Last week on Kentucky Tonight, we discussed the disagreement among House Republicans, Senate Democrats, and the White House over the federal budget and the Affordable Care Act. Our guests on that program seemed to agree that lawmakers would come to some agreement to avoid a government shutdown. Little did we know!
So last night, while legislators in Washington argued over that very issue, our guests on Kentucky Tonight debated another hot topic: gun laws. I asked our panelists if they thought Congress would approve any of the gun laws proposed since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, last December. Our guests all said that passage of anything gun related in this session of Congress is doubtful.
A recent article in the Washington Times explored the challenges President Obama has faced in advancing gun control measures. The story highlighted a brief remark Obama made in a speech about the Navy Yard shootings. The president said, “By now, it should be clear that the changes we need will not come from Washington, even when tragedy strikes Washington.”
One issue that gun advocates frequently raise is that not enough “good guys” have weapons, while individuals with mental illness can obtain guns all too easily. That point elicited lively debate among our Kentucky Tonight panelists.
In April, the Senate rejected a bill that would have required background checks for some intrastate firearms transfers between persons who aren’t licensed gun dealers. Opponents argued that, if passed, the legislation would set up a national registry of gun owners – which provided another point of disagreement among our guests last night.
Next week on Kentucky Tonight, we’ll discuss the Affordable Care Act and see how the law is working a week after the launch of the new health exchanges.