Maryland And Virginia Going In Opposite Directions On Gun Control | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Maryland And Virginia Going In Opposite Directions On Gun Control

Play associated audio
Virginia is trying to make it easier for teachers to carry guns in the classroom, while Maryland lawmakers are tightening up gun laws.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/barjack/149011258/
Virginia is trying to make it easier for teachers to carry guns in the classroom, while Maryland lawmakers are tightening up gun laws.

Lawmakers in Montgomery County, Md., are behind many of the gun control measures that will be introduced during the upcoming session of the state's General Assembly. Even if the bills pass, however, lawmakers say their impact could be blunted by legislation in neighborhing Virginia.

The two states seem to be going in opposite directions when it comes to gun control. Some Maryland lawmakers will push for tighter gun laws next year. Meanwhile, in Virginia, Gov. Bob McDonnell says he's considering allowing teachers to carry concealed handguns at school.

Maryland state senator Jamie Raskin, from Montgomery County, is sponsoring the assault weapon ban in Maryland. Raskin says he sees the "logic" behind arming teachers, even though he strongly disagrees with it.

"They're basically saying, 'Forget it. We're not going to be like the rest of the world. We're not going to be able to keep dangerous guns out of public places, so let's just arm everybody,'" Raskin says, about the proposal in Virginia. "And that's not insane if you start with their premise that we should have assault weapons floating around in society."

The assault weapon ban has been brought up before in Maryland, but it hasn't passed. Raskin thinks that may be different next year because of public outrage at the Newtown, Conn., mass shooting last week.

Fellow state senator Brian Frosh says a Maryland assault weapon ban could lose some effectiveness if such guns are available right across the Potomac River.

"Obviously if Congress passed it, that would be the best," Frosh says. "But we can do something."

Montgomery County state's attorney John McCarthy agrees.

"The proximity of Virginia would compromise what we do in Maryland," McCarthy says. "But like many things in life, you can only be responsible for yourself."

Other bills to be introduced in Annapolis next month include smaller ammunition clips, and tougher reporting and record keeping requirements for gun dealers.

NPR

Philip Seymour Hoffman Leaves Indelible Bond In 'Most Wanted Man'

The late actor hit his peak in the adaptation of John le Carre's 2008 novel. The movie isn't a clean piece of storytelling, but Hoffman connects with viewers on a level most actors never approach.
NPR

The Weird, Underappreciated World Of Plastic Packaging

So much of the food we eat these days is encased in plastic. And behind it is a whole lot of research and innovation. We dive into some of the materials that keep food fresh and portable.
NPR

The GOP's New Plan To Tackle Poverty: Helpful Or Hurtful?

Republican Congressman Paul Ryan has a new plan to address poverty. Host Michel Martin talks with commentators Corey Ealons and Ron Christie about it and other political stories of the week.
NPR

The Weird, Underappreciated World Of Plastic Packaging

So much of the food we eat these days is encased in plastic. And behind it is a whole lot of research and innovation. We dive into some of the materials that keep food fresh and portable.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.