Gun control, 2nd Amendment and the political landscape

Gun control, 2nd Amendment and the political landscape
Updated: Oct. 3, 2017 at 6:34 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The renewed debate over whether more gun control is needed is not unexpected following the shooting massacre in Las Vegas.

Country Music star Caleb Keeter changed his tune. He performed at the music festival where dozens were killed and more than 500 injured.

In a tweet, Keeter wrote, "I've been a proponent of the 2nd Amendment my entire life. Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was."

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton added his voice to the debate with this tweet:

"I  think it's very simple. The current protocol is not working. The current system is not working," said Payton later during a teleconference.

It is a subject dear to a Dillard University criminologist.

"We've lost  more people by guns since 1970 than all the wars combined, even back to the American Revolution," said Dr. Ashraf Esmail, Ph.D.

The debate has raged over whether gun laws should be toughed following other deadly shooting sprees in the country, including the Orlando nightclub carnage.

"America has been here before with outrage and grief followed by inaction in Congress," said FOX 8 political analyst Mike Sherman.

Professor Stephen Griffin is a Tulane University constitutional law expert.

"Well, everyone knows about the Second Amendment's Right to keep and bear arms but what's important is what the Supreme Court has said, and what the Supreme Court has said and the Supreme Court has established that it has to do with defending your home, defending your family, but it does not prevent the government from enacting reasonable regulations to regulate guns, especially dangerous kinds of guns," said Professor Griffin.

In the GOP controlled Congress there is legislation to ease regulation on gun silencers.

"What it shows is Congress has the legitimate power to make it easier for people to have silencers, it also has the constitutional power to make it harder and  that's the terrain were in now, one where it's not a question really of someone's right, so much as it is a question of Congress's legitimate interest," added Professor Griffin.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said on FOX News' "The Daily Brief with Dana Perino" Show that the legislation is being shelved indefinitely.

"It's a big bill, it deals with wetlands, it deals with other sportsman's issues. It's not in our schedule because quite frankly, we're focused on tax reform and getting out budget moving right now," said Ryan.

And then there are those who argue that people who want to harm others will always be able to get their hands on guns, either legally, or illegally.

Speaking generally Ryan said mental health cannot be overlooked in mass shooting incidents.

"One of the things we've learned from these shootings is that often underneath this is a diagnosis of mental illness," Ryan said.

Sherman does not expect the political landscape to change anytime soon, in terms of gun control.

"Gun control plays a major role in republicans seeking re-election to Congress, they're greatest threat, being outflanked by a conservative in a primary not by a democrat in a general election," said Sherman.

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