Will the Tucson Shooting Alter the Gun-Control Debate?

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Photo: Getty Images

As the Green family buried their 9-year-old daughter Christina Taylor today, one group has remained surprisingly silent: the National Rifle Association. Out of respect for Saturday's shooting victims, the NRA has said it will stay mum until all of the victims' funerals have passed, noting that “at this time, anything other than prayers for the victims and their families would be inappropriate.”

But gun-control advocates have openly expressed their hopes that this tragedy will transform the conversation. Paul Helmke, executive director of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said "I really do believe that this time it could be different.”

And yet: This weekend, the Pima County Fairgrounds will host a gun show only thirteen miles from the site of the shooting. Lois Chedsey, secretary of the Arizona Arms Association, which is helping sponsor the event, said “We had no hesitation about going ahead with the show so soon after the incident.” More disturbingly, Chedsey noted, “Gun sales have been up since last Saturday.”

On Wednesday, New York Republican representative Peter T. King proposed a bill that would make it illegal to have a firearm within 1,000 feet of a member of Congress — not that such a bill would have stopped Jared Lee Loughner from bringing a gun to Representative Gabrielle Giffords's Saturday event. King's proposal hasn't been well received among Second Amendment fans — his office has received "100 calls an hour from people who think I am trying to take away their Second Amendment rights.”

Meanwhile, Christina-Taylor Green's Little League team, the Pirates — on which she was the only girl — will wear patches to commemorate their fallen teammate. And students at Christina's Mesa Verde Elementary will mourn their friend.

New Gun Control Limits Are Improbable, Lawmakers Say [NYT]
Christina Green, Tucson Shooting Victim, Is Buried [NYT]