- The national conversation about guns in America has been hijacked in recent days by a controversy between a Fox News host and David Hogg, one of the student leaders of the gun-control movement that erupted following February’s mass shooting at a high school in Florida.
- Ingraham and Hogg traded barbs this week after the TV pundit personally attacked Hogg for complaining about not getting accepted into a few universities.
- But amid the feud, the debate over guns in America rages on.
- Here’s what Hogg and other gun control activists are trying to achieve.
The controversy between Fox News host Laura Ingraham and a 17-year-old Parkland shooting survivor and gun control activist whom she mocked on Twitter continues to make headlines.
On Wednesday, Ingraham tweeted a link to a news article about David Hogg having received rejection letters from several California schools and said he “whines about it.”
Hogg picked up on Ingraham’s comments, tweeting “Soooo @IngrahamAngle what are your biggest advertisers…Asking for a friend. #BoycottIngramAdverts.”
Although Ingraham later issued an apology to Hogg, the damage was already done. So far, a dozen companies have withdrawn their advertisements from Ingraham’s show.
But amid the feud, the debate over guns in America rages on.
Earlier this week, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote an op-ed in The New York Times urging a repeal of the Second Amendment.
Meanwhile, the Never Again movement, a gun control advocacy group formed by Hogg and fellow Parkland shooting survivors, continues its push for stricter gun laws.
Here’s exactly what they’re pushing for:
Ban “assault weapons”
Gun control activists, particularly those who attended the “March for Our Lives” rallies in cities across the US on March 24, frequently talk about banning assault weapons.
But how such a proposal would actually work – and which types of gun would be included in the ban – is a lot more complicated than it seems.
The National Rifle Association and many gun rights activists believe that an assault weapons ban is a catch-all attempt to confiscate most commonly owned firearms.
But David Hogg insists the Never Again Movement “is not trying to take away your guns.”
“We’re trying to take back our lives,” he told The Outline, a digital media outlet. “Just as much as you have a right to own a weapon, we have a right to liberty, we have the right to peace, and we have the right to live.”
Prohibit high-capacity magazines
The second legislative goal the “March for Our Lives” protestors want to accomplish is implementing a limitation on the number of bullets a firearm can hold.
Though it’s unclear what exactly that limitation would be, high-capacity magazines are typically defined as those that carry more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
On Friday, for instance, lawmakers in Vermont passed a gun control law that banned high-capacity magazines. It defined “high-capacity” as more than 15 rounds for handguns and more than 10 rounds for all other firearms.
Close background-check loopholes
There is currently no federal law mandating that buyers pass a background check when purchasing a firearm online or at a gun show from a private, unlicensed seller.
The gun control activists from Parkland and supporters of the “March for Our Lives” wants to change that by requiring a background check “on every gun sale, no exceptions.”
It’s worth nothing that some states have laws requiring background checks for purchases from private, unlicensed dealers.
During an interview with The Outline, Hogg said that policymakers need to define which individuals with a mental illness should and should not be able to buy a gun.
But he also outlined three other specific solutions he believes will help reduce gun violence:
- Slap a 10% tax on all firearms sales
- Raise the minimum federal age of gun ownership and possession to 21
- Increase spending for mental healthcare programs
Currently, federal law prohibits federally licensed dealers from selling a handgun to anyone under 21, but individuals older than 18 are still allowed to purchase a long gun or rifle.
Federal law also states that all sales of shotguns and rifles by manufacturers, producers, and importers are subject to an 11% excise tax. Handgun sales are taxed at 10%.
Some gun control advocates have previously proposed taxing sales of bullets or levying additional taxes on gun sales to fund gun violence prevention research and treat gunshot victims.
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