Uncovering Gun Control in America

See how the issue has evolved following another tragedy.

Copycat Crimes - ?How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame ? from a national media machine that rewards them with the wall-to-wall attention and sense of identity that they crave ? while provoking others to try to make their mark??(Photo: AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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Gun Control in America - As Americans continue to mourn the deaths of 20 children and six adults killed on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, national dialogue about gun control has grown to deafening levels. In the wake of yet another tragic mass shooting, BET.com takes a look at how the issue has evolved. — Britt Middleton (Photo: AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

What Is the Second Amendment? - The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." (Photo: GettyImages)

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What Is the Second Amendment? - The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." (Photo: GettyImages)

How Is the Second Amendment Applied Today? - "Some believe that the Amendment's phrase 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms' creates an individual constitutional right for citizens of the United States. On the other hand, some scholars point to the prefatory language 'a well regulated Militia' to argue that the Framers intended only to restrict Congress from legislating away a state's right to self-defense," writes the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School. (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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How Is the Second Amendment Applied Today? - "Some believe that the Amendment's phrase 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms' creates an individual constitutional right for citizens of the United States. On the other hand, some scholars point to the prefatory language 'a well regulated Militia' to argue that the Framers intended only to restrict Congress from legislating away a state's right to self-defense," writes the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School. (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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A Breakdown of Gun Prevalence - The FBI reported a total of 16,808,538 million background checks for gun purchases as of November 2012, already surpassing the number for years 2011 and 2010. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), there were more than 129,817 federally licensed firearms dealers in the United States as of August 2012. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

What Are the Federal Guidelines for Purchasing a Firearm? - The Gun Control Act (GCA) states that you must be 18 or older to purchase long guns and ammunition from an authorized dealer. You must be 21 years old or older to purchase a handgun and ammunition for handguns from an authorized dealer. You must also must pass a background check and meet certain legal requirements. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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What Are the Federal Guidelines for Purchasing a Firearm? - The Gun Control Act (GCA) states that you must be 18 or older to purchase long guns and ammunition from an authorized dealer. You must be 21 years old or older to purchase a handgun and ammunition for handguns from an authorized dealer. You must also must pass a background check and meet certain legal requirements. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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The NRA Responds - The National Rifle Association, which boasts 4.3 million members, has long rallied for lighter gun restrictions. After remaining mum on the issue in the first days following the Sandy Hook tragedy, the NRA said in its first official statement on Dec. 18 that the group "was prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again." (Photo: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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The NRA Responds - The National Rifle Association, which boasts 4.3 million members, has long rallied for lighter gun restrictions. After remaining mum on the issue in the first days following the Sandy Hook tragedy, the NRA said in its first official statement on Dec. 18 that the group "was prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again." (Photo: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

What Does Congress Think? - ?I read intelligence carefully, and I know that people are trying to get to us. This is the reason why we keep [NSA] doing what it?s doing,? said Feinstein. ?It?s to ferret this out before it happens. It?s called protecting America.?   (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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A Ban on Assault Rifles - California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has announced plans to revive legislation banning the sale of military-style assault weapons in 2013. The previous ban expired in 2004 and no law has been put in place since then. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Anti-Gun Petition Gains Traction - In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, an online petition on the White House's We the People blog is rallying "to force the Obama Administration to produce legislation that limits access to guns," the petition reads. "Powerful lobbying groups allow the ownership of guns to reach beyond the Constitution's intended purpose of the right to bear arms." As of Dec. 17, it has gathered more than 146,000 signatures. (Photo: Courtesy White House)

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Anti-Gun Petition Gains Traction - In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, an online petition on the White House's We the People blog is rallying "to force the Obama Administration to produce legislation that limits access to guns," the petition reads. "Powerful lobbying groups allow the ownership of guns to reach beyond the Constitution's intended purpose of the right to bear arms." As of Dec. 17, it has gathered more than 146,000 signatures. (Photo: Courtesy White House)

Should School Officials Carry Guns? - "If I had been a teacher or the principal at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and if the school district did not preclude me from having access to a firearm, either by concealed carry or locked in my desk, most of the murdered children would still be alive, and the gunman would still be dead, and not by suicide," Oregon Rep. Dennis Richardson wrote in an email he sent to three school superintendents. (Photo: Courtesy Dennis Richardson campaign)

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Should School Officials Carry Guns? - "If I had been a teacher or the principal at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and if the school district did not preclude me from having access to a firearm, either by concealed carry or locked in my desk, most of the murdered children would still be alive, and the gunman would still be dead, and not by suicide," Oregon Rep. Dennis Richardson wrote in an email he sent to three school superintendents. (Photo: Courtesy Dennis Richardson campaign)

Guns in Public Places - A number of states allow residents to carry concealed weapons on their person or nearby if they obtain a concealed carry permit. Rules regarding these permits vary by state. (Photo: GettyImages)

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Guns in Public Places - A number of states allow residents to carry concealed weapons on their person or nearby if they obtain a concealed carry permit. Rules regarding these permits vary by state. (Photo: GettyImages)

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President Obama's Record on Gun Control - "I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change," President Obama said during his address at the interfaith vigil for the slain victims in Connecticut over the weekend. Sandy Hook marked the fourth mass shooting under the Obama administration. (Photo: Stephen Dunn-Pool/Getty Images)

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Small Steps - The president has only signed one piece of legislation regarding gun control since taking office, which now allows loaded guns in national parks and unloaded weapons stored in luggage on Amtrak trains. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)