Last month, a gunman opened fire in the baggage claim of the airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The shooter was later identified as an Army veteran who had sought help for mental illness. He killed five people.
The deadly shooting reignited a long-standing debate about firearms in the United States. The U.S. has more guns—and gun deaths—than any other developed country.
As firearms have become more powerful and mass shootings fill the news, arguments over gun laws have grown more heated.
Some people say that we need stricter laws to limit the kinds of guns that are legal to own and make it harder for criminals to get weapons. These kinds of restrictions are known as gun control.
Opponents of such measures say that most gun-control laws violate the “right to bear arms” that the Framers laid out in the Second Amendment to the Constitution. In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that this amendment protects a person’s right to keep a loaded firearm for self-defense.
Congress hasn’t passed major gun-control legislation in two decades. President Donald Trump has said he would oppose any new gun-control measures. He favors expanding gun owners’ rights.
Does the U.S. need tougher gun-control laws? Two experts weigh in.