Daily Video

April 11, 2013

Senate to Vote on Gun Bill

Watch Gun Control Proposal Includes Expanded Background Checks on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

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Teachers: this video includes a 4-minute story followed by a discussion.

Two senators from opposite sides of the aisle struck a bipartisan deal yesterday for a proposal to expand background checks on potential gun owners. The president welcomed the effort, but claimed that it did not go as far as he hoped.

The new proposal will require sellers at gun shows and online to obtain background checks from their customers, closing the so-called “gun show loophole”. However, this plan is different from the president’s because it will still not require background checks for private sales between individuals.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) will also create a national commission on mass violence.

“This commission is going to be made up with people with expertise, people who have expertise in guns, people who have expertise in mental illness, people who have expertise in school safety, and people who have expertise in video violence,” said Manchin.

While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans an initial vote for Thursday April 11, Senate Republicans are debating whether to block the action.


“This amendment won’t ease the pain. It will not ease the pain of the families who lost their children on that horrible day. But nobody here, and I mean not one of us in this great, great Capitol of ours, with a good conscience could sit by and not try to prevent a day like that from happening again. And I think that’s what we’re doing,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

“I don’t consider criminal background checks to be gun control. I think it’s just common sense. If you pass a criminal background check, you get to buy a gun. It’s no problem. It’s the people who fail a criminal or a mental health background check that we don’t want having guns,” – Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

Warm up questions

1. What is the Second Amendment?

2. What do you know about guns in the United States? Can anyone buy a gun?

3. What are some laws that could affect gun sales in the United States? (Think about cities that ban guns, background checks, registering guns, etc)

3. What are some of the arguments for and against gun laws?

Discussion questions

1. Do you think making more potential gun owners go through background checks will help prevent shootings?

2. Do you agree that background checks for buying a gun is a right-to-privacy issue? Why or why not?

3. Can you think of anything else you might buy or do that requires a background check?

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