On May 5, 2015, Oklahoma’s Republican dominated state legislature passed a bill allowing school districts to appoint school personnel to carry guns on school property.
The bill has not yet been signed by Oklahoma’s Republican governor, Mary Fallin. However, it is expected for the bill to become law.
Backers said the measure that easily passed in the Republican-dominated legislature would promote school safety while opponents said having the firearms on campus could put students and teachers in danger. Read more
The history of gun control laws dates as far back as the year 1791 with the introduction of the Bill of Rights concerning the second amendment to the United States Constitution. However, world events would later give brevity to the use of firearms and how the uses should be controlled in connection to tragedies both personal and political.
In 1837, States such as Georgia banned the use of handguns, but the law was challenged and eventually ruled unconstitutional. As more laws were passed to control access and use of weapons, this led to the organizing and creation of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in 1871.
The NRA’s original intent was for rifle marksmanship training in preparation for war, but they eventually became the primary lobby group preventing the regulation of guns in America. Despite the advocacy for gun ownership, many laws maintained that one race of people, blacks in particular, were specifically prevented from possessing any form of protection, including but not limited to firearms and/or ammunition of any sort. This was only a fraction of the black codes instituted and enforced by southern state constitutions. Any person of color caught with weapons were jailed and sometimes lynched.
Concerns regarding the Ku Klux Klan and their homegrown terroristic acts against African-Americans, and political tragedies consisted of the assassinations of Presidents such Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and the attempted assassination of Ronald Regan eventually led to tougher gun control laws.
However, 1986 saw the passing of several Acts intending to control not only access itself, but who could have access to specific kinds of firearms and ammunition. Today, the NRA serves as one of the nation’s top watchdogs for the protection of gun ownership, and they are also key stakeholders lobbying against gun control legislation and the expansion of gun rights.
The U.S. has one of the highest gun related death rates in the world. In the last decade, it was estimated that a total of 100,000 people are shot yearly. Sometime this year, it is predicted that gun violence will become the leading cause of death for young people in the United States surpassing vehicle deaths.