A Nation Divided On Guns

A Nation Divided On Guns

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., joined by, from left, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, House Assistant Minority Leader Rep. James Clyburn of S.C., and Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., walk down the steps of the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 23, 2016, to speak after House Democrats ended their sit in protest on the House floor. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

In the fight to bring gun control bills to a vote, Democrats ended their 25- hour sit-in on Thursday which is being labeled as historic in Washington, D.C.

Lead by civil rights icon Representative Jon Lewis, the protest came up short- failing to get the Republican controlled House of Representatives to hold a vote on any gun control bill. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan adjourned congress early Thursday morning until July 5.

But this is short of a failure, creating conversation across the United States on guns in America.

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The gun debate has sparked again after the tragedy in Orlando where 49 people where killed at a gay nightclub.

Four measures failed in the House of Representatives– two filed by Democrats and two by Republicans- that would have addressed background checks on prospective buyers and the sales of guns to those on terrorist watch lists.

The debate has divided the nation even further leaving Americans asking what is the answer? 

“The American political culture is tied to the notion of individual freedom and freedom associated with the role of government in our society… that any government intervention, even in the name of safety and security, is an infringement on individual freedom,” said Political Professor Dr. Ryan Higgins of UCO’s Liberal Arts Department.

Can we have gun control and protect our 2nd Amendment? 

“Gun control has been a legal doctrine and a constitutional doctrine since the founding of our country. The 2nd Amendment again incorporates the word regulate,” said Dr. Kiggins.

The NRA continues their push to get Republicans to stand behind no new gun laws. 

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Oklahoma’s U.S. House of Representatives have all passed the NRA’s grade check. The National Rifle Association grades politicians on their past history in voting on gun bills.  Edmond’s House District 5’s Steve Russel has an A and is officially endorsed by the organization

“The NRA has significant power and clout, because, number one, as an organization itself, it can provide donations to political campaigns, but because it also contains data on members that can martial members [NRA members] to express outrage and form public opinion  against gun legislation,” said Dr. Kiggins.

Higgins’ advice to those debating guns and the 2nd Amendment: to know the importance of both sides of the 2nd Amendment. 

“Gun control enthusiast tend to focus on the first clause of the 2nd Amendment and ignore the second clause. Whereas gun control opponents emphasize the second clause and ignore entirely the first part,” said Dr. Kiggins

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