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Why is the debate over gun control so heated in the U.S.?
Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have very different approaches to the issue of gun control.
Trump says he opposes restrictions on assault weapons and increased background checks. While he tweeted support for President Obama’s call for stricter gun control laws after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Trump now says he wants to eliminate gun-free zones around schools and parks.
Trump has accused Clinton of wanting to take guns away from Americans. But Clinton says that’s not the case and supports “common sense reforms.”
Clinton has called for expanding background checks for gun buyers by closing the Internet sales and gun show loopholes and using executive orders if Congress won’t act.
During the first presidential debate there was a brief moment of consensus when Clinton and Trump agreed that individuals on the No-Fly List should not be able to purchase a gun.
The next presidential debate is on Sunday, October 9, 2016.
No Fly List – a list created and maintained by the United States federal government’s Terrorist Screening Center (TSC), of people who are prohibited from boarding a commercial aircraft for travel in or out of the U.S.
National Rifle Association (NRA) – a non-profit organization founded in 1871 that stands for the protection of the Second Amendment which guarantees a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms; it has directly lobbied for and against legislation since 1975
to lobby – to seek to influence a politician or public official on an issue
Warm up questions (before watching the video)
- What is gun control?
- What does the U.S. Constitution say about guns?
- What do you know about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s stance on gun control?
- What is the National Rifle Association?
Critical thinking questions (after watching the video)
- Do you think a presidential candidate’s views on gun control could sway voters in this election? Explain.
- What factors in a person’s life influence where he/she stands on gun policy?
- Do you think lobbying organizations like the NRA have too much power in the U.S.? Why or why not?