The following white paper was written in August 2012 in completion of requirements of the NYU Brademas Center for the Study of Congress, after a stint working for the late U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg. A PDF version of the paper is available here.
A series of shootings in the summer of 2012 have illuminated yet again the issue of gun control in the United States. Conversations have once again sprung up regarding the need for and constitutionality of restrictions on weapon ownership. However, though debate may continue in newspaper opinion pages and on cable television, no serious discussion of reform has reached the floors of Congress—and none is likely to do so. Tragedies like those that occurred in America this summer continuously fail to reframe the issue or even spark a lasting national conversation. The country is currently in a stalemate on gun control reform, despite indications of public opinion that we need tighter laws.