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Editorial: Debate on on guns to continue in 2013

The announcement Wednesday by President Obama of his 23-point plan to address gun violence has launched a new chapter in the divisive gun debate.

It has been nearly two decade since the gun debate was so hot.

Among Obama’s proposals is a call for better access to mental health services, a call for closing background-check loopholes and a ban on the sale of assault-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

These and other proposals would require approval by Congress, where Obama’s guns control efforts will likely face stiff opposition — from members of both political party.

The nation is as well is divided about the role of gun rights and gun controls. Rural residents are often more likely to favor gun rights, while urban residents are more prone to favor stricter gun controls.

Even in Newtown, Conn., the site of the recent tragic deaths at Sandy Hill Elementary, citizens are divided.

At the same time, the gun lobby has ardent and well-organized support, especially in rural America, while recent shooting tragedies have hit a nerve with the American public.

Even if every concept proposed by Obama this week were approved by Congress, gun violence in America would not be eliminated. 

The Second Amendment protects the right in America to keep and bear arms. It was adopted in 1791, 222 years ago, as one of the basic rights of this county. In recent years, several Supreme Court opinions have ruled that the Second Amendment protects a citizen’s right to possess firearms and to use those firearms for legal purposes.

This is a basic right within America and any limit to this right should be reviewed with caution. Any decision on such matters should not be the result of recent tragedies, but made with consensus and deliberate decisions.

The debate on guns is likely to continue in 2013.