AirTalk for July 26, 2012

A national, rational debate about guns?

US President Barack Obama speaks during

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama waded into the issue of gun control during a speech on Wed. July 25th

"AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals ... they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities." With that statement last night, President Barack Obama kicked off what he promised would be a national discussion about gun control.

It took six days after the theater massacre in Colorado for the president and his 2012 opponent, Mitt Romney, to make their clearest statements yet on gun policy. In an NBC News interview, Romney said, "We can sometimes hope that just changing a law will make all bad things go away. It won't. Changing the heart of the American people may well be what's essential to improve the lots of the American people."

It's a familiar volley swatted back-and-forth in this country. The gun debate is an age-old, hot-button issue, but does the tone of the conversation need to change? Is it too emotionally charged? How does it compare to other policy debates in American history? How do lobbying groups play on the feelings of the electorate?

Guests:

Don Frederick, Political Editor, Bloomberg News


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