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Law enforcement stands near the covered body of the suspected shooter 53-year-old Jeffery Johnson on 5th Ave. near the Empire State Building August 24, 2012 in New York City. Police said Johnson shot and killed a 41-year-old former coworker of Hazan Imports during an altercation at 10 W. 33rd St. with a .45 caliber handgun. Seven other people were wounded, which New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg described as non-life threatening injuries.
The nation was already stunned by two mass shootings this summer: First, 12 were killed and 58 were injured in the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Sixteen days later, six were killed and four injured when a gunman opened fire on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin before shooting himself in the head. But the latest shooting occurred in New York City just outside the Empire State Building.
An apparently disgruntled former employee of an apparel importer shot and killed his former co-worker before he was killed by police. Eight bystanders were also injured during the incident, but their injuries may have been caused by police bullets rather than the shooter’s. In any case, these high profile mass shootings have left many wondering about the future of gun laws in the United States.
How should lawmakers respond to these events? Would stricter gun control laws make any difference when it comes to mass shootings, or should gun laws just be left as is?
Adam Winkler, constitutional law professor at UCLA; author of “Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America”