All week, in response to the Newtown Connecticut shooting, we're talking about assault weapons, and whether they should be banned. Takeaway listeners have some strong opinions, and smart insights.
Anna from New Jersey says:
"Getting rid of guns entirely may not be realistic. But if we reduce the number of guns in circulation, it will have a strong impact on violence. Even if it doesn't get rid of gun violence entirely, it's a great first step. Much like losing 50 pounds if you really have to lose 100, it's a beginning, and it's still worth doing."
Another listener says:
"I do think an assault weapons ban would be good, but I don't think it would be effective. Most shootings do not take place with assault weapons, they take place with handguns. And so a ban would be a token gesture. At this point we don't need tokens, we need change."
Issac from Portland agrees, writing:
"Trying to curb violence by banning assault weapons is like trying to reduce car crashes by banning sports cars."
Bruce from Florida called to say:
"I believe that assault weapons should have been banned long before the Sandy Hook shooting. However, I also believe that the NRA should be outraged. They are the experts on guns, why can't they be the ones, rather than be all or nothing about gun control, to suggest ways to prevent this from ever happening again?"
Megan from Massachusetts called to say:
"I think americans are crazy about guns, literally crazy in the worst possible way. There is no reason to be so obsessed. I think it's a sickness, and i hope that things will change now."
Nancy from Oregon says:
"Assault weapons are about power. We need to start an 'I am really powerful, I don't need a gun' campaign. Only changing social attitudes will really work to change the situation."
Glenn writes on our Facebook page:
"The NRA has played a thoroughly militant, introspective and paranoid role in all this. I've had it with their 'Constitutional rights' argument. Constitutions are designed to change and reflect social values, not serve vested interests and big business."
Stacy writes on our facebook page:
"The National PTA has more members than the NRA and their political power is nothing in comparison to the NRA. The NRA is too influential and they have too much money."
Patty has this to say:
"Why don't we just increase the price of ammunition? I think Chris Rock even had that idea. Let's just make ammunition a thousand dollars a pop."
And Laura sees this as an issue bigger than just guns. She writes:
"In my opinion this tragedy is part of a much larger and seldom covered issue. Hand gun reform is necessary and important, but when everything from movies, TV, video games, toys, to the military complex desensitizes our sons to violence, and gives them the message that shooting and being a killer is not only OK, but makes you a hero and a 'real man,' we have instilled a dangerous confusion in our boys."
Over a hundred listeners have written called in with their thoughts on gun control. Give us your take by calling us at 877-8-MY-TAKE.