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February 19, 2013

Debate Over Gun Control Continues After Newtown

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After the mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., Virginia Tech and Columbine, Colo., the nation questioned its policies on guns and how to best prevent the next massacre.

Now, after the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the debate has spread from Washington to the state and local level, as states and cities enact their own gun laws and distance themselves from gun manufacturers. New York and California teachers’ funds recently decided to sell off millions of dollars of stock in gun manufacturers, while Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked banks to stop financing gun makers.

Chicago has been hit particularly hard by gun violence. In one recent high-profile case, Hadiya Pendleton was shot to death near her school just days after marching the in presidential inaugural parade.

The president returned to Chicago to speak on the need to reduce gun violence.

“Last year, there were 443 murders with a firearm on the streets of this city. And 65 of those victims were 18 and under. So, that’s the equivalent of a Newtown every four months.”

Just hours after the speech, Janay McFarlane, the 18-year-old sister of one of the attendees, was shot and killed in Chicago.

Meanwhile, gun owners fearing a government seizure of their weapons have been buying firearms and attending gun shows at increased rates. In at least 20 states, from Wyoming to Virginia, lawmakers are pushing back against gun control with bills they say will preserve the rights of gun owners.


Warm Up Questions

1. What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.?

2. What is the Second Amendment?

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

Discussion Questions

1. What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.?

2. What is the Second Amendment?

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

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