AirTalk for December 26, 2012

Do we need more gun laws, or just stronger enforcement of the ones we have?

Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

A database of mentally ill people barred from buying guns lacks all the records required.

On Monday in upstate New York a 62-year-old man who was once convicted of manslaughter ambushed and shot four firefighters who had responded to a fire at his home.  Two of the firefighters were killed, and two were seriously wounded; the gunman then shot and killed himself.  Convicted felons are not allowed to own firearms, so the question is – how did William Spengler obtain his arsenal of weapons? Should the existing gun laws in this country be enough to keep guns out of the hands of a convicted felon? This and other recent tragedies such as the Sandy Hook shooting have focused a sharp lens on gun policy in this country. But while both gun owners and gun control advocates agree that something has to be done, where do we start? Do tougher guns laws need to go into effect immediately? Or is it going to take generations of different thinking to change the culture?

LAPD 2012 Gun Buyback Program

Guests:

Erika Aguilar, KPCC reporter, speaking with us from the LAPD gun buyback at the Los Angeles Sports Arena

John Lott, author of "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws" He was also the chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission.

Jack Scott, former state senator (CA-D), gun control advocate who began his efforts after his son Adam was fatally shot


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