The question reemerges after every mass shooting in America: are more stringent gun control laws necessary to prevent future shootings?
It's a question that was posed after the in July. And as the national conversation continues to focus on the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, it's a question being asked again.
So far, lawmakers in Missouri have been divided on how to respond. As KMOX reported on Thursday, Rep. Stacey Newman (D-Richmond Heights) is calling for the implementation of required background checks for people who buy firearms at gun shows.
Meanwhile, other Missouri lawmakers are supporting a bill that would allow school officials with concealed carry permits to bring firearms into their schools. That's an idea supported by the National Rifle Association and Tim Fitch, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, though it was rejected by local school officials during a meeting of the Safe Schools Partnership Program on Thursday.
"At this point, I don’t suspect we will have this conversation again about arming school officials until the next school shooting,” said Fitch after the meeting.
State Senator John Lamping (R-Ladue) believes any legislation on gun control will be handled by the federal government.
"Missouri the way it exists today is very, very gun friendly, and I don’t think that culture’s going to change unless the federal government makes a new determination," Lamping told Patch on Thursday.
President Barack Obama already has pledged to make gun control a "central issue" in his second term, reports the New York Times.
The question remains: are more stringent gun control laws inevitable now? Or will our state and national lawmakers take a different approach? And how worthwhile is it to have the discussion, even if the country remains divided on how to handle laws regarding gun purchases?