By Samuel Burke, CNN
It has been less than four weeks since the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, but in that time there have been more than 600 gun-related deaths in the United States.
Vice President Joe Biden has been tasked to deliver gun control recommendations to the president, but in the meantime some American politics are already taking action.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head two years ago, just announced she is launching a national campaign that will directly face off against the NRA.
Mayor Jerramiah Healy of Jersey City, New Jersey, has been at the forefront of trying to get guns off America’s streets.
Healy does not buy National Riffle Association arguments that gun control will not stop this plague of gun violence and he is not afraid of the powerful group trying to get him out office, as it has done with other legislators.
“I'm not in an area where the NRA is going to have any serious sway,” he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Wednesday. “The city's been sued by the NRA because of our city ordinances and the laws that we've brought down to Trenton that are now the laws of the State of New Jersey.”
Healy and the city government run a periodic gun buyback amnesty program. At a church this past Saturday, 164 guns were bought back by the city in just over four hours.
Healy said no taxpayer money was spent on the program. Instead, it was funded by donations from businesses and private citizens. Police officers volunteered their time without salary.
Healy said he has no interest in taking away the guns that collectors or hunters use, but wants to see assault weapons and magazines that hold clips of 30 or more rounds of ammunition off American streets.
“No hunter, no collector, no target shooter has any reason to have those weapons. They were all banned up until about eight years ago. The bans expired. We'd like to get them back in place,” he said.
Two months ago Healy did not think meaningful gun control reform was possible, but he believes the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut changed that has all changed.