PBS Newshour: After Newtown, Gun Control Debate Spurs Political Action Across the Nation


After mass shootings in Columbine, Blacksburg, Aurora and Newtown, the conversation on enacting new gun control legislation has moved beyond the nation’s capital. While gun control activists are pushing for stricter laws, gun sales have increased as some gun owners fear tighter restrictions in the future. Gwen Ifill sat down with NewsHour’s political editor Christina Bellantoni to discuss the politics of gun control.

With the spotlight on gun control across the country, Bellantoni said many state legislatures are eager to join the debate.

“You have got governors who want to get on national stage. You have got a lot of Republicans who control state legislatures, particularly in the South. They want to strengthen gun freedoms. And then you have a lot of more liberal legislatures controlled by Democrats who want to strengthen gun control,” Bellantoni said.

When asked about the National Rifle Association’s reaction to the widespread call for stricter gun control, Bellantoni said, “There's definitely pushback. And you’re hearing them. They put out their own poll figures all of the time, trying to say their members and the broader public don’t support these efforts to tighten gun control efforts.”

The NRA and state legislatures are not the only groups trying to effect gun control bills throughout the United States. Bellantoni said various mayors and political action committees are donating money to candidates who support their view on gun legislation.