Nearly 20 years ago, a California tragedy — a mass shooting at a downtown San Francisco high-rise — prompted historic gun control legislation. Months after gunman Gian Luigi Ferri walked into the office of law firm Pettit & Martin at San Francisco’s 101 California building and killed eight people before committing suicide, Congress passed an assault weapons ban. But that federal measure has since expired, and even in the wake of the Colorado tragedy it is effectively verboten for politicians to float tighter gun restrictions during an election year. That’s what San Francisco Chronicle reporter Carla Marinucci told “To the Point” listeners on today’s installment of the weekly political feature “Red State/Blue State.”
“In a presidential year, it’s going to be a difficult lift to get politicians on board on this issue,” she said.
But if tighter gun control looks like an uphill battle from California, it looks downright impossible in a state like Texas, said the Dallas Morning News‘ Wayne Slater. “The governor of Texas showed up today at an event… and he came up in a car with a bumper sticker that said, ‘God bless our troops, especially our snipers,'” Slater said. While the sticker’s slogan is meant to express support for the U.S. military, he added, “It reflects the sort of comfort that people, especially in southern states, red states and some western states, have about guns and a suspicion they have about any effort to restrict the ability of people to have guns.”
Listen to the segment here:
And tell us what you think: How entrenched is America’s gun culture? Is the right to carry intertwined with the American West?