Sources: PressTV (Feb. 8, 2013)
In the background of this President Obama on February 6th formally proposed the most expansive gun-control policies in generations and initiated 23 separate executive actions aimed at curbing what he called “the epidemic of gun violence in this country.” Meanwhile a Nobel Prize-winning economist has described America’s largest gun lobby group as an “insane organization” that is pushing the country towards dystopia. “What strikes me is we’ve actually gotten a glimpse into the mindset, though, of the pro-gun people…It’s bizarre,” Krugman said, adding that the NRA believes “America cannot manage unless everybody’s prepared to shoot intruders.”
Krugman’s remarks come nearly two months after the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut where 20 small children and six school staff members were murdered. Experts believe the deadly mass shooting served as a tipping point in the gun control debate and that the NRA is targeted to fail as a result.
Press TV has talked with James F. Tracy, associate professor at the Florida Atlantic University to further discuss the issue at hand. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Considering the figures that have come in with nearly 1500 people killed in gun-related violence since just December alone and one mass shooting taking place once a month since 2009.
Do you think that Barack Obama’s package of gun-control law reforms is enough?
Tracy: Well, thank you for having me. I believe that more or less what he is proposing involves making things more strict for law-abiding citizens. It is not going to make things more difficult for criminals or the equivalent from purchasing guns. If we really want to have a solution to the epidemic of mass shootings in this country, one thing we could do is to look at the fact that many of these shootings involve individuals who have been on psychotropic drugs, anti-depressants, atypical anti-psychotics that cause homicidality and suicidality. That is something that is not actually being considered. I do not think that there is actually anything that the government can do to prevent criminals or those intent on mass shootings from obtaining weapons.
Press TV: Right but professor, also looking at the way guns have been marketed thus far, specifically by gun lobbyist groups; they seem to be really banking on the second amendment, which gives the constitutional rights of bearing arms. However do you think that it has been marketed in such a way that Americans do feel that they need to have guns in order to preserve their freedoms?
Tracy: Well, gun sales are certainly up and there is concern among many regardless of their political stripe that there are going to be increased governmental measures preventing individuals from being able to lawfully purchase and own firearms. So that may very well be a concern. I am not sure as to whether or not it is not a matter of marketing. I think there is also a concern among a good percentage of the population that we could face an economic crisis or the equivalent and one would desire that sort of protection.
Press TV: Well, also on the one hand there is this debate about stricter gun control and basically a tight-fixing loopholes within the laws that already exist but on the other hand we are seeing steps taken such as schools requiring the teachers and janitors to be armed to protect the children. Is this the answer?
Tracy: It may very well be because these schools and other areas where no one is actually armed, you do have police in some schools and certainly in schools that cater to more affluent groups of individuals and their children–they have armed guards. But it is not the case with the majority of the public schools. So if someone is intent on doing harm, they know where to go to find a disarmed body of people.