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More Americans killed in gun deaths than in terrorist attacks

January 15th, 2013
07:17 PM ET

Guns kill more than terrorism

One month after the Newtown Massacre, Christiane Amanpour speaks with Tom Diaz, a former member of the NRA.


Mother of Virgina Tech student

Christiane Amanpour speaks with Azar Nafizi, an author and teacher whose son survived the massacre at Virginia Tech.

By Samuel Burke, CNN

It has now been one month since the grieving families of Newtown, Connecticut put their children on the school bus, only to have them never return.

Teachers, of course, were victims too - but all of the lives lost in that American school massacre are just a small fraction of the total number of gun deaths in the United States.

In fact, the number of Americans killed in guns deaths is far larger than the number of those killed in terrorist attacks around the world every year.

In 2010, 13,186 people died in terrorist attacks worldwide; in that same year, in America alone, 31,672 people lost their lives in gun-related deaths, according to numbers complied by Tom Diaz – until recently, a senior analyst at the Violence Policy Center.  FULL POST

Filed under:  Gun Control • Latest Episode

U.S. mayor: ‘I'm not afraid of the NRA’

January 10th, 2013
11:51 AM ET

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.”  FULL POST

Filed under:  Gun Control • Latest Episode

How moms can stop America’s gun violence

December 19th, 2012
05:03 PM ET

By Samuel Burke and Lucky Gold, CNN

Could a grass roots movement change America's permissive gun laws in the wake of the massacre of six- and seven-year-olds?

It happened thirty years ago, when a grieving mother named Candy Lightner turned her anguish into action and created Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or “MADD”.

She did that in 1980, just days after she buried her 13-year-old daughter Cari. MADD’s first office was Cari's bedroom.

From there she launched a movement that changed the way Americans and America’s laws treat drunk driving. And it soon spread to the rest of the world. MADD now has 600 chapters in all fifty states.

The result?

Since 1991, drunk driving deaths have been cut by almost 40%. And for the first time on record, the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths dipped below ten thousand.

The loss of one child helped change America’s drinking culture.

Will the loss of twenty young lives mark a sea change when it comes to tolerating military style weapons on America's streets?

The risk of daring to disagree with the NRA

December 19th, 2012
04:59 PM ET

By Samuel Burke, CNN

Tennessee lawmaker Debra Maggart was a lifetime member of America’s most powerful gun lobby, the National Riffle Association.

She had an A+ rating with the group and even supported allowing guns in bars.

But when Maggart decided not to back a bill allowing guns in cars – even on properties where the owners did not want guns- the NRA turned against her.

The group did everything in its power to ensure her election defeat.

They succeeded.


Filed under:  Gun Control • Latest Episode

Could the NRA become obsolete?

December 19th, 2012
04:54 PM ET

By Samuel Burke, CNN

The NRA might run the risk of being obsolete, according to Eliot Spitzer.

The former New York governor says America's most powerful gun lobby has two choices: Either it can "revert to their normal posture ... and refuse to compromise," Spitzer told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an interview Monday. Or, he believes, the NRA can pivot: remain strong gun advocates, but encourage their membership in to help limit certain gun rights.

If they do not, Spitzer believes the organization runs the risk of becoming politically irrelevant and their membership might drift away.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Gun Control • Latest Episode

America’s news anchor on gun violence

December 18th, 2012
05:15 PM ET

America’s news anchor, veteran journalist Tom Brokaw, is “enraged” by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour Brokaw pointed out that other recent incidents – this year’s shootings at a movie theater in Colorado and Sikh Temple in Wisconsin – did not even break the waterline in the presidential debates this year. But he believes this latest massacre is a tipping point for the United States and its gun culture.

Filed under:  Gun Control • Latest Episode

Getting a gun in Japan

December 18th, 2012
11:40 AM ET

In Japan, you cannot buy a handgun, much less an assault rifle. In fact, even off-duty police officers are banned from carrying guns.

You can buy a shotgun or an air rifle, but it is not easy:

  • First, you have to take a class and a written exam.
  • Then there's a skill test at a shooting range
  • Next is a drug test
  • Then a mental evaluation.
  • Assuming you pass all those tests, you file with the police, who then run a background check.

No wonder Japan has one of the lowest gun ownership rates in the world.

But does it work?

In 2008, the U.S. had 12,000 gun-related murders. Japan had 11. More than double that number were killed in the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

Filed under:  Gun Control • Latest Episode
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