gun ownership. Still, real change in gun laws at a federal level will continue to be a distant dream. While American has intensified its effort to hunt down home-grown terrorists after last month’s bombings in Boston, the country still remains far from addressing the factor that has been a major cause of tragic massacres. US interest groups politics

The Khaleej Times, Dubai

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