One want to give more protections to gun manufacturers. The other would gut the 2005 law that already gives the industry unusual immunity. Who will prevail?
It all may end up funneled up to the United States Supreme Court a few years from now, a predictable result of the two recent Second Amendment rulings which gave lower courts only miserly guidance about the continuing viability of gun control laws. But, for the moment, the newly energized debate over guns is unfolding at different paces in different venues. In New York on Tuesday, exactly one month after Newtown, state lawmakers passed what the New York Times called "a sweeping package of gun control measures." Governor Andrew Cuomo signed it into law less than one hour later. Of the law, the Times said:
The expanded ban on assault weapons broadens the definition of such weapons, banning semiautomatic pistols and rifles with detachable magazines and one military-style feature, as well as semiautomatic shotguns with one military-style feature. New Yorkers who already own such guns can keep them but will be required to register them with the state.
In Colorado, meanwhile, things are moving more slowly. Instead of gathering votes and signing pens, advocates on both sides of the divide are gearing up by hiring lobbyists -- "creating opportunities," the Denver Post reported. In Aurora, the scene of the July theater shooting which left 12 dead and 58 wounded, the Post reported that the city council bravely decided to commission a committee to make city policy on guns, policies which the city council quickly reserved the right to veto. "There needs to be something," said Councilwoman Debi Hunter Holen. "Whether it's background checks, magazine bans..."
Things are moving at their own pace, too, in Washington. The national kabuki dance, which proceeded at a leisurely tempo until the Newtown shooting, has truly begun. Today, President Obama is expected to announce new gun initiatives, which the Washington Post also called sweeping:
President Obama will unveil a sweeping set of gun-control proposals at midday Wednesday, including an assault weapons ban, universal background checks and limits on the number of bullets that ammunition clips can hold, according to sources familiar with the plans.
On the other end of the spectrum, meanwhile, the old and the new have quickly coalesced to warn the nation of the consequences of such efforts.